The War on Kosher

The "War on Kosher" has begun and is now raging through the courts, media and sadly, even within our own communities.


Thanks to a rash of glaring headlines and bloated one-sided editorials, Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, (aka Rubashkin) is facing allegations concerning its working conditions, treatment of workers, alleged animal cruelty, illegal immigration and many other harsh accusations.


While we expect that the merits of the specific allegations will be dealt with justly through the courts, one thing is very clear - Agriprocessors is being excessively prosecuted in a most unfair and discriminatory way.

This unbalanced and libelous treatment of Agriprocessors has robbed the company, and indeed its consumers, of the due process that is the most basic and fundamental right of every citizen of this country. 


As the largest Kosher meat provider in the United States, the price for Kosher meat has skyrocketed and severe shortages have resulted across the board; particularly in the small towns and cities where Agriprocessors is the only meat provider a fact that has received no consideration or attention.


This War on Kosher is not a new phenomenon.  Consider the following:


1.   This all began with PETA's 2004 publishing of an unauthorized video depicting shechita (ritual slaughter) at Agriprocessors Iowa plant. While the content is questionable for its integrity, what is clear is that leading Rabbinic authorities have agreed that the shechita at Agriprocessors was done completely according to Torah law. PETA's agenda to put an end to legal shechita in the United States received a boost when their aggressive smear campaign netted the over-zealous participation of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (for more information click here), and the Forward newspaper - eventually culminating in the current crisis.

2.   The Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has taken extreme actions against Agriprocessors that have not been implemented in other comparable cases. For instance, in conjunction to the May 12th raid at the Postville plant, ICE released an affidavit connected to the raid, a highly unusual move. Since that date, there have been other large-scale ICE operations, with one surpassing the Agriprocessors raid. Never before have they issued an affidavit in connection with an immigration raid at a company. Three recent examples include:


A. Swift & Co - a multi-site raid that netted 1200 employees;
B. Howard Industries - a single-site raid that netted 595 employees;
C. Colombia Farms - a single site raid that netted over 300 employees.

3.   The release of the ICE affidavit is especially troubling for its unfounded and inflammatory allegations.  Accusing Agriprocessors of harboring a Meth lab within its facility and the trading of firearms on the premises is outrageous and once again, highly slanderous. If ICE truly believed in the veracity of the document it publicized so openly, it would have dispatched a HAZMAT team to the site at the time of the raid.


4.   The ICE affidavit cited a report from the Forward newspaper as proof positive that there was mistreatment of employees at the plant. Since when does an official government agency make public allegations based upon a newspaper article?


5.   A disproportionate media response has resulted from the ICE raid, far exceeding the coverage of all other recent ICE immigration raids, including the much larger Howard Industries operation.

6.    In the aftermath of the raid, nearly 300 of the 389 employees arrested were charged with aggravated identity theft, which they were forced to plead guilty to.  This yielded a five month jail sentence for each, after which they were deported. A clear departure from normal ICE protocol on immigration prosecution, employees are usually detained for immigration violations and then immediately deported.

7.    The fines levied against Agriprocessors are utterly disproportionate to the alleged wrongdoings. When Agriprocessors was charged nearly $10 million recently, Kerry Koonce of Iowa Workforce Development reinforced the anti-Agriprocessors charge and told the Des Moines Register, "By all means, it is the largest fine that we've ever issued against anyone." To use a recent proposed fine by OSHA as an example: One violation concerned missing outlet covers. Two, to be precise, out of approximately 10,000 in the facility. This would normally be considered a technical violation, a departure from standard which does not constitute a safety hazard and which carries no mandatory penalty. The inspector proposed a "serious" violation and proposed a $12,500 fine.


8.    In an unprecedented fashion, following the raid state and federal officials began speaking out against Agriprocessors without any independent inquiry or due diligence.  This is the only time on record when government officials have taken such an overtly negative and public stand in relation to an ICE raid:

  • Congressman Bruce Braley was an early and brutal critic, pressing for maximum charges for management.
  • Governor Culver utilized his position to lambast Agriprocessors for taking "the low road". He publicly described the stringent actions he had taken against Agriprocessors, yet turned down an invitation to visit the plant for himself and develop an informed position.
  • A group of unacquainted Jewish congressmen sent a critical letter to Aaron Rubashkin, which echoed many of the libels floated by PETA and the UFCW.
  • Senator Barack Obama even weighed in while campaigning; criticizing Agriprocessors and mischaracterizing a situation he knew little about.

We, the consumers of kosher food products, must protest! Why has the government joined forces with fringe activist groups such as PETA to bring an end to the Kosher meat industry as we know it? We protest the actions of ICE, certain media circuits and civil servants for their disproportionate scrutiny and penalties levied upon Agriprocessors, the Rubashkin family and all Kosher consumers!

For more information on the falsehoods being spread about Agri, visit http://www.agrifacts.info/

The "War on Kosher" has begun and is now raging through the courts, media and sadly, even within our own communities.


Thanks to a rash of glaring headlines and bloated one-sided editorials, Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, (aka Rubashkin) is facing allegations concerning its working conditions, treatment of workers, alleged animal cruelty, illegal immigration and many other harsh accusations.


While we expect that the merits of the specific allegations will be dealt with justly through the courts, one thing is very clear - Agriprocessors is being excessively prosecuted in a most unfair and discriminatory way.


This unbalanced and libelous treatment of Agriprocessors has robbed the company, and indeed its consumers, of the due process that is the most basic and fundamental right of every citizen of this country. 


As the largest Kosher meat provider in the United States, the price for Kosher meat has skyrocketed and severe shortages have resulted across the board; particularly in the small towns and cities where Agriprocessors is the only meat provider a fact that has received no consideration or attention.


This War on Kosher is not a new phenomenon.  Consider the following:



1.   This all began with PETA's 2004 publishing of an unauthorized video depicting shechita (ritual slaughter) at Agriprocessors Iowa plant. While the content is questionable for its integrity, what is clear is that leading Rabbinic authorities have agreed that the shechita at Agriprocessors was done completely according to Torah law. PETA's agenda to put an end to legal shechita in the United States received a boost when their aggressive smear campaign netted the over-zealous participation of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (for more information click here), and the Forward newspaper - eventually culminating in the current crisis.

2.   The Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has taken extreme actions against Agriprocessors that have not been implemented in other comparable cases. For instance, in conjunction to the May 12th raid at the Postville plant, ICE released an affidavit connected to the raid, a highly unusual move. Since that date, there have been other large-scale ICE operations, with one surpassing the Agriprocessors raid. Never before have they issued an affidavit in connection with an immigration raid at a company. Three recent examples include:



A. Swift & Co - a multi-site raid that netted 1200 employees;
B. Howard Industries - a single-site raid that netted 595 employees;
C. Colombia Farms - a single site raid that netted over 300 employees.


3.   The release of the ICE affidavit is especially troubling for its unfounded and inflammatory allegations.  Accusing Agriprocessors of harboring a Meth lab within its facility and the trading of firearms on the premises is outrageous and once again, highly slanderous. If ICE truly believed in the veracity of the document it publicized so openly, it would have dispatched a HAZMAT team to the site at the time of the raid.



4.   The ICE affidavit cited a report from the Forward newspaper as proof positive that there was mistreatment of employees at the plant. Since when does an official government agency make public allegations based upon a newspaper article?


5.   A disproportionate media response has resulted from the ICE raid, far exceeding the coverage of all other recent ICE immigration raids, including the much larger Howard Industries operation.

6.    In the aftermath of the raid, nearly 300 of the 389 employees arrested were charged with aggravated identity theft, which they were forced to plead guilty to.  This yielded a five month jail sentence for each, after which they were deported. A clear departure from normal ICE protocol on immigration prosecution, employees are usually detained for immigration violations and then immediately deported.

7.    The fines levied against Agriprocessors are utterly disproportionate to the alleged wrongdoings. When Agriprocessors was charged nearly $10 million recently, Kerry Koonce of Iowa Workforce Development reinforced the anti-Agriprocessors charge and told the Des Moines Register, "By all means, it is the largest fine that we've ever issued against anyone." To use a recent proposed fine by OSHA as an example: One violation concerned missing outlet covers. Two, to be precise, out of approximately 10,000 in the facility. This would normally be considered a technical violation, a departure from standard which does not constitute a safety hazard and which carries no mandatory penalty. The inspector proposed a "serious" violation and proposed a $12,500 fine.


8.    In an unprecedented fashion, following the raid state and federal officials began speaking out against Agriprocessors without any independent inquiry or due diligence.  This is the only time on record when government officials have taken such an overtly negative and public stand in relation to an ICE raid:



  • Congressman Bruce Braley was an early and brutal critic, pressing for maximum charges for management.

  • Governor Culver utilized his position to lambast Agriprocessors for taking "the low road". He publicly described the stringent actions he had taken against Agriprocessors, yet turned down an invitation to visit the plant for himself and develop an informed position.

  • A group of unacquainted Jewish congressmen sent a critical letter to Aaron Rubashkin, which echoed many of the libels floated by PETA and the UFCW.

  • Senator Barack Obama even weighed in while campaigning; criticizing Agriprocessors and mischaracterizing a situation he knew little about.

We, the consumers of kosher food products, must protest! Why has the government joined forces with fringe activist groups such as PETA to bring an end to the Kosher meat industry as we know it? We protest the actions of ICE, certain media circuits and civil servants for their disproportionate scrutiny and penalties levied upon Agriprocessors, the Rubashkin family and all Kosher consumers!

For more information on the falsehoods being spread about Agri, visit http://www.agrifacts.info/

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