Jailed Is­raeli sol­dier freed af­ter pork scan­dal

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

An Is­raeli sol­dier who was jailed ear­lier this week for eat­ing a non-kosher sand­wich has been freed af­ter the army agreed to re­lease him fol­low­ing a wave of public pres­sure.

The sol­dier, who re­cently im­mi­grated to Is­rael from Amer­ica, was ini­tially jailed for 11 days af­ter eat­ing a sand­wich con­tain­ing pork, which is for­bid­den by Jewish di­etary law, public ra­dio re­ported.

But news

of

his pun­ish­ment spread quickly on so­cial me­dia, spark­ing a public out­cry which prompted the army to re­voke the pun­ish­ment, ad­mit­ting it had made a mis­take.

“The bot­tom l ine is that we were wrong,” wrote army spokesman Bri­gadier Gen­eral Moti Al­moz on his of­fi­cial Face­book page on Tues­day.

“The pun­ish­ment which was given to the sol­dier was can­celled and he will be re­leased home,” he said.

“On the one hand,

the IDF (army) will con­tinue to keep kosher but we not poke our noses into sol­diers’ sand­wiches,” he wrote ac­knowl­edg­ing there were ten­sions within Is­raeli so­ci­ety but say­ing the army had a “place for ev­ery­one.”

Public ra­dio said the of­fend­ing sand­wich was given to him by his grand­mother who lives on a kib­butz and who had of­fered to take his place in jail.

Army ra­dio quoted one of his un­cles as say­ing he was “stunned” by the de­ci­sion to jail his nephew over the con­tents of his lunch­box.

Known as “kashrut,” Jewish di­etary law bars con­sump­tion of cer­tain foods such as pork and shell­fish, and also pro­hibits the mix­ing of meat and dairy prod­ucts.

An­i­mals must be slaugh­tered rit­u­ally un­der the su­per­vi­sion of a rabbi.

As an of­fi­cial Is­raeli in­sti­tu­tion, the army is bound to re­spect such di­etary rules in its mess halls.

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