Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticised for eating in non-kosher restaurant

Officials from the United Torah Judaism alliance said it was unacceptable for the Prime Minister of the Jewish state to eat in a non-kosher restaurant

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The Independent Online

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticised by ultra-Orthodox politicians for eating in a non-kosher restaurant on a recent trip to Italy.

The restaurant in question, Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, reportedly serves rabbit, escargot and lobster - none of which can be eaten under a kosher diet.

Officials from the United Torah Judaism alliance, part of Mr Netanyahu’s coalition government, were quoted on the ultra-Orthodox news website Kikar Hashabbat as saying it was unacceptable for the Prime Minister of the Jewish state to eat in a non-kosher restaurant.

An official in the prime minister’s office said Mr Netanyahu “was invited to a restaurant by the Italian prime minister (Matteo Renzi), but he did not eat forbidden foods”, AFP reported.

The official added that the same procedure was followed by the Prime Minister on all his trips abroad.

Officials from United Torah Judaism, who won six seats in the 20th Knesset elections this year, have said the Prime Minister should have acted with more sensitivity, according to the Orthodox news site.

Enoteca Pinchiorri, is described by Michelin as one of the Italian city’s “temples of gourmet dining”.

It is not the first time the Prime Minister has been criticised for his restaurant choice. 

Last year he was slammed by the same website for eating at a non-kosher restaurant in New York with American billionaire Sheldon Aston, where he was accused of ordering veal chops, according to The Times of Israel.

Jewish law bans the consumption of food such as pork and shellfish. Rabbits are considered unclean as they do not have a cloven hoof and any animal that crawls on its stomach is not deemed edible. 

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