The timing could not be more pointedly awful. Just one week after we reported that, in the wake of the horse meat scandal, the government was turning to the kashrut authorities for advice about securing the food chain, we reveal that nearly half the population want to ban shechita. Our poll, which was carried out last week, is stark in its brutality. By 45 per cent to 27 per cent, the public would outlaw shechita. Only slightly fewer — 38 per cent — would ban circumcision. When we read of the ever-growing threats in other parts of the EU, there is an inclination towards complacency. We look aghast at the news from abroad but comfort ourselves that such issues could never arise here as live politics.
Today’s poll should explode that myth. Rest on our laurels and the opponents of shechita and circumcision will impose their agenda on us. So it is disappointing — and worrying — that not one person involved in the British campaigns to preserve shechita and brit milah was prepared to react to the poll. Burying our hands in the sand is the opposite of what is needed.