Butchers Hand Out Free Ham Sandwiches To Protest Pork Sale BanAP , Associated Press
Nov. 19, 1990 2:32 PM ET
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Butchers on Monday handed out hundreds of free ham sandwiches in downtown Jerusalem to protest government efforts to limit the sale of pork to appease ultra-Orthodox Jews.
In Tel Aviv, left-wing protesters gathered in front of the Likud party headquarters and distributed black veils to women passing by, saying Israel was on the way to becoming a theocracy like Iran.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has promised to push the anti-pork law and other sweeping religious legislation through Parliament in exchange for the support of the small, ultra-Orthodox Agudat Israel Party, which joined his ruling coalition last week.
Observant Jews are forbidden to eat pork because it is not kosher, or permitted under Jewish dietary law.
Shouting ''Pork 3/8 Pork 3/8'' the butchers passed out the sandwiches in Jerusalem's pedestrian mall, Israel radio reported.
The protest drew angry responses from some passers-by.
''We are in the middle of the most religious city in the world, and I think it's digusting that people have the gall and the nerve to hand out ham sandwiches,'' one woman said on the radio.
With Agudat Israel's support, Shamir now has a 64-seat majority in the 120- seat Parliament. In the past, he governed with a 60-member coalition and a promise of support from two right-wing legislators.
But Shamir's agreement to back the religious legislation has prompted angry protests from some secular Israelis, a majority in the nation.