Qatar has banned public Jewish prayer and refused to serve cooked kosher food, it has been reported.
This news, which was announced as the FIFA World Cup begins in Qatar, arrives despite earlier promises that both public Jewish prayer and cooked kosher food would be available, according to The Jerusalem Post.
A representative of a Jewish organisation said: “We were promised to be allowed to create prayer spaces in order for religious Jews who came to see the games to have a place of worship. We were recently told that they banned places of worship for Jews because they cannot secure them.
“They were promised to be able to cook kosher food including kosher meat, but at the moment have only been allowed to sell cold bagel sandwiches.”
A large group of American Jews has also reportedly cancelled their plans to attend games in Qatar following its refusal to sell cooked kosher foods, referencing fears that there would not be enough to eat. One member of the group questioned why Qatar “doesn’t know how to secure Jewish worshipers?”
It was understood that those who wanted to keep kosher would have access to cooked meals, with Rabbi Marc Schneier stating that an agreement was made in which Qatar’s first kosher kitchen would be established in time for the beginning of the World Cup.
Rabbi Schneier works extensively in promoting interfaith relations between Jews and Muslims. Last year, following a meeting between Rabbi Schneier and the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, it was announced that for the first time, Azerbaijan would commemorate International Holocaust Memorial Day.
Father and son Rabbi Mendy Chitrik and Rabbi Eliyahu Chitrik were selected to head up Qatar’s kosher kitchen, which will reportedly serve challah for Shabbat, bagel sandwiches with spreads such as hummus, vegetables and smoked salmon.
Rabbi Chitrik declined to comment on reports of Qatar refusing to sell cooked kosher food.
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