Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rubashkin is released and Best's is bested

A while back I expressed discomfort with a court ruling that kept Sholom Rubashkin in jail while awaiting trial. While there is no doubt that Rubashkin faces serious charges and is a considerable flight risk, the former manager of the Agriprocessors kosher meat plant in Postville, Idaho was used as a pawn in a game whereby his mere religious affiliation as a Jew was used to deny him bail. The prosecutors alleged and a judge agreed that Rubashkin would automatically use Israel's "right to return" and flee the jurisdiction of the court. That meant that every Jew, no matter how guilty or innocent, could be denied bail because of the policy of an outside nation. Somehow this strikes me as inherently wrong and another judge agreed with me because Rubashkin was granted release on $500,000 bail at the end of January. The Rubashkin crisis in the kosher meat industry has caused many an observant shopper to mutter aloud "oy vey" as some grocers and distributors switched affiliation from Agriprocessors products in reaction to the allegations leveled against them. A number of products literally disappeared from grocer's refrigerators and freezers. Chalk up another loss in this ongoing crisis. Sara Lee, the parent company of Best's Kosher meat label has decided to kill the company it acquired not so very long ago. This means that one of the best kosher salamis and hot dogs around will no longer be purchased nationwide. It seems so sad for those of us who were faithful consumers, but such is the way of this economy. I am certain we will see more fallout in the future when one day we may echo a famous TV commercial: "Where's the beef?"

No comments: