An Israeli court ruled on Monday that a kosher grocery chain catering to Israel’s most religious communities will no longer be allowed to serve kosher meals.
The Kachor grocery chain, owned by the family of Rabbi Meir Kahane, a founding member of the Zionist movement, will have to turn away any and all food from the supermarket.
The ruling came after the Supreme Court of Israel in February ordered the retailer to pay an estimated $5 million to the Kachors.
Kachor was one of several kosher grocery chains that were allowed to open in the West Bank in the late 1990s, as the Israeli government implemented a law that required all kosher food sold in supermarkets to be served by Jews from within the country’s borders.
It remains unclear how the new law will affect the KACHOR.
Katharim Kachori, an Israeli lawyer, said in a statement that the Supreme Council of the Jewish People had “expressed its willingness to take the decision to protect the Jewish community from the threat of boycotts.”
He added that the ruling was “not intended to change the current situation” and would “never change the fundamental position of the state regarding the right of Jews to have access to all food products.”
Kachori added that “the legal framework in the Israeli legislation will continue to be applied.”
Kazir Naftali, an attorney for the Kichors, told The Associated Press that he and his client “were extremely disappointed” by the ruling, which was expected within weeks.
“We will take the necessary steps to defend ourselves, but we cannot leave the door open for others to follow suit,” Naftal said.
“The court has made it clear that they do not see this case as an issue of ‘freedom of speech’ but of ‘religious freedom,'” he said.
“They have decided that the government is going to have to decide if the law is going too far.”
A lawyer for the Israeli Kachour, Gershon Baskin, said the court had “completely ignored” the religious and cultural differences between the two communities.
“This decision comes as no surprise to us,” he told The AP.
“We hope that the court will recognize the very real danger of a future situation where these same kinds of laws will be applied to Jewish-owned businesses, including the ones that are already under threat.”
The KACHORS has denied any connection to Kahane and his followers.
The decision comes less than two weeks after the KICHOR was granted a temporary injunction to prevent the retail chain from opening in a predominantly Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
Kichor was founded in 1967 and had been in operation since 1997.
It is the only kosher grocery in the occupied West Bank.
The Supreme Court in February granted the KCHA a stay of its injunction in the case, ruling that the KCHA was entitled to continue operating under its existing kosher permit, and that its religious and social activities would be protected.
The move comes after a ruling in January that allowed the KHA, a kosher grocer, to open its first store in the Arab-majority Old City of Jerusalem.
That ruling followed a court ruling that said that the Arab KHA should be allowed open its second shop in East al-Quds, an area in the central occupied West bank that is home to the Al Aqsa mosque compound.
The court’s decision came after an April decision by the Jerusalem District Court that found the Al-Qudas store, which is located near the Al Quds Mosque compound, was illegal.
The Jerusalem court said the Al Arab KCHA could not sell kosher products, and it ordered the KHE to stop selling the food it sold in its Al Qudas shop.
The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office appealed the decision and the Supreme Administrative Court has also decided to take up the case.