December 12: Seeing red-red
Is the responsibility of the shochet (ritual slaughterer) confined to his knife and its deft use?
Letters Photo: REUTERS
Sir, – Regarding “Criminal investigation launched against Tnuva
for animal abuse” (December 9), the cattle that are electrically shocked in the
Adom-Adom slaughterhouses, beaten and dragged by their legs with a forklift are
the same cattle that are killed according to the laws of kashrut.
responsibility of the shochet (ritual slaughterer) confined to his knife and its
deft use? The shochet comes into intimate contact with these animals.
does he not speak out? When we are told that meat is kosher, do the kashrut
authorities not have some responsibility for the animal’s welfare? Is the
rabbinate content to relinquish its moral responsibility to the Environmental
Protection Ministry? Is there no connection between kashrut and animal
Sir, – As president of Jewish Vegetarians
of North America, I was saddened to read “Criminal investigation launched
against Tnuva for animal abuse.” I am encouraged that the Adom- Adom plant
owners are punishing the abusers and taking steps to ensure that such abuses do
not occur in the future.
However, they, like most people, overlook the
routine mistreatment of animals on factory farms. These farms artificially
impregnate dairy cows on “rape racks” so these animals can continue to produce
milk, and they take away their calves almost immediately, often to raise them
for veal. When the cows can no longer produce sufficient milk, they are
Because they can’t lay eggs and, unlike “broilers,” have not
been genetically programmed to produce much meat, male chicks at hatcheries are
thrown alive into grinders or tossed into the trash to die from crushing or
starvation. Farmers confine hens in spaces so small they can’t raise even one
wing, and their beaks are painfully seared off to keep them from harming other
birds by pecking at them out of frustration.
There are many more examples
of abuse on factory farms.
What makes the situation even more scandalous
is that the horrible mistreatment of farmed animals contributes significantly to
many chronic, degenerative diseases, as well as to climate change and many other
environmental problems, the inefficient use of land, water, energy, and other
resources, and widespread hunger.
In addition, animal-based diets and
agriculture violate basic Jewish mandates to preserve human health, treat
animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources and
help hungry people.
A major shift toward plantbased diets would apply
Judaism’s eternal teachings to current crises and help shift our imperiled
planet to a sustainable path.
RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ
Sir, – The egomaniacal former prime minister Ehud Olmert claims all over the
world that he is being told “Run, Olmert, run” (“Olmert: I never said I would
return to politics,” December 9).
I’m sure he is hearing
Fearing that he might settle in these places and bring his criminal
actions and politics with him, people in each country are probably telling him
to run to somewhere else.
No prognosticator Sir,
– With regard to “Daring to dream” (80th Anniversary Supplement, December 7), we
should be very careful in accepting President Shimon Peres as a prognosticator
regarding who is a harbinger of peace.
He can be judged by his embrace of
Yasser Arafat with the Oslo agreement, and his current embrace of Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is anxiously courting Hamas as a partner
within the PA.
Back to E1
Sir, – With regard to
your December 3 editorial (“The logic of E1”), it is depressing to see a once
sane newspaper like The Jerusalem Post decline into support for Jewish
fundamentalists and settler supremacists. The latest example is your unwavering
support for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s construction plans.
If you and the
government were serious about the housing shortage in Jerusalem, more effective
policies would need to be considered, like taxing large families rather than
pinning hopes on stop-gap ideological measures that will have unfavorable
Sir, – In the optimistic days
following the Oslo Accords, signs sprang up across Israel designating a traffic
route between Jericho and Gaza. This was done because the two are not contiguous
and had to be connected.
The same principle could, more simply, be
applied to the Arab areas on each side of E1, which are a much shorter distance
Disconnecting Ma’aleh Adumim from Jerusalem would put the former
in the same dangerous situation as Mount Scopus before 1967. In any case,
detaching Ma’aleh Adumim and E1 from Jerusalem would be strategic madness, as
they control the vital eastern road to and from the capital.
Sir, – I was quite galled to read “Supreme Court:
Extradite Serbian- Israeli wanted for genocide” (November 30), given that your
own pages have demonstrated the physical impossibility of the scale of killings
of which Alexander Zvtkovic is accused. It’s a phenomenon that is reserved
exclusively for the scoffed-at subject of the Balkans.
Has there ever
been a subject so immune to historical correction? Also, your reporter seems
entirely unaware that the testimony of the tribunal’s star witness – for which
several people have been put away for life – is a proven and paid-for
As for the point of the article, of course the Serb lost the legal
battle. The rule has always been that the Serbs lose. By publishing an approving
report about Zvtkovic’s foreseeable extradition, the Post is adding insult to
injury. But that’s all par for the course when it comes to the negligible
Who waits for whom?
Sir, – On a recent train
trip to Haifa, the young haredi fellow sitting next to me began to address me,
as fellow travelers often do. At first, the conversation consisted of the usual
inquiries: Where are you going? Where are you from? How long have you lived in
Israel? I answered all his questions and added that, as a new immigrant, I felt
privileged to live in such a wonderful Jewish country.
He politely smiled
and said: “Country? I’m sorry, but Israel is not a Jewish country yet – not
until Moshiach [the Messiah] arrives. We must pray and await his
“I don’t mind waiting,” I replied. “But as a Holocaust survivor
I’m a bit tired of waiting.
You see, waiting for Moshiach was a rather
Then something incredible, something that shocked
the anti-Semites everywhere in the world, happened: The Jews decided that enough
is enough, and while still awaiting Moshiach, put a stop to the popular sport of
Jew-killing by reclaiming their ancestral land and defending themselves by
making Jew-killers pay a high price for their enjoyable hobby.”
observing the new breed of Jews – the Israelis – and their extraordinary
achievement of turning sand, rock and desert into fertile agricultural fields
and splendid cities, I sometimes fantasize that when Moshiach finally does come,
He would smile and say, “What took you so long?”