Kind to animals

Sir, – I want to thank you for the wonderful coverage you gave to the animal rights march in Tel Aviv (“Animal activists take over Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Blvd,” August 25).

It is good to know that Israel stands out so resoundingly in its expression of compassion for animals and awareness of their suffering. And it is good to know that a newspaper such as yours cares enough about this issue to cover the story so well.

BATYA BAUMAN
Amherst, Massachusetts

Sir, – As president emeritus of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA), I believe the thousands of Israelis who marched to spotlight the need to end abuses of animals are applying Judaism’s beautiful teachings about compassion to animals.

They are rachmanim b’nei rachmanim (compassionate children of compassionate ancestors).

They are imitating God, “Whose compassion is over all His works (Psalms 145:9). They are applying Proverbs 12:10: “The righteous person considers the lives of his or her animals.”

Contrary to Jewish teachings, there is massive mistreatment of animals raised for food on factory farms. Just a few examples: • Male chicks at egg-laying hatcheries are killed almost immediately after birth since they can’t lay eggs and have not been genetically programmed to produce much flesh.

• Dairy cows are artificially impregnated annually so that they will be able to continue giving milk.

• The offspring of cows are are taken away almost immediately, often to be raised as veal under very cruel conditions.

What makes the widespread mistreatment of animals even more shameful is that it contributes significantly to climate change, soil erosion, deforestation, water pollution, rapid species loss and other environmental problems, and it creates products that are major causes of heart disease, cancer, strokes and other chronic, degenerative diseases.

RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ
New York

More than sliced bread

Sir, – Acknowledging the need for professional nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) is long overdue in Israel. It is rewarding to see that the Health Ministry has taken the initiative to provide education and training to this end (“The nurse practitioner is in,” Health, August 25).

However, those unfamiliar with the role NPs and PAs provide will be misled with such statements that in geriatric care “a great chunk of the work is routine” and these professionals can take over certain routine tasks that for a physician to do “is a waste.”

It is clear that NPs and PAs will be seen as little more than “sliced bread” if we are tasked with the routine aspects of patient care deemed a waste for physicians to do. The community of patients and physicians will need to be educated as well that NPs and PAs provide acute and chronic care for patients in conjunction with the physician in every aspect of their care – not just the routine things that physicians might find a waste to do.

I applaud the advanced practice nurses recognized by the Health Ministry. Their statements in the article indicate that they have a clear picture of the expansive role that NPs can have in the lives of their patients.

TAMARA K. SCHECTER DOLGIN
Kochav Yair
The writer is a family nurse practitioner

Sir, – Not because I am the mother of one of the new nurse practitioners, Shana Gottesman, but the article by Judy Siegel- Itzkovich was beautifully written and informative.

Kol hakavod to Herzog Hospital for pioneering this important project. And special appreciation goes to the writer, my daughter and the other nurses.

LEE DOR-SHAV J
erusalem

Headline test

Sir, – The grasp of the person who wrote “Australia seizes control on third day as England digs in; rain washes out day four” (Sports, August 25) leaves something to be desired.

In the first place, Australia “seized control” of the final test on the very first day and continued on the next. Second, contrary to the headline, the third day added nothing to that control. In fact, the day virtually ensured that the Aussies might only be able to achieve a draw in the match.

LEON BENNETT
Netanya

We’re all out there

Sir, – As I read your August 25 issue, I began my day with news stories that, sadly, we have become accustomed to. Stories of suicide bombers (“Bombs kill 42 outside Sunni mosques in Tripoli”) and nerve gas attacks (“Obama moves warships toward Syria, convenes military, security advisers”), people who commit murder in the name of God and so on.

Then you gave me an opportunity to escape from that morose beginning and literally laugh out loud with Herb Keinon’s wonderful “Memories of summer’s end” (Out There).

Keinon has the ability to take daily life and turn it into everyone’s story, to make us sit up and say: “Hey, that’s me, too!” His humorous look at life and its foibles reminds me of the humorist Dave Barry.

Long may Keinon write and long may he be read!

ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV
Ma’aleh Adumim

Reasonable wonder

Sir, – Marcie Lenk (“Criticize me as a friend, not as Roger Waters,” Observations, August 23) says that when confronted with the argument over the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, “decent people reasonably wonder what to do.” She’s almost right.

Reasonable people might wonder – if they haven’t given it much thought or just aren’t too bright – but BDS is so wildly out of proportion to both Israeli policies and everything else going on in the world that no one can wonder reasonably.

Her next statement is even farther off the mark when she says we Jews and Israelis get defensive about BDS because it doesn’t further the cause of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

First of all, nobody I know gets defensive when Alice Walker or Roger Waters rants about Israel’s so-called crimes. Depending on temperament and mood, we either give them the thought they deserve – none – or get hopping mad.

If we get mad it’s not because they have failed to bring us closer to the Palestinians. Actually seeing people with the morals of hyenas unsettles us. (And peace with the Palestinians is not the moral yardstick against which we measure everything. That attitude reminds me of an old Woody Allen standup routine in which he needs to commit adultery so that he and his wife can divorce under New York law.

One woman he propositions for this purpose responds, “Not even if it would help the Space Program.”) Lenk is right in that we should strive to correct the failings of our society, including our treatment of minorities. But we should resolutely refuse to discuss such things in the context of accusations from Waters and his ilk.

MICHAEL BERKOWITZ
Alon Shvut

Timely item

Sir, – Dvora Waysman’s “A tribute to Dr. David Applebaum” (Comment & Features, August 22) could not be more timely.

Let me explain.

The suicide bomber who murdered Applebaum and six other Israelis was released from administrative detention seven months before blowing up Cafe Hillel.

We are now releasing heinous murders.

Instead of releasing murderers, surely a six-month building freeze would be better. It will end and even be reversible.

Releasing murders is a fait accompli.

EALLAN HIRSHFELD
Ra’anana

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