Harm of eating meet Health editor Judy Siegel does an excellent job reporting on health issues. However, in “Rivlin: Fighting country’s biggest killer disease is target on which all Israelis agree” (October 6), she ignores a factor on which almost all, if not virtually all, doctors agree: Eliminating or at least sharply reducing the consumption of meat can considerably reduce the risks for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.I urge readers to do a computer search to verify the meat-cancer connection and then shift to mainly or preferably all-plantbased foods. This would improve not only their health, but that of our endangered planet, as the production of meat is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants and uses huge amounts of water, energy and other increasingly scarce resources.SHOSHANA DOLGIN-BE’ER Jerusalem Burden of proof Regarding Jeremy Sharon’s interview with Rabbi David Stav (“‘The Jewish people is more important,’” Frontlines, October 6), Mr. Sharon states that 375,000 Russian immigrants “are not Jewish according to Jewish law.”That is incorrect. Those 375,000 Russian immigrants simply cannot prove that they are Jewish. It is virtually impossible to prove one’s mother was Jewish.Just think about how you would prove that your mother, who lived years ago in a country other than Israel, was Jewish. For that matter, even if she lived in Israel.I think of my maternal grandmother, completely illiterate in any language, who immigrated to Pueblo, Colorado, in 1919 from Poland with two kids to join her husband, who had immigrated earlier, via Galveston, Texas, only for World War I to intervene. With no witnesses, they were accepted as Jewish because they lived a Jewish life in a (surprisingly) not-small Jewish community out west.There is no way that I could prove today that my maternal grandmother was Jewish.The burden of proof needs to be shifted. The burden should be on the Chief Rabbinate to prove that one is not Jewish.YOSEF CHAIM BURSTEIN JerusalemDisastrous policy Ami Ayalon, Gilead Sher and Orni Petruschka (“Defining Israel’s borders,” Observations, October 6) are misguided. Fundamentally, nothing should be given up until serious negotiations are nearing completion (e.g., demarcating borders), which Israel’s opponents will immediately attempt to whittle down. Contrary to the writers’ contention, Palestinian Arabs do have civil rights, which the Palestinian Authority confers on them.There’s no expectation that our enemies should be given Israeli rights.The erasure of a distinction between blocs and isolated Jewish communities is valid. I ask: Should Israel forswear Hebron, Judaism’s second-holiest city, because Jews are a minority there? If so, there is no justification for a tiny Jewish state to exist in the “Arab” Middle East.Israel is the strong horse in negotiating with the Arabs. It is they who should be the first to compromise, not us. If the status quo continues for another generation, it will be because they refuse to recognize and live in peace with Israel, not the other way around.Giving up land has proven itself to be a disastrous policy.STEVE KRAMER Alfei MenasheLetters about lettersIt is mistaken to state that condensate is an unwanted constituent of natural gas (“A bad plan,” Letters, October 6).Condensate is a liquid hydrocarbon somewhere between crude oil and natural gas liquid.It is an extremely high-quality light oil. In comparison to normal crude oil, condensate needs to undergo fewer refining processes and is therefore very economical from the start. Because of the less complex refining process, it is a resource that is very much in demand and can be further processed to produce petrol, diesel or aviation fuels.In separating natural gas from the condensate in the processing unit on offshore platforms – where there is considerable international experience – no hydrocarbons are discharged overboard into the sea. Process technology is such that effective and efficient means of separation exist to ensure any water discharge is hydrocarbon-free. As such, no hydrocarbons will end up in the inlet to Israel’s desalination plants from offshore processing.The only source of hydrocarbons would come from vessels that clean their bunkering tanks at sea – and that is against international regulations.ELIEZER KAUFMAN Jerusalem The writer is a chemical/process engineer with over 50 years’ international experience, including natural gas and condensate plant separation design for some the world’s biggest fields.Further to reader Robert Dublin’s comments on then-US president Jimmy Carter’s letter – which Menachem Begin, negotiating peace with Egypt, returned unsigned, thereby refusing to include Jerusalem in any bargaining package – it occurred to me that despite the world’s nonsensical refusal to regard Jerusalem, our eternal capital, as the capital of the sovereign State of Israel, the British ruled our land during the period of the Mandate for Palestine.This was ordered by the League of Nations. The British automatically selected Jerusalem as the center of their operations and thus clearly acknowledged the centrality and importance of the holy city. Thus, from 1918 until 1948, the entire world regarded Jerusalem as our capital city.Suddenly, and only after the UN partition plan of 1947 had been rejected by a number of Arab countries, the status of Jerusalem came into question.Other than the world’s oldest hatred, it is difficult to perceive a logical reason for this state of mind at the UN, which had already recognized Israel as a new country.Let’s face it, no other country in the world has had its choice of capital city queried by outsiders.STANLEY COHEN JerusalemImportant resource In July you printed a magazine called Healthy Living. In the article headlined “Seniors are an important human resource,” Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel was quoted as saying that “it is the responsibility of the state to tackle difficult situations.”I wrote to her and asked why a person using a walker had no way of using the Egged or Superbus lines in Ramat Beit Shemesh. I wrote in two languages.No response. I also wrote to Transportation Minister Israel Katz, who happily dons a suit and tie and is busy opening all kinds of transportation facilities for the public. No reply.If we have to go to a hospital in Jerusalem, we need to take a taxi, which costs NIS 300 round-trip.The assistance agency Ezrat Achim offers transportation, but only at special hours, which are not always compatible with our schedule, either coming or going.I often wonder what people who cannot afford to take taxis do. And please note that it is not easy for us, as we are retired.We do not get anything from the government, nor do we ask for anything, but it seems that we are on our own when it comes to this matter. It is time to take this matter into consideration not only for us, but for all of the country’s handicapped elderly population.If, as your article said, we are such an important resource, then treat us accordingly! TED and HAVIVAH GOLDSMITH Beit Shemesh CLARIFICATION Unlike what was stated in “Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine gets Dina Ben-Yehuda as first woman dean” (September 25), Prof. Ben-Yehuda was awarded the Chief of Staff’s Medal in 1976.