Jerusalem Post Letters to the Editor: Relentless parade

Please don’t force us to include the Post’s broadsheet among those unholy beggars.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Relentless parade
The Jerusalem Post’s columns and news relentlessly parade the United Nations as if it had some authority or veracity.
The men and women in the street – not just here, but around the world – know for certain this is untrue.
We don’t speak of it, quote it or dispute it. We ignore it! The only people who seek it out are those with no resources and nowhere else to turn.
Please don’t force us to include the Post’s broadsheet among those unholy beggars.
Join the winners and ignore the (temporarily well-funded) UN losers!
Full agreement
In response to Richard Schwartz’s response to the No Holds Barred column by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on US President Barack Obama, (“Almost perfect,” Letters, April 24): I am in full agreement with Schwartz when he outlines some of the successes of the Obama administration, namely climate change, the Iran deal and the killing of more terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden.
I would add to that the economic achievements that his administration has achieved since the 2008 financial crisis, which has put the world on course for a financial recovery.
Add to that his effort in starting to bring Cuba back to a more Western way of life, and also his success in finally breaking free of the Western dependence on Saudi Arabian oil, not to mention Obamacare, which now insures more than 90 percent of Americans.
According to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israeli generals, the Obama administration has surpassed all previous administrations in its support for Israel.
Despite all these successes and more, the likes of Boteach, Caroline Glick – along with most of the right-wing political commentators have nothing but vitriolic abuse to throw at Obama.
It appears to me that along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu they all seem to toe the Republican line. They still try to defend the disastrous policies of the Bush family, both father and son.
Netanyahu is even going as far to tell us that we are working for closer relations with the Saudis, despite the fact that they foster the most extreme form of fundamentalism, as well as having one of the worst human rights record in the world.
His disastrous relationship with Obama will surely prove to be a serious setback to bipartisan support in America.
Netanyahu and his political commentators should realize that their beloved Republican Party is facing chaos and they should back down on the rhetoric as Obama is far from a lame duck president.
Inflated figure
Regarding “Harriet Tubman to be first African-American on US currency,” April 22, it is not correct that Tubman “returned to the South to help hundreds of slaves to freedom,” as the article states.
The definitive biography by Kate Clifford Larson, Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero, (2004), carefully examines the documentary record, and establishes that Tubman returned to Maryland’s Eastern Shore at least a dozen times, escorting about 70 slaves to freedom, and advising about another 50 on how to reach free soil.
This is no mean accomplishment, considering that she was easily recognizable on home turf and put her life and freedom at risk every time she returned to Maryland.
The inflated figure is part of the Tubman myth that Larson dispels in her excellent biography.
The writer is co-author, with Janet Willen, of Speak a Word for Freedom: Women against Slavery (Tundra/Random House, 2015)
Keeping kosher
Congratulations to chef and restaurateur Dan Barber for his excellent op-ed piece “This Passover, faith meets flavor,” April 21.
Yes, there is wisdom and preservation of food vitality coded into the ancient kashrut laws, still, the article indicates a huge and very dangerous failure in the current application of these laws.
Though the courageous and admirable organic farmer and rabbinic inspector obviously care deeply about the kashrut and the health quality of that farm’s wheat, Barber writes that many farmers, impatient to dry the wheat by natural or mechanic means, use Monsanto’s genetically modified product Roundup – whose active ingredient is glyphosate – to dry it.
The UN said glyphosate is a “probable cancer causing agent,” and many countries have banned or legislated labeling for food products that have been grown with Roundup.
Yet, the wheat farmers who are using Roundup to dry up their food products (not even to kill insects or weeds!), are, according to the current understanding of the laws of kashrut, not violating kashrut.
Perhaps inspectors like the one in the article would forbid Roundup for shmura matza, but what about regular matza or bread? Roughly 90% of all corn and soya and almost all sugar-beet products from North America (as well as canola oil used in most restaurants) are grown with “Roundup” ready genetically modified organism seeds.
As of now this has no influence on whether these products can be considered kosher.
The kashrut establishment claims as long as the governmental regulatory agencies say these products “have not been proven to be dangerous” and are therefore allowable on the market, then they are also eligible for kashrut approval.
Yet, in his recent landmark book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, public interest attorney Steven Drucker makes public the FDA’s own findings on GMO safety that they were forced to release by public action lawsuit.
These findings show with absolute clarity that the FDA has been covering up its own research for many years.
There is indeed a huge amount of evidence that GMOs are very dangerous and it is a tragedy that they are often considered kosher!
In “Think About It: Incitement against Ya’alon” (April 25), Susan Hattis Rolef misleads her readers.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon did not merely make general statements upholding the IDF’s moral standards. He went out of his way to declare publicly that a soldier facing a military trial is guilty.
The court must determine whether the soldier truly believed that the terrorist might have had a suicide belt, whether that belief was reasonable and whether his action was justified.
The soldier may be found to be innocent or guilty. That’s not the point. The point is that in a system where military judges’ careers can be affected by the defense minister and chief of staff, this extra-judicial conviction by the defense minister represents an egregious violation of the soldier’s civil rights.
Granted that this was not the point of the pro-soldier rally in Tel Aviv. But for a supposed liberal like Rolef to ignore this point is misleading and disappointing.
Upside down
That the April 26 headline “Right-wing politicians call to annex Judea and Samaria” is on page 10 is a relief from former non-stop blaring of our proposed local housing plans on the Post’s front page. No other country’s leading English-language newspaper gave its housing sector needs any such widespread scope.
Also, “Israel feels vindicated by congressmen pushing for more US military aid” is on this issue’s front page , omitting that 70% of this, inter alia, is to be spent in the US for joint defense projects named in the article.