July 6, 2017: Modi visit

ews in Europe were sent to the death camps and gas chambers if just one of their grandparents was Jewish, even if that person had previously “converted” to Christianity.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Modi visit
With regard to “Namaste, Modi” (July 4), having worked at the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai for 45 years, it is very heartening to learn about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel, which makes me reminisce.
I’m talking about the early 1960s, when, apart from the basic courtesies extended to the consulate, there was no contact with the government in New Delhi whatsoever. So when in 1992, full diplomatic relations were established, it was a goal fulfilled.
When I worked there, every consul- general had only one agenda – to forge closer relations. It became our (the Indian staff’s) goal, too, and we worked ardently toward that. Being sort of ostracized, it was a very difficult task indeed.
I remember how the Israeli diplomatic staff looked forward anxiously to receiving copies of The Jerusalem Post every week in the diplomatic pouch, especially during times of war. We went through it all with them, sharing their joys and sorrows and anxieties.
The Post also became the source of information for people of India by way of “News from Israel,” published fortnightly by the consulate and distributed throughout the country.
We have, of course, come a long way since then, and things could not be better between India and Israel. So at the risk of repeating myself, it was a great achievement to have the Israeli flag flying in New Delhi, and a sense of fulfillment at having played even a minuscule role in this endeavor.
I take this opportunity to salute the honorable prime ministers of both Israel and India on this momentous occasion.
First, please convey my heartfelt thanks to your honorable prime minister for giving a very warm and grand welcome to our prime minister. What a great and noble gesture from a country that has suffered from terrorism more than most other nations.
Chennai, India
Your editorial “Welcome, PM Modi” (July 4) was a beautiful, learned expose on many recent years of Indian and Israel relations that should be made compulsory topics taught in all Israeli high schools. The Indian marketplace is open for our expanding hi-tech economy and there are not many places in the world that speak English, have an unlimited capacity to grow and are not indoctrinated with a hatred for our culture.
The adjoining opinion pieces by Caroline B. Glick (“Modi and Israel’s coming of age,” Our World) and Isi Leibler (“A memoir – background to Indian PM’s visit,” Candidly Speaking) make this page one to save for my grandchildren when they visit.
Buy blue and white
In “Settler leaders attend their first 4th of July bash at US Embassy” (July 4), it is reported that the Glatt kosher beef that was served was “flown in from Nebraska.”
Why did Glatt kosher beef have to be flown in from Nebraska? Don’t we have Glatt kosher beef here?
Surprise, surprise!
With regard to “PM blocks bill meant to make division of J’lem impossible” (July 3), what a surprise! It looks like Jerusalem is ours – just like the Temple Mount is ours.
Then we are dealt yet another Likud retreat by coalition chairman David Bitan in blocking “another right-wing bill that would require the government to follow through on promises to build homes to replace those it demolished.” The bill had been in response to the lack of tenders for 300 homes in Beit El that Netanyahu pledged five years ago to market by September.
That anyone still believes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promises is beyond me. Perhaps to placate the easily placated useful fools, he will lift his ban on lawmakers visiting the Temple Mount for a trial period later this month but – wait for it – only if it does not spark violence from those “peace loving” Muslims who have been given full control over our holiest site.
This is a travesty that mocks the thousands who gave their lives for exactly the opposite outcome.
I am truly underwhelmed! First he throws American Jewry under a bus. Then he trashes the 2,000-year dream of a united Jerusalem! Well done, Bibi!
They’re Jews, too
In reference to “Coalition leaders reach deal to temporarily resolve conversion crisis” (July 2), as a gentile lover of Israel and frequent visitor, with many Israeli friends, I would like to add something to the current controversy regarding Reform and Conservative Jews, and who the ultra-Orthodox deem to be a Jew.
I was shocked to discover on a recent visit that there is another group of Jews being discriminated against. They are denied citizenship simply because they believe in Jesus as their messiah.
When questioned about their religious beliefs on applying for aliya, they are turned down for having become “Christians.”
However, they consider themselves “Messianic Jews,” not Christians, and most live a Jewish lifestyle.
This discrimination goes blatantly against the Law of Return, which states that if just one of your grandparents was a Jew, you qualify for citizenship. Jews in Europe were sent to the death camps and gas chambers if just one of their grandparents was Jewish, even if that person had previously “converted” to Christianity.
Is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aware of this situation? I ask because I understand that he recently told US President Donald Trump that there was religious freedom for everyone living in the State of Israel.
Surely, Netanyahu must realize that true equality for all cannot be a reality until he finds a way to break the stranglehold of the ultra-Orthodox. Surely, this discrimination against a minority group of Jews cannot be allowed to continue in a democratic state.
Food and cancer
Regarding “Health system report card gets mediocre grades from OECD” (July 2), it is unfortunate that while Israel excels in cancer and heart-disease research, as well as diagnostic technology and the development of pharmaceuticals, our medical establishment lags behind in understanding and educating the population about the dietary causal factors of these afflictions and the preventative benefits of eating certain foods.
Dr. William Li – in his acclaimed and widely viewed Ted talk “Can we eat to starve cancer?” – explains how certain natural foods could be more “antiangiogenic” (that which inhibits the formation of blood vessels to cancer cells, thus starving them) than medications.
These foods included green tea, red grapes, red wine, garlic, parsley, olive oil, bok choy, kale, turmeric, nutmeg, pumpkin, apples, strawberries, cherries, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, dark chocolate, ginseng and artichokes.
Likewise, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, in his special CNN medical report “The last heart attack,” revealed that there were four large, ethnically and geographically diverse population groups having virtually no heart disease. He explained what they had in common: Their diets did not include dairy or any other animal products, including fish. Their natural, plant-based diets seemed to be the causal factor of their protection.
Yes, such ways of eating here in Israel can be extremely difficult for people with large families and very limited incomes, but our government could use the money currently subsidizing the production of dairy and genetically modified products to invest in the production of more vegetables and grains, with less pesticide and fertilizer use.
Mevaseret Zion