Letters to the Editor: January 18, 2016

When I am abroad and cannot avoid a dinner in a non-kosher restaurant, I order a salad made from raw vegetables, with nothing else.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Killer kashrut
Having read about David Brinn’s problems with a non-kosher restaurant in Jaffa (“Killer shrimp,” Parting Shot, January 15), I would like to relate how I deal with the problem.
When I am abroad and cannot avoid a dinner in a non-kosher restaurant, I order a salad made from raw vegetables, with nothing else.
Once, in Fort Worth, Texas, the waitress brought me a large bowl filled with lettuce and asked me if wanted salad dressing.
Before I could answer, she said: “No, you wouldn’t want this dressing, it has bacon in it.”
In Israel, my policy is very simple: If there is no kashrut certificate, I will not attend the dinner. I will explain to the host that there are many kosher restaurants in Israel, so there is no reason to have the dinner at a non-kosher restaurant.
Petah Tikva
Enemies from within
It was with an abundance of shock and dismay that I read “Hotovely slams former Foreign Ministry D-G for working against Israel abroad” (January 14).
Alon Liel, who is, no doubt, living well on the lavish pension he receives from the government, had chosen to bite the hand that feeds him by inciting against it, and against the army that keeps him and his family safe.
There are those who believe that “slamming” him is not enough – he should be charged with treason.
It is time that our numerous enemies from within are dealt with, and not simply “slammed.”
Casa Shalom
Regarding Michael Freund “The stirring revival of Sicily’s Bnei Anousim” (Fundamentally Freund, January 14), while it is good to have such an update, research in this area has been carried on by others for many years. His Shavei Israel organization is by no means the oldest in the world that is working with anousim.
Casa Shalom, the Institute for Marrano-Anusim Studies in Netanya, started registration way back in 1973 is still going strong. Freund came on the scene quite a few years later.
Casa Shalom recently opened an additional office in Jerusalem.
Its Gloria and Leslie Mound Library, which contains an excess of 2,500 books and 5,000 documents, the bulk of which my family donated and today is valued at an excess of $2 million, is considered the finest in the world on this subject.
The writer is executive director of Casa Shalom, the Institute for Marrano-Anusim Studies.
Dangers of GMOs
Regarding “Campbell Soup becomes first major company to start GMO labeling” (Business & Finance, January 10), it is important to expand on why many experts and lay people are so concerned.
The danger is created by the swapping of genes in disregard of normal evolutionary species barriers (literally things like cow genes in pigs, and spider genes in goats), which creates hundreds or thousands of mutations in the normal DNA chains of plants and animals, causing unpredictable side effects.
Today, we witness a huge increase in diseases, including gastrointestinal disorders, cancer, auto-immune diseases, heart disease, damage to internal organs, autism, asthma, diabetes, a huge variety of dangerous allergies, ADHD, ADD and more. Don Huber, professor emeritus of plant pathology at Purdue University in the US, connects these increases to GMOs in the documentary Genetic Roulette, by saying: “The things we are seeing today are not normal. We didn’t see them 30 years ago.”
Says Arden Anderson, author of Real Medicine, Real Health: “From a biophysics perspective, when we look at the signature now of that entire gene sequence, it’s foreign. It does not exist anywhere in nature.
And therefore, our immune system, which is truly a grand electromagnetic sensor system, looks at that gene sequence that is supposed to be food, whether soy, corn or whatever it might be, looks and says: I’ve never seen that sequence, ever.
It doesn’t exist in nature. It’s foreign. It attacks. It creates an inflammatory reaction and attacks that sequence.”
When many EU countries, as well as Russia and Japan, mandate the labeling of GMO products or even ban them, why is nothing done in our country? Why have very few people even heard of the subject?
Mevaseret Zion
Truth in advertising
Most of my fellow Jerusalem Post readers will be clueless, but it turns out that the chances are very good that if you book an El Al flight, you’ll wind up flying on a Privilege Style plane.
Privilege Style is the name of a charter airline that leases planes to El Al. They lack El Al pilots and crews, as well as many other expected – and paid for – amenities, often including sufficient kosher meals, seat-back video screens, plugs at your seat and more. Some of these planes are so old that they feature ashtrays at each seat.
What is El Al doing? Most who fly that airline do so out of loyalty to our national carrier and a feeling of safety and security.
As it advertises, your Israel visit begins on the plane. I never knew that Israel was in Spain! The other fiction is that El Al will notify passengers by SMS if, in fact, their flight is on a Privilege Style aircraft. A fable.
The non-proactive passenger will not know until boarding the flight – and promises for reimbursement or transfer to another El Al flight come, sadly, when the cow is already out of the barn.
El Al doesn’t deserve our loyalty.
Pay for El Al and fly Privilege Style? Not me!
Herzliya/West Orange, New Jersey
Mark Feldman, CEO of Ziontours and a Jerusalem Post travel columnist, provides some background: Leaving aside safety issues, which I fervently believe have been supervised by El Al, the reason behind the airline’s prolonged use of the Spanish charter company’s aircraft is far more illuminating of serious El Al problems. It is not due to a huge influx of tourists, nor is it because El Al has opened up dozens of cities in the past year. It’s a direct result of the absurd and near asinine demands of the airline’s pilots union.
With a contract that pilots throughout the world envy, El Al management has been trying for the past few years to renegotiate the generous terms.
When the airline came up with the idea of creating a low-cost subsidiary to fly to nearby locations, the initial plan was to hire new pilots at normal market rates so it could attempt to compete with Easy Jet. This was stymied immediately by the pilots union, and continued negotiations have been met by pilots calling in sick.
El Al’s newest route to Boston has been savagely destroyed by the pilots union, with the airline forced to use Privilege Style aircraft several times a week. Add this mix to North America, and El Al’s most profitable routes are under serious attack.
Keep in mind, though, that this is only affecting a half dozen of El Al’s routes; the majority are pure El Al flights, crew and equipment.
Due to a technical error, the Games section in the January 15 Jerusalem Post Magazine erroneously featured an incorrect Quick Crossword. The solution provided in the Puzzle Post feature of the January 17 Jerusalem Post daily edition was for the puzzle that did not appear. We apologize for the inconvenience.