August 17: Kosher counter...

It is important for Post readers who observe kashrut to read Rabbi Eliezrie's views.

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
Kosher counter... Sir, - Rabbi David Eliezrie's "It's Kosher in Iowa" (August 14) was very welcome. I believe it presented an accurate description of the Agriprocessors meat plant in Postville and countered some of the heavy criticism of the kosher slaughtering at that plant. It also gave your paper an opportunity to balance recent articles showing undue confidence in the work of Dr. Temple Grandin, who designs non-kosher processing plants in many countries and may not sympathize with kosher slaughter or understand how necessary it is for Orthodox Jews. Rabbi Eliezrie may also have some bias in favor of kosher slaughter, but it is important for Post readers who observe kashrut to read his views. RABBI SHLOMO WEXLER Jerusalem ...where it's all tip-top Sir, - I often perform worker interviews, safety and compliance checks at manufacturing plants in the Middle East. So on the one hand we have Rabbi Eliezrie, who visited the Agriprocessors plant one day with a large group of rabbis from various Orthodox organizations and found everything in tip-top shape. And on the other hand we have the state labor investigators identifying 57 under-age workers who were employed at the kosher meat-packing plant and have asked the attorney-general to bring criminal charges against the company for child labor violations. In a raid in May, 389 illegal immigrant workers were detained there in the largest immigration enforcement operation ever at a single workplace. Of course today, after submission of the state investigators's report to the attorney-general, the plant is as clean as a whistle. How often will the rabbinical organizations be going back to check workers' ages, safety and compliance issues? Probably never. They've already stated that that's the US government's job, not theirs. STUART PILICHOWSKI Mevaseret Zion Plastic trees & broken walls Sir, - In "Defending a Jerusalem oasis" (August 10) Gil Troy wrote: "All too often in Israel, the big overwhelms the small." Such, we saw, is the case in Petah Tikvah as traffic engineers, with the mayor's blessing, turned a relatively quiet street into a throughway, endangering the elderly and schoolchildren on their respective ways to morning library activities and school. Time after time, near-catastrophes occurred, with bicycle-riders and motorcyclists almost run down by traffic. As to Petah Tikva's famous citrus trees: Concerned citizens banded together hoping that, united, they could salvage some of the orchards, the last green area in the Dan region. To no avail. A city of concrete arose over the rich soil of the lush orchards. Today a token plastic orange tree stands at the center of a crossroads where the original pioneers toiled to turn the swamps into world-famous orange groves. The latest hutzpa: After living happily for 35 years with garbage bins whose color blends with the foliage, whose contents are always neat - the bins are kept sparkling clean on the sidewalk - citizens who are the proud owners of small enclosed gardens have received notice from the city that they must, at their own expense, smash down their garden walls to make way for sheds that will house their garbage bins. Another item to be dealt with, demanding energy, funding and organization to fight city hall. PIRCHA LOTTNER Petah Tikva Israel as a way station Sir, - Israel is a minuscule country which must maintain its Jewish character. It cannot absorb tens of thousands of refugees fleeing Africa. But, for their sake and our right to call ourselves Jews, we must play a role in saving them. Instead of absorbing the refugees, Israel can be a way station. Those crossing through Egypt could be temporarily housed and cared for until they went to a prearranged receiving country, which would absorb them either as new citizens or until it was safe to return to the Sudan; safe meaning an end to janjeweed barbarity and even a change of government. Meanwhile, the UN would be tasked with providing the funds to Israel for temporary shelter and upkeep. Each UN member state - where conflict does not rage - would provide safe haven for 500 to 10,000 refugees, depending on habitable land mass, size of population and wealth. Norway, for example, could easily accept several thousand. It would justify its preaching morality to certain nations by straining its resources to admit more refugees than would ordinarily be reasonable. European countries would benefit. Instead of filling their diminishing populations with Arab countries' émigrés, many unable or unwilling to be absorbed into the host culture, they would find a people not only willing to learn and join the workforce, but grateful to countries that saved them. Meanwhile, the US, Britain and the other armed forces of NATO countries must finally deal with the marauding vermin, the janjeweed, and the supporting Sudanese armed forces. That means no military aircraft unaccompanied by US or allied fighters flying over Darfur. Just as Saddam learned the lesson, Sudanese helicopters and fighter planes would quickly be grounded. Armed men on horseback or camels in Darfur would be targets for allied aircraft. After so many have been mercilessly murdered, maimed and wounded, the nations of the world must act justly. Otherwise, just as they enabled Hitler's atrocities, they will stand accused of being Sudan's accomplices ("Death in the desert," UpFront, Larry Derfner, August 1). BERNARD SMITH Jerusalem Sir, - I consider myself a strong Christian, but my hope for the future doesn't lie in the Christian Church. Rather it is in Israel, in the heart and soul of every Jew. "Israel is God's chosen people" isn't just a nice comment, it is also the truth. PAUL DAVID SWINFORD Geneseo, Illinois