March 25: Turn to Plants

As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America I was very pleased to read “Meuhedet turns to health promotion and disease prevention.”

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
The way to Gaza
Sir, – With regard to “After Israeli apology, Hamas says Turkish PM Erdogan to visit Gaza” (March 24), how will Erdogan get there? If he goes through Egypt, that’s one thing. But what if he goes by ship? Going aboard the Mavi Marmara would be a provocative gesture. If he goes on a Turkish warship, would the Israel Navy stop it, using force if necessary? It should be kept in mind that Turkey is a member of NATO, and NATO protocols state that an attack on a NATO member is an attack on all members. Erdogan is erratic enough to thumb his nose at Israel. I just hope our government and military keep this in mind.
Turn to plants
Sir, – As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America I was very pleased to read “Meuhedet turns to health promotion and disease prevention” (Health & Science, March 24).
Many scientific studies have shown that the best way to accomplish this is by adopting a plant-based diet. Such a change would be consistent with basic Jewish teachings on taking care of our health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources and helping hungry people.
For true survival
Sir, – Shalom Hammer wrote that our new government would be a breath of fresh air for the new way it looks at old issues (“Passover: A coalition that can facilitate our redemption,” Comment & Features, March 24).
Apparently, Hammer is referring to the haredim having been kicked out, replaced by a religious Zionist party. And then there’s the plan to draft most haredi yeshiva youth and even demand additional requirements for the core curriculum in ultra- Orthodox schools.
I fully understand that Israeli soldiers should be appreciated as self-sacrificing heroes who defend millions of Jews and others in the Holy Land. I also understand that in the past the government forcefully sought to inculcate irreligious views to new immigrant groups, such as those from Europe and Yemen.
I wish to point out, however, that while the Jewish people survived without a national home for 2,000 years, it cannot survive without Torah and the God of Israel.
Wrong impression
Sir, – US President Barack Obama’s advisers may have told him that addressing our elected prime minister by his nickname would create a warm and fuzzy atmosphere. But it smacked of condescension and disrespect – I am quite sure that on a visit to Germany Obama would not address Chancellor Angela Merkel as Angie.
If Obama really wanted to impress the Israeli public, he would release Jonathan Pollard.
Pettiness is unbecoming a president, and Obama’s stubborn refusal to release Pollard is a prime example of vindictive pettiness.
Sir, – For all his rhetoric, the president of the United States shows an enormous amount of insensitivity toward a sick man who has more than paid for errors in judgment (“The buck stops here,” Editorial, March 21).
I think that Barack Obama lacks the guts to say that perhaps mistakes have been made.
His callous indifference and lack of decency regarding Pollard are appalling.
Parallel visits
The three-day visit to Israel by US President Barack Obama created a whirlwind in this region and attracted the world media’s focus. According to the local newspaper reports, he won Israeli hearts and gave Israelis a sense of security in the hope that they would push their leaders toward peace.
At roughly the same time, another world leader made an important visit of his own: ROC (Taiwan) President Ying-jeou Ma traveled to the Holy See from March 18 to 20 to attend the inauguration of newly elected Pope Francis.
Ma is the first ROC president to meet with a pope. It was an important visit, during which Taiwan’s leader extended felicitations to the new pope in person to demonstrate the close relations between the Republic of China and the Holy See. The two sides have maintained diplomatic ties for 71 years.
During the inaugural Mass, Ma also had an opportunity to engage with political leaders from other countries, including US Vice President Joe Biden.
Each president made a successful visit. Obama brought a message of US support for Israel and concern about peace in the Middle East. Ma visited the only European country with which it maintains ties – the Vatican.
The writer is director if the Information Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv.
Jew as messenger
Sir, – Martin Sherman (“‘The New York Times’ versus the Jews,” Into the Fray, March 22) accurately portrays the Times’s metamorphosis into an anti- Semitic, Israel-bashing rag beneath its fraying intellectual veneer. And yet Sherman misses what is most pernicious about this latest incarnation of Times bias: the near-universal, deliberate use of Jews to deliver its increasingly extreme anti-Israel drumbeat.
No longer content with its self-hating house columnists, the paper now apparently scours for Jews who are vile enough to conjure up the most absurd charges against the Jewish state, from the now almost quaint “pinkwashing” to the latest outright delegitimization rant by a new Times poster boy, Ben Ehrenreich, who, as Sherman points out, depicted last fall’s Gaza fighting as having started when “Israeli rockets began falling on Gaza....”
For its incessant vilification of an entire nation – my nation – I, a loyal New York Times reader for over 40 years, have finally given up. I will dance on the grave of its last issue.
Not their ad
Sir, – On March 21, 2013, we were shocked to see the large ad that ran on Page 3 of The Jerusalem Post listing the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) as one of several sponsors.
The ad was neither submitted to nor approved by the ZOA national office. Also, the opinions expressed did not necessarily represent the views of the ZOA national management.
The writers are president and national executive director, respectively, of ZOA
A whole lot more
Sir, – I would like to correct an inaccuracy in “Ban on reenactment of Passover sacrifice gets groups’ goat” (March 20).
The Passover sacrifice is much more than just an ancient ritual and much more that just a commemoration.
It is a biblical commandment that is obligatory to this day for all Jews. In fact, of all the 613 biblical commandments, the Passover sacrifice is one of only two positive commandments for which the transgressor receives the most serious punishment described in the Torah – karet, or being cut off from the Jewish people. The only other such serious positive commandment is circumcision.
As part of the traditional Blessing of Redemption, the entire Jewish people prays every year at the Passover seder that it will merit in the near future to renew the annual Passover sacrifice on the Temple Mount.
One of the ingredients mentioned in “Making the most of matza” (March 21) should have been the liqueur Cointreau, and not as stated.