Heroism without an option
Thank you for your article about heroes (“Behind the masks, very human heroes,” April 23). The people in your article are brave heroes. I work in a nursing home. I am scared to death every day going to work watching the number of deaths go up. I do care about my job, but every day I worry that I will die from the virus, and I agonize that I cannot afford to quit. Many of us would quit if we could afford to.
So the lucky people stay safe at home. Many of the people keeping things going in the outside world are not heroes but very scared people trying to survive.
Questions about the two-state solution
Mark Bilsky’s Voices piece, “On Israel’s 72nd birthday, we must fight for the Two State Solution” (April 23), makes a lot of good points. His organization, Americans for Peace Now, is a good group that recognizes that Israel/Palestine is truly a land of two peoples.
However, there are a number of intractable problems in reaching a two-state solution that his article does not come to grips with. Even if Bilsky is correct that a majority on both sides accepts a two-state solution, it is not enough. On the Palestinian Arab side, the people do not live in a democratic society where the majority’s views prevail. On the Israeli side, the people believe that they face an existential threat from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. It is hard to give up land when the society feels such a basic lack of security.
And there are specific issues that make a resolution extremely difficult: the status of Jerusalem and the demand for a Palestinian Arab right of return. How would Americans for Peace Now deal with these issues?
Mark Bilsky responds:
There are many obstacles to reaching a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the ones Elihu Leifer mentions are among the most serious. APN recognizes them, but we know that they all have solutions. A good place to start negotiating and implementing pragmatic solutions that will pave the way to a two-state solution isencouraging committed, pro-peace leadership — Israeli, Palestinian and American. We have seen in the past that Israeli and Arab leaders committed to peace can reach peace accords and solidify support for such agreements among their publics, and that committed U.S. presidents can play an invaluable role as brokers.
For our policy statements, please go to peacenow.org and search for “Briefing Book” for more comprehensive views.
The hopelesness of the two-to-tango solution
Mark Bilsky’s birthday present to Israel (“On Israel’s 72nd birthday, we must fight for the Two State Solution,” April 23) suggests that those who “fantasize” about a successful one-state solution are tone deaf and that a two-state solution is the only possibility.
However, he ignores, as do others at Americans for Peace Now, the old axiom that “it takes two to tango,” which is quite difficult when your potential partners don’t desire to dance and prefer to sit at the edge of the dance floor and shoot or hurl explosive projectiles at you.
Don’t forget the Trump solution
I am astonished that Mark Bilsky, APN’s deputy CEO, failed to mention the Trump administration’s recently announced peace plan. The Trump plan preserves Israel’s national interests and security, preserves the civil rights of the Palestinian Arabs and, at the same time, has found favor with neighboring Sunni Arab nations.
I would urge APN’s leadership to peruse the Trump plan and then endorse it for the sake of peace in the Middle East. I hope that all mainstream American Jewish organizations and WJW’s Editorial Board will do the same.
Don’t forget the hindquarters
Thank you for the excellent article on KOL Foods (“Devora Kimelman-Block makes her dream of grass-fed, organic, kosher meat come true,” April 13). However, I want to point out a significant error in the statement “only the forequarters of a cow are kosher.”
In fact, except for some specific portions, the entirety of a kosher animal, when kosher slaughtered and properly butchered, is kosher. The butchering includes removal of prohibited blood vessels, fats and the sciatic nerve.
Since the forequarters have less of the prohibited fats and no sciatic nerve, this process is much simpler. When it is easy to sell the hindquarters to non-Jews, it has become the custom not to butcher the hindquarters. This has led to the loss of expertise in many parts of the world, and the major kashrut organizations in the United States do not certify hindquarters. But in Israel, hindquarters are sold.
From time to time, there have been small processors in this country under local supervision that sell hindquarter cuts. In fact, my understanding is KOL Foods was once one of them.