THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Travel Tax Hike
Tel Aviv (JTA) — Tourism
Minister Avraham Sharir said
Friday that raising the travel tax
imposed on all Israelis travelling
abroad would turn Israel into a
"prison." And travel agents told a
press conference that the higher
tax proposed by the finance minis-
try would make all Israelis "pris-
oners of Zion."
The panel of foreign airlines
serving Israel have threatened to
reduce the number of their flights
to and from Israel if the tax, to
which they object, is increased.
The travel tax is currently $150
per traveller. The treasury has
suggested doubling it to $300, but
Premier Shimon Peres insists on
raising it to $500. Critics have
pointed out that to most destina-
tions in Europe, the tax will then
be more than the cost of the ticket.
The Travel Agent's Association
told a press conference in Tel Aviv
that Israel was the only country in
the world to impose such a tax.
They have estimated that some
150,000 people who planned to go
abroad this year would cancel.
New immigrants associations
published advertisements in the
press last week, protesting the tax
which they said would prevent
children from visiting aged or sick
The drop in Israelis travelling
abroad would lessen the number
of passengers seeking air seats
and the airlines would be forced to
reduce the frequency of their
flights, thus harming the incom-
ing tourist movement as well, the
airline representatives said.
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Philadelphia (JTA) — Bennett
Aaron, president of the Federa-
tion of Jewish Agencies of Greater
Philadelphia, announced May 16
that the federation has delivered
a $10,0Q0 check to Mayor Wilson
Goode of Philadelphia as its con-
tribution to the fund to assist 200
families who lost their homes in a
fire May 13 that resulted from
police action against the cult,
Aaron told the Jewish Tele-
graphic Agency that the federa-
tion has also offered the services
of its institutions and agencies to
assist the homeless families. He
said the Jewish Community Rela-
tions Council (JCRC) of Philadel-
phia and the Philadelphia Board
of Rabbis have issued an "action
alert" calling on all Jews in
Philadelphia to contribute to the
e ec• , c
Ties To PLO
Washington (JTA) — The
Palestine Liberation Organiza-
tion (PLO) was used for security
around the United States Em-
bassy in West Beirut from the late
1970s until June 1982, when Is-
rael invaded Lebanon, State De-
partment officials admitted last
According to official policy, the
U.S. forbids contact or negotia-
tions with the PLO until it accepts
Israel's right to exist. An official,
however, denied that the embassy
situation violated the policy.
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