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November 09, 1990 - Image 70

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-11-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Tel Aviv (JTA) — Immi-
grants are pouring into
Israel in record numbers,
but tourists are staying
away in droves.
The Hotel Association said
Monday that tourism was
down by 50 percent in
September and that some
2,000 hotel employees were
dismissed.
A severe blow was a Swiss
Foreign Office advisory in
October warning Swiss na-
tionals not to travel to the
Middle East for the time be-
ing.
Switzerland has been one
of the biggest sources of Eu-
ropean visitors to Israel. An
Israel Food Festival, an an-
nual tourist promotion event
to have opened in Lausanne
this month, was canceled.
But more than 111,000
immigrants have arrived in
Israel so far this year, the
vast majority from the
Soviet Union, and at least
70,000 more are expected by

the year's end.
Those figures were provid-
ed Oct. 22 by Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir to the
Knesset's Foreign Affairs
and Defense Committee.
But an aliyah of nearly
200,000 could be a mixed
blessing, given the perilous
state of the Israeli economy.
The Bank of Israel, the
country's central bank,
disclosed the same day that
inflation doubled during the
second quarter and is now
running at a 23 percent an-
nual rate.
Olim arriving in the weeks
ahead may find a country
paralyzed in many sectors by
labor strife.
The hotel owners, mean-
while, are offering their
premises to serve as tem-
porary absorption centers for
arriving immigrants. They
are stressing the temporary
nature of their offer. As soon
as tourism recovers, the olim
would have to go.

I NEWS I

Jews Deplore Bush's
Hussein-Hitler Contrast

Washington (JTA) — Pres-
ident Bush's assertion last
week that Iraq's use of
Western hostages as
"human shields" had no
parallel during the Third
Reich has offended Jews
across the political spec-
trum.
The fur began to fly after
Mr. Bush, speaking at a po-
litical rally in Massachusetts
Nov. 1, blasted Saddam Hus-
sein's decision to place
hostages at Iraqi military in-
stallations and other
strategic sites.
"I don't believe Adolf
Hitler ever participated in
anything of that nature,"
the president said.
Mr. Bush later defended
his statement: "I was told
that Hitler did not stake
people out against potential
military targets," he said.
He also claimed that Hitler,
unlike Hussein, respected
"the legitimacy of the em-
bassies."
In Los Angeles, Rabbi Ab-
raham Cooper, associate
dean of the Simon Wiesen-
thal Center, called Mr.
Bush's statements "an
outrage." Hitler's acts were,
in fact, "much worse" than
the atrocities perpetrated by
Saddam Hussein, he said.
Rabbi Cooper pointed out

that Hitler indeed placed
concentration camp workers
at strategically located
munitions factories. Those
human targets were killed
when Allied forces bombed
Nazi weapons plants, he
said.
The Wiesenthal Center of-
ficial said that while he
understands the president's
need to prepare the country
for the possibility of war
with Iraq, Mr. Bush "doesn't
have to make statements
that are not factual and try
to draw (Saddam Hussein) as
a bigger monster."
Mr. Hussein "is not Adolf
Hitler — at least he isn't
yet," Rabbi Cooper said.
In New York, Albert
Vorspan, senior vice presi-
dent of the Union of Ameri-
can Hebrew Congregations,
agreed.
While "Mr. Bush is to be
commended for effectively
leading the world against
the brutal aggression of
Saddam Hussein," the pres-
ident's "rhetorical Com-
parison arguing that the
Iraqi despot is even worse
than Adolf Hitler is
overblown and offensive," he
said in a statement.
"To compare him with the
monster who organized the
Holocaust" is "insensitive

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