World Report

NEW YORK (JPS) — The latest travel guide to the Holy Land has a gaping hole.

"Everything you want to know about the Holy Land is in this guide," the publishing company Alfred A. Knopf says of its "Knopf Guide to The Holy Land."

Not so, says B'nai B'rith. The guide's jacket and maps neglect to mention Israel, although neighboring states are clearly indicated.

The book "wipes Israel off the map," Tommy P. Baer, international president of B'nai B'rith, wrote to Knopf.

"The omission implies — wrongfully — that the state of Israel should not and does not exist."

"For a major publisher to ignore Israel is a slap in the face to millions of people and is plain inexcusable," Baer said.

It was "an astonishing editorial error," an apologetic Sonny Mehta, president of Knopf, wrote to Baer.

He pledged that the omissions will be corrected in all future editions.

Saying the error has caused Knopf "great distress," Mehta wrote, "I am sure you know that Knopf has a long tradition of publishing books of significant interest to Jewish readers."

Knopf's publishing group, which includes Schocken and Pantheon Books, reportedly paid Noa Ben-Artzi, the granddaughter of Yitzhak Rabin, $1 million for a book.

Romania agrees to compensate Jews

NEW YORK (JTA) — Romania has formally agreed to take steps toward compensating Jews for property seized during World War II.

Announcement of the agreement came from Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress.

It was signed recently by the Romanian government, the World Jewish Restitution Organization and the Federation of Romanian Jewish Communit-ies, he said.

"It's a significant breakthrough," Steinberg said. "It will set the pattern for Eastern and Central Europe."

He added that the agreement was similar to one recently made with Hungary.

Points agreed upon include the following:

*Within a year, the Romanian government will submit draft legislation to Parliament on the compensation of seized Jewish property.

*An executive order will be issued to open relevant archives and files.

*In two months, the WJRO will submit a preliminary list of property seized.

The Jewish population of Romania was 600,000 before World War II.

During the 1940-1944 rule of the pro-Nazi Ion Antonescu, more than 250,000 Jews died in territories controlled by Romania.

Some 15,000 Jews, many of whom are elderly, now live in Romania. Another 400,000 have emigrated to Israel since the end of World War II.

Argentine Jews sue priest for remarks

BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — The Argentine Jewish umbrella organization DAIA has filed charges against a priest for his "racist, anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic" public statements.

Manuel Quintas Barreiro, a parish priest and high school teacher, said in an interview for a local magazine that he admired Mussolini and thought that Hitler "was a great statesman."

In the same interview, Barreiro said, "I hate Jews, I would like to see them all gone to their own country."

Barreiro said he did not believe that "there were 6 million dead in the Holocaust."

Had it been that many, "there would be no Jews left, and there's plenty of them around," Barreiro added.

In papers filed before a federal court, DAIA charged that Barreiro had broken Argentina's anti-discrimination laws by uttering hate speech against a religious minority.

Barreiro was reportedly not disciplined in any way by his superiors for his comments.

Paraguay pledges to open Nazi files

NEW YORK (JTA) — The president of Paraguay has promised Jewish officials that files on Nazis closed for 50 years will be opened.

"Over the years Paraguay has been seen as a haven for Nazi war criminals," said Sidney Clearfield, executive vice president of B'nai B'rith, the group that met in Washington, D.C., recently with Paraguayan President Juan Carlos Wasmosy.

The Jewish group also proposed at the meeting that Paraguay adopt anti-discrimination laws.

About 1,000 Jews live in Paraguay, primarily in the capital city of Asuncion.