NEW YORK (JTA) — The German government is investigating a statement made in a tourism report suggesting that American Jews, blacks, Hispanics and Asians be discouraged from visiting Germany.
The recommendation appeared in a 1984 market research report for a Frankfurt-based tourism agency, DZT, which is largely subsidized by the German government.
Economics Minister Guenther Rexrodt said the idea of discouraging Americans from visiting Germany is shocking and that he would personally look into the matter.
The statement comes as a surprise to many, considering that the German government has gone out of its way to invite Americans, especially Jews, to visit Germany.
The Anti-Defamation League's assistant national director, Ken Jacobson, said he has found no evidence of the statement becoming official policy, but that it does indeed exist.
"So many Jews have been invited to Germany, on fact-finding missions and government-sponsored visits, that it is clear that the government is interested in re-establishing the relationship, but there is still no excuse for the statement's appearance," Jacobson said.
Suspects in Argentina bombing to face trial
NEW YORK (JTA) — A Paraguayan judge has agreed to extradite seven suspects to Argentina in connection with the March 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.
Judge Jose Emilio Yaluk signed the order Monday to extradite the suspects, who include five Lebanese men and a Brazilian woman. The seventh suspect, a man born in Lebanon, has obtained Brazilian citizenship.
Five of the suspects agreed Tuesday to waive their right to appeal the extradition order, saying they were willing to appear before an Argentine court to face charges for the embassy car bombing, which claimed the lives of 29 people.
In January, Paraguayan police arrested the seven in the house they had been renting just outside Asuncion, Paraguay's capital.
All seven had entered Paraguay on Brazilian passports, and all had overstayed their tourist visas. They were eventually charged with drug trafficking, violating immigration law and illegal possession of weapons.
In the wake of their arrests, Jewish groups, joined by Argentine President Carlos Menem, demanded that the seven be extradited to Argentina.
The seven have been identified as Mohamad Hassan Alayan, Roberto Ribeiro Ruiz, Johnny Moraes Baalbaki, Luis Alberto Nader, Valdirene Vieira Ferguglia, Sergio Rodrigo Salem and Fadi Abdul Karim Checair.
Carlos Monge Lopez, a Paraguayan Supreme Court justice who received the Argentine extradition order from Buenos Aires two months ago, said recently that American and Israeli intelligence officials are "90 percent sure" that three of the seven suspects were also directly involved in the July 1994 bombing of the Jewish organization headquarters building in Buenos Aires, which claimed the lives of nearly 100 people. He did not specify the names of those suspects.
Holocaust denier blames bomb on Jews
TORONTO (JTA) — Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel has blamed Jewish groups for a letter bomb that was sent to his home here.
The 56-year-old German immigrant received a 6-pound homemade pipe bomb filled with nails on May 15.
Zundel became suspicious because the parcel, camouflaged to look like a book, was unusually heavy for its size. But he waited five days before turning over the unexploded device to a police bomb squad unit for detonation.
The bomb had a Vancouver address that two years ago had belonged to Tony MacAleer of the white-supremacist Internet group Liberty Net.
But Zundel said he was certain that Jews were behind the attempted bombing.
"I think it is about time for those in authority to take their blinders off and overcome their own prejudices," Zundel said in a press release. He urged the authorities to "investigate leftist and Jewish violence as diligently as they pursue people of the right, before someone gets seriously hurt or killed."
S. African rabbi leads crime-fighters
JOHANNESBURG (JTA) — With crime spiraling out of control here, Rabbi Yossy Goldman, spiritual head of the largest Orthodox congregation, has been in the forefront of a campaign against crime.
A sermon the rabbi recently delivered at the Sydenham-Highlands North Hebrew Congregation led to a recent motorcade of 650 vehicles that went from the northern suburbs — where the majority of Jews live — to the city center. The cars were participating in a citizen-sponsored "Drive Against Crime."
The rabbi's wife, Rochel Goldman, and 2-year-old son were nearly killed recently when their minibus was hijacked.
Goldman told motorcade participants, "How sad, how tragic, that one short year ago our country was full of hope, jubilation and euphoria. Today we are paralyzed by fear and oppression."
Most of the demonstrators were victims of crime, especially car hijackings.
Although white South Africans, including Jews, are generally happy under the government of Nelson Mandela, the escalating crime is causing many of them to emigrate.
Goldman, an American who is determined to remain here, has coined the slogan "Don't Emigrate, Demonstrate."