The pan-blue camp apologized yesterday for a campaign advertisement that compared President Chen Shui-bian (
Hitler's photograph featured prominently in five full-page newspaper advertisements for the Chinese Nationalist Party-led (KMT) opposition that called on voters to end Chen's "dictatorship" on election day.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Jewish leaders criticized the ad, which took the election campaign to a new level of bitter personal attacks.
The KMT apologized to the Jewish community over the ad, which refers to Chen by his nickname A-bian, but said it would not apologize to the president.
The KMT said it would pull the ad, although at first it only said it would drop the Hitler photograph and modify the wording if it ran the ad again.
"We express our most sincere apology to anyone in the Jewish community who felt offended by this advertisement," said KMT spokesman Justin Chou (周守訓).
"We were only trying to emphasize a certain aspect in A-bian's personality. In the ad, we did not mention the Jewish people nor the Holocaust, but still, we apologize" Chou said.
"But we are certainly not going to apologize to Chen Shui-bian," he said.
The KMT attack follows a newspaper ad placed by the pan-green camp which pictures Chen alongside four world leaders, including British prime minister Winston Churchill and US president John Kennedy, under the headline: "Only the real leaders know what peace means."
The ad referred to the so-called "peace referendum" being held the same day as the election.
In response the KMT's ad, headlined "Change President, End A-bian's dictatorship," says: "A-bian puts his pictures by those of Churchill and Roosevelt."
"But in fact he is becoming more like Hitler. The DPP is also becoming more authoritarian under A-Bian."
"Only a dictator equals himself as his country. A-bian thinks he is a symbol of democracy but he is hostile to those who oppose him, treating them like enemies," it said.
It features a grainy photograph of Hitler with Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini in the background.
Taiwan's only rabbi, Ephraim Einhorn, had called on the KMT to apologize to the president, saying he was "shocked and disturbed" that Chen could be compared to a man who ordered the murders of 6 million Jews.
"I am sick to my innermost being. It's a terrible thing to have done," he said.
"To have the legitimately elected president of the country compared to, or associated with, the monster of all ages is something that I find terribly, terribly difficult to come to terms with," Einhorn said.
Israel's representative to Taiwan, Ruth Kahanoff, was reluctant to comment on the ad because she didn't want her remarks to be construed as an attempt to interfere in the campaign or support a candidate.
But she said, "We are not happy about any trivialization of Hitler and what he did to our people."
DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (
EXTRADITION DEAL? A former prosecutor said that the US Department of Justice might ask Taiwan to extradite the men in return for the US doing something in return The US won arrest warrants for three Taiwanese men — a former president of China-based Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co (福建晉華) and two engineers — charged with stealing secrets from Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc. The effort to apprehend the three men — former Fujian Jinhua president Stephen Chen (陳正坤), and Ho Chien-ting (何建廷) and Wang Yong-ming (王永銘), who work for Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) — is notable because they were charged in 2018 in the first case filed under the “China initiative” of US President Donald Trump’s administration targeting trade-secret theft, hacking and economic espionage. However, legal experts have said
There was a net reduction last year in the number of Taipei residents and this year is expected to set a 23-year high for population decline in the city, Ministry of the Interior statistics released yesterday showed. From January to last month, 18,861 more people moved out of Taipei than moved into the capital, an increase of 7,000 from the same period last year, the data showed. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in the city’s population since the start of the year, the biggest drop in both percentage and total number among all municipalities and counties nationwide, the data showed. The data
COUNCILS CLASH: The Mainland Affairs Council said a new office in Hong Kong is to assist people with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.” The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers. The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday. The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions. The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012