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 (
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South