The Press and Politics in Israel: The Jerusalem Post from 1932 to the Present

By Erwin Frenkel | Go to book overview

Prelude

A CALL FROM VANCOUVER

"You have a call from Canada," the secretary said through the door, which meant it was afternoon. The morning secretary would have used the phone itself, but afternoons were different. Ruth ruled then.

That day, when F. David Radler first called from Vancouver, she was already off cigarettes and more vinegary than usual. Mostly to outsiders. In-house, she was the central vault of all office secrets, confidences, and confessions. But she had never heard the name David Radler. Neither had I.

"Take it on four," she called.

"You've probably never heard of us-- Hollinger Inc.," Radler said as he introduced himself. "But we're a pretty big company." We own The Daily and Sunday Telegraph in London and smaller papers all over the United States and Canada. Henry Kissinger is on our board, and Peter Bronfman, and one of the Reichman brothers.

"In any case, we're considering putting in a bid for The Jerusalem Post."

Although he lived in Vancouver, Hollinger's headquarters were in Toronto. He had called to ask some questions about The Post's company structure. The documents he'd received were unclear.

I answered his queries as best I could. Yes, the combined turnover of the two companies, newspaper and press, that made up The Jerusalem Post, was about $20 million in 1988. Yes, the shares of both companies were interlocked in a complicated way, so that ownership of one meant 66 percent or 75 percent ownership of the whole, depending on whom you consulted. I suggested he might do better talking to the owners directly.

The conversation was cordial and to the point. Radler's language and manner were plain, no airs. He thanked me for my time and said Hollinger Inc. would

-xiii-

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The Press and Politics in Israel: The Jerusalem Post from 1932 to the Present
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Prelude xiii
  • 1- Beginnings 1
  • 2- News and Other Party Games 17
  • 3- Family Feuds Before The Six-Day War 33
  • 4- A New Israel and a New Press 59
  • 5- Uncaging a Newspaper 87
  • 6- Reporting Mr. Begin 97
  • 7- Unity Without Consent 121
  • 8- The Intifada and the Press 137
  • 9- Conglomerate Conquest 151
  • Notes 177
  • Bibliography 181
  • Index 183
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