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

By Erwin Frenkel | Go to book overview

5
Uncaging a Newspaper

ROOM AT THE TOP

Between Robin and Peres, The Jerusalem Post, under Lea Ben Dor, leaned notably toward Peres. That surprised neither. Rabin, aware of the paper's Rafi past, expected it. Peres took it for granted.

This bias did not improve the journalistic product. Rabin's camp revealed confidences to friendlier papers, and Peres had no incentive to court kin. Amid the new politics of expedient disclosure and journalistic assertion, exclusive domestic news continued to elude The Post.

Although she had requested our cooperation, Ben Dor did not inform Ari nor me that she intended to preside over the paper for just one year and during that time find and recommend a new editor to the board of directors.

In July 1975, the secret got out. She had recommended a Mossad operative of English origin, David Kimche, for the job. He even had journalist credentials: In the past, The Post had helped with his cover by printing articles with his byline. Ben Dor considered Kimche's attainments and attachments perfect for The Post. The board of directors had already accepted her recommendation, in principle. Some years later, a former Mossad colleague, Yitzhak Shamir, destined to be prime minister, would appoint Kimche director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry.

When I confronted Ben Dor with her scheme, which Ari had discovered, she said that she expected I would now want to resign.

For some months it had become apparent that she could not carry on for long, though her secret remained secure. She had no managerial skill or interest, and her health was not robust. The firm as a whole needed more, not less, managerial direction.

After the Six-Day War, the newspaper had grown rapidly in circulation, income, and penonnel, like Israel's economy. There were now more than 70

-87-

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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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