JERUSALEM POST


JERUSALEM POST (until 1950 The Palestine Post), independent English-language daily newspaper published in Jerusalem. It was founded in December 1932 (after having purchased and incorporated the Palestine Bulletin, which had appeared since 1925) by Gershon Agronsky (*Agron), with the assistance of Ted R. *Lurie, who became editor when Agron was elected major of Jerusalem in 1955. The paper covers local news of both Jewish and Arab interest as well as world affairs, with special attention to developments in the Middle East. During the British Mandate, the Post's defense of Jewish interests and criticism of the Mandatory government, such as over the White Paper and its consequences, led to frequent disagreements with the British administration, especially the political censorship resulting from this policy. In February 1948, its offices and press were blown up by a bomb planted in a British-Arab conspiracy, as a reprisal against Jewish terrorism. Lurie died in 1974. In 1975 Ari Rath and Erwin Frenkel were appointed joint editors. The Post gave general support to the Labor movement, and, after 1948, to the government of Israel, while criticizing them on points of detail, particularly on economic and social policy. Following the election of the *Likud in 1977, the paper criticized or supported government policy on an issue-by-issue basis. The paper was owned by the *Histadrut. Unable to cover the paper's expenses, it sold the paper to the Canadian newspaper chain Hollinger. With the appointment by Hollinger of Yehudah Levy as the local publisher, the paper took a right-wing turn. Twenty-eight journalists initiated a labor dispute and were subsequently fired; Rath retired, and Frenkel resigned. The period since 1990 was characterized by organizational and financial instability, including seven editors-in-chief and a rapid turnover of editorial and printing personnel. On the issue of defense, the paper moved editorially in the post-1990 years between a centrist position under David Macovsky (1999–2000) and David Horowitz (2004– ) as editors, and a right-wing position under David *Bar-Illan (1990–96) and Brett Stephens (2002–4). A neo-liberal capitalist outlook on economic and financial affairs replaced the socialist outlook of earlier years. Organizational and financial instability intensified after Tom Rose was appointed publisher in 1998. Despite its financial success, the newspaper's commercial printing press was closed down. By 2005 the Jerusalem Post's circulation had dropped to 12,000 daily and 28,000 on weekends, a decline from a high of 33,000 and 50,000, respectively, in 1967. Its readers comprised mostly immigrants from Anglo-Saxon countries, foreign diplomats, foreign correspondents, and to a limited extent the Palestinian population. The Post's monopoly as Israel's English-language daily was challenged with the appearance in 1997 of an English daily edition of Haaretz. In 2004 the paper was bought by an Israeli company, the Mirka'ei Tikshoret group, and the Canadian media group Can West Global Communications.

In 1959 the paper founded an international weekly edition, based entirely upon copy from the local daily edition; though highly remunerative, its circulation fell from 70,000 in its early years to 28,000. Circulation of a weekly French-language version of the paper begun in 1991 – and sold in France, Canada, and Israel – remained low at 4,000 copies weekly. In 1995 the newspaper launched a successful Internet edition, www.jpost.com, drawing upon the daily newspaper's reporting. In 2004, the site had 14 million page views per month, one million general users monthly, and 385,000 registered users, according to the newspaper, and its yearly profits from advertising were over $1 million.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

E. Frenkel, The Press & Politics in Israel: The Jerusalem Post from 1932 to the Present (1993); A. Zvielli, "Reflections on the 60-Year History of 'The Jerusalem Post,'" in: Kesher, no. 12 (Nov. 1992).

[Yoel Cohen (2nd ed.)]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.