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Qesher title
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Jüdische Weisheit


Anti-Semitism today, as in the past, is a worldwide malignancy that appears in one region or another from time to time, or in several regions simultaneously. It is a topic, as noted at the start, that does not disappear from the Jewish, Israeli or world agenda.

Die jüdischen Medien und der Antisemitismus:
Der Kampf der nicht endet

Introduction by Mordecai Naor

This issue of Kesher is devoted almost entirely to the question of anti-Semitism, an issue that does not fade away. Jew hatred is not new; its duration can be measured in millennia. However, modern anti-Semitism is a product of the late nineteenth century, and it has not ceased to hound us since.

The use of the term anti-Semitism in this issue relates to the media context, especially to the Jewish media and how it has dealt with anti-Semitic attacks in the past and the present.

First, however, two "general" articles relating to Israel. In the first one I trace the opening stages of a "war without an end" between the two Israeli afternoon dailies, "Yediot" aharonot and Ma'ariv, revealing the full story - conceivably for the first time. The article takes the reader back to February 1948 and to the reasons for the "great putsch," when the editor of "Yediot", along with the leading members of the staff, quit that paper and founded Ma'ariv.
The second article, by Dr. Yehiel Limor and Eitan Lachman, is both historical and contemporary, focusing on the topic of the right of response in journalistic ethics and in the rulings the Israel Press Council since its formation in 1963.

Articles and research dealing with Jewish and Israeli media responses to anti-Semitic attacks, and with blatant anti-Semitic materials that have appeared in the world media in the past and present, are introduced by Prof. Ziva Shamir’s essay analyzing the treatment of this topic by Hayim Nahman Bialik, the Jewish national poet, during a period of over 40 years. Next, Prof. Gideon Kouts expands on his research (first published in Kesher 16) about the response of the Jewish press in Western and Eastern Europe and in Eretz Yisrael to the first stage of the Dreyfus Affair. The strange chapter of anti-Semitism in the U.S. as promoted in the early twentieth century by auto magnate Henry Ford is discussed by Prof. Robert Rockaway. In another American-related topic, Dr. Ehud Manor delves further into the philosophy of Abe Cahan, the legendary editor of the Yiddish-language Forverts (analyzed by the author in Kesher 32), discussing Cahan’s view of anti-Semitism in the U.S.

An unusual document published in a British newspaper before the outbreak of World War II presents conflicting views about Jews and anti-Semitism expressed by two well known personalities then: author H. G. Wells and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Two Israeli academicians, Professors Joseph Gorny and Shlomo Aronson, respond from the vantage point of the here and now.

The next seven articles in this issue of Kesher are devoted to newspapers, personalities and events related to the struggle against anti-Semitism in various countries from the mid-nineteenth century until the present. The articles survey this struggle in Weimar Germany (Dr. Jürgen Michael Schulz), Argentina in the 1930s (Dr. Graciela Ben-Dror), the Jewish media in Italy (Prof. Bruno Di Porto), Hungary on the eve of the Holocaust (Dr. Guy Miron), post-Communist Romania (Dr. Raphael Vago), anti-Semitic incitement in the Arab world (Esther Webman), and attempts at Holocaust denial in Canada (Prof. Raphael Cohen-Almagor).

The two final articles deal with current topics: Prof. Dina Porat discusses the Israel Defense Forces siege placed on armed Palestinians who broke into and took over the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in the spring of 2002, and the reaction in the Christian and world press, which was mostly hostile to Jews and Israel; while Thomas von der Osten-Sacken describes the struggle against anti-Semitism on the Internet, and the role in this effort of the "haGalil onLine" portal, formed by German Jews. Plainly, anti-Semitism today, as in the past, is a worldwide malignancy that appears in one region or another from time to time, or in several regions simultaneously. It is a topic, as noted at the start, that does not disappear from the Jewish, Israeli or world agenda.

This issue of Kesher, the 33rd, is the last under my editorship. I have edited Kesher since it first appeared in May 1987. The 16 years that have passed since then have been fascinating and have yielded hundreds of articles and thousands of pages, all related to the Jewish and Israeli media. Kesher is, in all modesty, a periodical that has attained an important place in the research of the media.

I would like to acknowledge all those who have assisted me in this undertaking: first and foremost my friends Shalom Rosenfeld and Prof. Michael Keren, who headed the Institute for the Study of the Jewish Press and the Bronfman Center for the Media of the Jewish People at Tel Aviv University; Yardena Bar-Uryan, who accompanied this project in the early years, and Carmen Oszi, who assisted in gathering materials and in editing; Judy Krausz, devoted translator and editor of the English section; the contributors, manuscript readers, editorial, graphic and production staff; and, last but not least, our loyal readership.

Kesher (which means connection) will continue to be published, and my hope is that many, many readers will remain connected with it.

Mordecai Naor


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