‘All right, we’re putting out a paper’

Mordecai Chertoff recalls the deadly bombing of ‘The Palestine Post.'

April 18, 2010 04:15
1 minute read.

ChertoffMordecai311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Mordecai Chertoff remembers the deadly bombing of The Palestine Post building in Jerusalem 62 years ago like it was yesterday.

That may be because, for the former Post staffer, who served in both the Hagana and the IDF while living here during the birth of the state, the ensuing years have melted away since he made aliya from the US two years ago, at age 86.

“At 24, nothing can happen to you. You’re immune to every illness, every bullet,” Chertoff told The Jerusalem Post this week, reminiscing about the time when his life story and Israel’s history ran on the same path without a road map.

That immunity includes surviving unscathed the deadly explosion of a five-ton British army truck planted by Arab terrorists on February 1, 1948, outside the Post’s offices on Rehov Hasolel (now Rehov Havatzelet), just off Zion Square. The blast killed four people, including three Post employees, wounded several dozen, and destroyed the two adjacent buildings.

“I remember that Marlin Levin, an editor, was sitting in someone else’s chair who had gone to Tel Aviv that day. When the explosion came, a piece of metal from the window came flying across where Marlin would have usually been sitting. It would have taken his head off,” Chertoff said.

One employee died immediately, and Chertoff said that two others later succumbed to their wounds.

After taking care of the wounded, he and other staffers made their way to Café Atara on Rehov Ben-Yehuda, where deputy editor Ted Lurie’s wife, Tzila, gave them hugs and coffee.

“Then she said, ‘All right, we’re putting out a paper.’

“The newspapermen came, shlepping typewriters, and we sat and wrote the paper from memory. And it came out the next morning about six, seven o’clock, only two pages.

“By the end of the week we were back to normal size,” Chertoff said.

Read the full account of Chertoff’s experiences in the Hagana, the IDF and The Palestine Post, and his return to Israel 60 years later, in Monday’s Yom Ha’atzma’ut supplement.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Supreme Court President Asher Grunis
August 28, 2014
Grapevine: September significance