peres with post 1964.
(photo credit: Jerusalem Post archives)
President Shimon Peres on Thursday gave elegant praise to The Jerusalem Post, which on Saturday marks the 75th anniversary of its first-ever issue.
Peres described the paper - founded as The Palestine Post in 1932 - as "an Israeli daily in the English style," a compliment indeed for a publication that began its extraordinary journey with a print-run of 1,200 copies, and whose founder Gershon Agron had modestly sought to offer British Mandate personnel here a glimpse into the mindset of the pioneering Jewish community.
A veteran among the Post's growing community of regular readers, Peres praised the paper's credibility, responsibility and diversity.
He has been reading the paper since he was 26 years old, he recalled, knew Agron personally and also knew most of the editors who came after him.
Another early reader - and contributor and interviewee - was the late statesman Abba Eban, who read it back in its Palestine Post days. His widow, Suzy, recalled that they also made a point of receiving the paper when they were abroad.
Among current politicians with warm words for the paper this week was Colette Avital of Labor, who called it "strong and a pleasure to read."
The Likud's Yuval Steinitz said he began reading The Jerusalem Post in 1996, "when Herb Keinon [today the diplomatic correspondent] came to interview me. It was after Rabin and my politics were shifting. Reading the Post gave me a sense of what the rest of the world was saying about our situation."
Current Post Editor in Chief David Horovitz noted that The Jerusalem Post remains unique as the only Israeli daily paper written specifically for an English-speaking audience, and that the title has also been at the cutting edge of journalism's online revolution.
"For us," he said, "the Internet has been a vehicle of liberation, bringing our writing to millions upon millions of people the world over. Until the age of the Internet, The Jerusalem Post was a foreign-language daily in a Hebrew-speaking world, although its International Edition was devoured by tens of thousands of passionate readers abroad. Today, as both the best-selling English daily in Israel and the world's most-read Israel news Website (at www.jpost.com), it truly provides a window on Israel for a global audience - documenting our fast-changing reality in the closest thing there is to a global language, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
Today's UpFront magazine marks the anniversary with a piece by Jay Bushinsky on the early history of the paper, focusing on Gershon Agron; a reprint from 1932 of an article written in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the death of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda; and the first ever recipe published in the Post, which, bearing mind that much of the readership in those days comprised representatives of the British Mandate, was - quite naturally - a Christmas cake.
A special 75th anniversary Jerusalem Post supplement will appear later next month.
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