TEL AVIV (Jun. 22)
The 30th anniversary of the existence of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and its local affiliate, the Palestine Telegraphic Agency, was celebrated here last night at a dinner attended by more than 300 leading personalities, including members of the Israeli Cabinet, the Knesset and the diplomatic corps. The dinner, given in honor of Jacob Landau, managing director of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, who is now visiting Israel, was presided over by Joseph Heftman, president of the Israeli Journalists Association.
Messages lauding the role which the J.T.A. played during the thirty years of its existence were received from President Chaim Weizmann, Premier David Ben Gurion, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, Minister of Education Zalman Shazar, Minister of Communications David Remez, Chairman of the Jewish Agency executive Berl Locker and others. President Weizmann, in his message to Mr. Landau, regretted his inability to attend the dinner.
Mr, Heftman reviewed the work of the J.T.A. since its inception. “I wish that our news agency shall live and prosper and bring good news to Israel from the countries outside of the Jewish state and vice versa,” he said, Joseph Sprinzak, speajcar of the knesset, stated that it is a good omen that the J.T.A. anniversary is being celebrated In Israel and not in New York or in any otter place since “it is natural that the center of the J.T.A. should be in Israel.”
U.S. AND ISRAELI AMBASSADOPRS LAUD J.T.A. NEWS REPORTING
United States Ambassador James G. McDonald, who received a tremendous ovation, told the dinner guests: “I have personal reasons for congratulating the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, From the J.T.A Daily Bulletins I learn everything that is going on in Jewish public institutions in the United States and in general in Jewish life the world over. My second reason is because the J.T.A. illustrates a cardinal principle of freedom of the press. It is independent of any government and is not subsidized by any government or any official body. Only such an agency can faithfully serve its genuine purpose of true reporting.” He concluded by wishing “ever-increasing Success” to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and by congratulating Mr. Landau.
Eliahu Elath, Israeli Ambassador to Washington who is now on a visit to Tel Aviv, said that many Jews in the United States learned about Judaism and Zionism from the dispatches of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. He lauded the pioneering activities of Mr. Landau and called upon him to increase his endeavors to build a bridge between Israel and the countries outside of the Jewish state. Moshe Shapira, Minister of Interior, Immigration and Health, similarly emphasized that for three decades the J.T.A. served as the voice of the Jews in Palestine.
J.T.A. PRAISED FOR COVERAGE OF NEWS FROM BESIEGED JERUSALEM
The work of the J.T.A. in reporting the news to the world from Jerusalem while the city was besieged by Arab forces last year was lauded by Abraham Elmaliah, who spoke on behalf of the Jerusalem municipality. The service of the J.T.A. was also praised by Zerubavel on behalf of the Jewish Agency executive, and by Joseph Gravitzky and I. Klinov, officials of the Press and Information Office of the Israeli Government. Chief Rabbi Isser Unterman similarly described the role played by the J.T.A. in Jewish life and pronounced the traditional blessing for health and success over Mr. Landau.
President Weizmann, in his message to Mr. Landau, said: “To you, head and founder of the J.T.A., and all those who took part in this important enterprise for more than 30 years, my heartfelt felicitations and best wishes. J.T.A.’s achievements and the valuable services rendered to our nation during this period are well known to me and are worthy of special attention. To this Agency, to its devoted staff and to you, Mr. Landau, I wish success and fruitfulness in your labors and may you derive satisfaction from the task you have set yourselves. J.T.A. should set the example by the accuracy of the information it disseminates, by its high Journalistic standards and the efficiency of its world-wide organization. I feel certain you will fulfill your mission.”
Mr. Ben Gurion’s message stated: “The Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Palestine Telegraphic Agency maintained daily contact between the Yishuv and the Diaspora. The enormous change performed in Israel by the renewal of statehood and independence has also brought J.T.A. and P.T.A. to a new, important epoch. I hope they both succeed to from a bridge of mutual understanding and goodwill between what we performed and are performing in Israel, and the Jewish as well as the general world. I wish you success in the difficult and important task facing you.”
Mr. Sharett’s message stated: “Jews and non-Jews throughout the world eagerly look to the developments la Israel. I am sure that the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, with its. Incomparable, well trained staff is able to render valuable and effective service in this vital sphere and I express best wishes. I also express my personal esteem for the work done by P.T.A. in its 30 years of existence and personal appreciation for the tremendous endeavors you invested is establishing and developing J.T.A. and P.T.A.”
In this reply, Mr. Landau paid tribute to his associates and to the loaders of the Jewish community who had made it possible for the J.T.A. to remain independent and Pursue the right path.