LONDON (Aug. 6)
Letters of protest have poured in from all over the world in connection with the Impending suspension of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Hebrew Service, a daily half-hour short wave broadcast that apparently has a considerable audience. Erwin Bienenstock, head of the BBC service, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that many letters came from Eastern European Communist countries and even from the Soviet Union. There were also many letters from Israel, some of them indignant, he said.
Listeners in the Communist bloc were apparently cautious in their correspondence. Mr. Bienenstock cited a letter date-lined Budapest, written in ‘very good modern, colloquial Hebrew” which was signed with the pseudonym, “P. Almoni.” The word means “somebody” in Hebrew. (One correspondent from Israel wrote that he had acquired most of his knowledge about England from the BBC Hebrew Service. Another wrote that the broadcasts had helped him trace a Jewish boy he was looking for in Tunisia. Some writers attributed the ending of the service to anti-Israel elements in the British Foreign Office. One of the reasons given for the suspension was the relatively limited audience compared to the BBC’s World Service broadcasts in English; but a listener pointed out that the Hebrew Service was on the air only 30 minutes while the English program was broadcast all day.