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Discuss Role of Jewish, General Press

Forty Jewish journalists from 12 countries, joined by several hundred of their Israeli colleagues, discussed their role in the Jewish and general press at the opening here today of a two-day international conference of Jewish journalists sponsored by the World Federation of Jewish Journalists.

They were addressed by retiring Information Minister Aharon Yariv who urged them not to hide the true difficulties of life in-Israel, not to stress imaginary hardships and to emphasize the huge potential strength of Israel and its ability to overcome and solve its problems. Yariv has resigned from the government, effective this Tuesday.

Pinhas Sapir, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives, also called on the journalists to report the good as well as the bad. He said, for example, that the absorption program faced many difficulties. “But it would be wrong to say that nothing has changed…. The fact is the number of complaints has dropped, not only because aliya figures dropped but because we have no acute housing problem any longer,” Sapir said.

The newsmen were also addressed by Avraham Shenker, head of the Jewish Agency’s information department, who said it was the duty of the World Federation of Jewish Journalists to deepen its members’ knowledge of Jewish problems and to raise the level of the Jewish press to attract the younger generation and thereby help combat assimilation.

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