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BBC World Service Hebrew Section (1949-1968): The 'Voice of London' for Israelis or the 'Voice of Israel' from London?

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This article seeks to ask the question why, when and how the BBC World Service Hebrew Section broadcast became part of British media diplomacy towards Israel and integral to British foreign policy towards the Middle East and the Cold War. It also seeks to understand why it was closed down and how it became a professional training ground for Israel's public broadcasting system tasked with enhancing democracy as a part of BBC WS' policy. The article tries to answer these questions by analyzing background documents and transcripts of the broadcasts at several critical moments, and by interviewing a key professional who served on the Israeli staff of the BBCWS Hebrew section in its last three years. The points in time were: the establishment of the service, 1949; the Suez/Sinai Campaign of 1956; the Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem, 1961; Ten Years to the Suez/Sinai Campaign, 1966; the Six Day War, 1967; and the closure of the service in 1968.


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