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Veteran ‘Post,’ Voice of America reporter Charley Weiss dies at 93

CM 01/08/2021 34

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Veteran journalist Charles (Charley) Weiss died in Jerusalem last week at the age of 93. He was an old school journalist, even-handed to a fault, everyone’s friend and no one’s fool. None of his exact contemporaries are still around these days, but the ex-journos who knew and worked with him unanimously recall him as “a gentleman and a mensch, a great reporter and a pro’s pro.”

Although for most of his life he was intimately involved with Israel, it was only at the age of 90 that he formally made aliyah, becoming an Israeli citizen. It was in a way, full-circle for someone who, as a young man, was a volunteer in Aliyah Bet, the clandestine operation to bring Jewish immigrants, mostly Holocaust survivors, to Palestine during the British Mandate.
As a reporter and editor at The Jerusalem Post beginning in the 1950’s, and later as a correspondent for Voice of America until his retirement, he covered nearly every development in Israel and the Middle East.  As regional correspondent for VOA, Weiss reported on the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the military regimes that governed Turkey in the 1970s and on the overthrow of the Shah in Iran. Weiss seems to have known everyone.
His journalist career began at The Jerusalem Post in 1955. The Post’s founder, Gershon Agron, was still the editor at the time, but that year was elected mayor of Jerusalem. The staff at the time included many who would go on to be well known Anglo journalists: Ted Lurie, Moshe Levin, Lea Ben Dor, David Gross, Phillip Gillon, Alex Berlyne, Maccabi Dean and Mike Ronnen. Ari Rath, who with Erwin Frenkel would become co-managing editors after Ted Lurie’s untimely death, started working at the Post in 1959. 
Weiss was on duty as night editor on June 5, 1967, the first day of the Six Day War. “During the day we heard planes streaming overhead, something that never happened in the skies over demilitarized Jerusalem.  Of course we didn’t know they were Israeli planes.”

Since so many men were called up, the paper was very understaffed. Two people who volunteered at the Post and were hired by Weiss on-sight would go on to have their own journalistic careers. One was David Landau, a future managing editor of Haaretz; another was Abraham Rabinovich, whose book on the Yom Kippur War years later became a best-seller.
“Charley was the first Israeli journalist I met when I walked into the offices of The Jerusalem Post in 1967,” recalls veteran Post editor Hanan Sher. “He played an important role after that as I joined the Post at the start of a 40-year career in Israeli journalism. He was a friend and a tutor to a young newspaperman who’d just arrived in the country.”
Though I’d already worked in radio for several years, when Charley hired me for VOA in 1990, he became my mentor and true friend.
Recalling his long and fascinating career, he admitted that “the only job I really enjoyed was working as night editor at The Jerusalem Post.”
Weiss is survived by his wife Harriet and his children Ron Sivan, Anat Hoffman, Noa Weiss and Yoav Weiss.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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