The FPA wishes to express deepest condolences to the family of Aharon Klein ,journalist and author, recipient of the Henry Luce Award for his work as TIME's Middle East intelligence correspondent. Aharon passed away following a battle with cancer and will be laid to rest on July 8th 2016.
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After TIME shuttered its Jerusalem bureau, its editor sent the following, to Aaron J. Klein. Miss you, pal.
This letter, a bit overdue now, is to thank you for the 19 years you gave to TIME. If there have been longer overseas tenures with the magazine, they are no longer visible from headquarters. You outlasted almost all of the bureau chiefs and visiting reporters who passed through the Jerusalem Bureau, every one of whom did double duty as a student gratefully enrolled in the Aaron J. Klein School of Middle East Studies, an institution convened, I am told, on an ad hoc basis on a campus that floated on a constellation of coffee shops, steakhouses and Buhkari chicken joints.
Accounts of your generosity and collegiality accumulated with the years, forming a warm and deeply human legacy that mattered as much as the work itself. When something awful required one of us to make preparations for a trip to Israel, there were consolations that, in flush times, included the American Colony. But at all times, there was Aaron. If TIME was more of a family then, you were certainly one of the reasons why.
Your work remains legendary. No other bureau produced scoops like Jerusalem did, and you were almost always the reason why. From the Second Intifada to the Gaza pullout to the espionage and assassination campaigns in Iran, and scores of stories in between, the exclusives you assembled for TIME were nothing less than stupendous. There’s no counting the number of times the front pages of Israeli newspapers splashed news prominently attributed to TIME, news that no other outlet had, and pretty much always thanks to you -- even if, out of a healthy respect for the Censor, the bureau chief sometimes got the credit. We all knew what was what. No reporter in the region had better sources, or cared for them more diligently.
Thank you for all that, and thank you for doing it all despite the physical dangers you faced, again and again, in order to determine what was happening on the ground and bring the truth to our readers. We honor the courage and humanity you brought to our journalism.
The FPA wishes to express condolences to the family of veteran member Richard Oestermann, longtime mid-east correspondent for Aller Press, Copenhagen and Norge IDAG, Bergen. Richard passed away in Jerusalem. Messages: See also "Awards and Citations"
The FPA wishes to express condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of veteran member Bob Simon who was killed in a traffic accident last night in New York.
Former FPA chairman Robert Slater passed away in Jerusalem early this morning, March 25th
In Memoriam: Bob and Elli Slater family have been among our closest friends, and we have been through so much together, not only picnics and dinners and various journalistic endeavors and discussions and whatever in Israel, also brief visits at the family complex summer home in Lake George...He came to Israel in the early 70s. Bob served loyally and well as FPA chairman. He reported on Israel and its multi-focussed society and was a aware and appreciative of its strengths and foibles. His books --nearly 30 in number-- are a credible testimony to an outstanding career, where each new project was a source of intellectual stimulation, they were greatly varied in subject matter, and they reflect the challenges in Israeli society and in U.S. and world business, where he became one of our most acute observors and reporters. Bob was never an ideological geek; he was a solid reporter, with an amazing ability to type out interviews on his computer in live action, and to always--I mean always-- get it right. He was a first rate reporter for Time Magazine, and was a key witness at the Ariel Sharon libel suit against Time which took place in New York. After leaving Time, his career blossomed as a writer of books. A wonderful person, a fine writer, a very good athlete by the way (should I add a loyal NY Giants football fan), and in all just a great marvelous guy, a solid and gentle person in all respects, who cared and labored and loved, and was appreciative in recent years (after his bout with leukemia and then the bone marrow transplant) of all the moments and time allotted to him. We will all miss him and I do already and am greatly saddened by this news. Herb Krosney
See photo of Bob reporting from the field, FPA History, Photo Gallery
I am deeply saddened by Bob's passing. Bob and I go back 40 years as colleagues and friends. I met him when he was with UPI in Jerusalem, sharing stakeouts at Cabinet meetings and covering public events. I learned from his wisdom and experience--he always seemed several steps ahead of me, though we were more or less the same age. Then he traded daily journalism for the ultimate long-form, writing books. Just a few weeks ago, he showed me the shelf in his home office devoted to all the books he wrote. Dedicated to the never-ending daily news cycle, I wondered how it was possible to make that switch. Then I did, many years after Bob (again), and he was there to guide me in my first effort. I am grateful for his help in getting my book published, but much more than that, I am grateful for his enduring friendship over the decades and for the positive example he set for all of us. May his memory be a blessing. Mark Lavie, AP Radio
Ad Bloemendaal, veteran FPA member passed away in Tel Aviv yesterday. March 16th, 2014. Friends and colleagues write about the late Ad Bloemendaal:
Obituary by Rolf Bos, Ad's predecessor at de Volkskrant Ad Bloemendaal.
In Memoriam: Ad Bloemendaal
I’m deeply saddened by the death of my close friend and colleague Ad Bloemendaal.
During 30 years Ad was an important part of my life. Work, family events or just watching the latest Champions League game on TV; he was always there.
We covered the ups and downs of Israel and the neighbouring countries together. We travelled together, interviewed together, shared quotes and pictures. True brothers in arms in this war-torn region.
All through these turbulent decades Ad was a pillar of stability and calm. He was an excellent hardworking reporter, an experienced analyst, a fair and honest journalist who saw through the propaganda smokescreens of the various parties. He had a wonderful sense of humour and could always make fun of absurdities in even the most tense situations.
But above all, he was my dear friend since we met in the early 80’s in Beit Sokolov in Tel Aviv where journalists went to pick up press releases and official mail in those pre-email days. As two of the already then rather few Tel Aviv-based foreign correspondents we found that some local Dutch-Swedish cooperation was a good and practical idea. This cooperation developed quickly into friendship.
Ad was a devoted family man. My thoughts are with his wife Mira and his children Tom and Amy who have suffered an irreplaceable loss. Even more so as Ad was full of vigour and plans for the future. He had a new challenging job for a prestigious newspaper, his children – of whom he was immensely proud - had just got married in two beautiful weddings. He looked forward to many more years of interesting work and happy family life.
Thank you Ad, it was a privilege being your friend. I will miss you sorely. Arne Lapidus, Expressen
In Memory of Adriaan Bloemendaal: I' m really shocked that Adrian is not alive anymore. Since many years already he was such a familiar face among the journalists who showed up at press conferences or when "something real" was going on in the field. Especially one event brought us closer together. That was last November in Gaza, on 11/11, a cloudy day. Both of us were working with the same stringer, Mohammed and his driver Munir, covering the "tamarod"-event. A rebellion against Hamas, announced by Palestinian protesters in Facebook, which didn t take place in reality but made the Hamas-policemen nervous.
Adriaan and me were doing some interviews with students who were sitting in small groups on the dusty lawn between the two universities in Gaza-City. Suddenly we were surrounded by a lot of men in black. Hamas-security-guys who said they don‘ t like the crowding we‘ re provoking.
So they arrested both of us and the Palestinian stringer and the driver. When we were forced to follow them in our taxi to the headquarters, one Hamas-man wanted to guard us, but had a problem to sit next to me. Adriaan watched him stoically as if he couldn' t unterstand what is it about. At the end he unwillingly offered him a place beside him to rescue the Hamas-guy from sitting next to a woman. And with a smile he whispered to me, at least we get an opportunity to see their HQ. Not much happened there. After an hour they set us free, together with some other journalists. But Adriaan s dry humour and good sense for irony helped very much to stay calm during the time as "prisoners of Hamas". We will miss him too. Inge Guenther, Frankfurter Rundschau
I am truly devastated by the news that Ad has passed on. I met Ad in 1979, at Het Parool, where we worked together at the foreign desk, until I left for the US to become a correspondent, even before he left for Israel, where I had been working a lot in the 1970s. We stayed in touch, and just recently caught in up in Herzlyah, during a visit of Dutch government ministers and a trade delegation. Seemed like old times. Ad was a highly professional, incredibly knowledgeable, exemplary journalist, but - more importantly - a kind and gentle man. As a professional, I will miss the reporter and his splendid articles; as a person, I will miss the man. I wish Mira, the family and all their loved ones courage and strength. Nothing will fill the void - personally as well as professionally.
Bernard Hammelburg BNR Radio News
I am very saddened by the untimely death of my colleague Ad Bloemendaal.
No one should die before one's time. If there was one colleague that, thanks to his phlegmatic, calm, relaxed, character ( at least to me as an outsider) I thought to be resilient and destined for a long life , among all the tensions and stresses of our job, it was Ad. I always saw him as a very stable, balanced, anchor, with a good sense of proportion and healthy skeptical attitude. Above all I saw in him a 'mensch', a very 'beminnelijk' ' ( amiable) person, friendly, with a well developed sense of 'cameradie' and always willing to share and cooperate, a quality one does not always find among journalists.
My thoughts are first and foremost with Mira and the children. They were Ad's warm home. Thanks to them he was able to go out into a world, he probably never dreamed about when he left 'calm and uneventful' Apeldoorn' for the Wild West of the Middle-East. Mira and the home she provided, was no doubt the safe harbuour and oasis which always made it possible to recharge batteries and go out into the field with renewed energy.
The last few years, since I retired from journalism, Ad and I were not in touch. But his passing away moves me deeply. The idea I will not see him anymore saddens me deeply. I extend my condolences to Mira and the children and wish them lots of strength to cope with this loss.
Joop Meijers ( formerly correspondent of the Algemeen Dagblad, EO, and Radio Netherlands).
Ad Bloemendaal was a kind and hard working colleague. I met him regularly at press conferences and other media events. His untimely passing came as a big shock. We will surely miss him. My condolences to his family members and close friends. Alfred Muller, Reformatorisch Dagblad
I lost a friend, a honest friend, a noble mind, a man who loved his job. Ad was a very honest and deep journalist. Like me he started his journalistic adventure with HET PAROOL, a well established Dutch newspaper in those days long ago. I met him in Israel where he was many years correspondent for the GPD, a large news organization. Only recently did he become correspondent for DE VOLKSKRANT, an important national paper. He was so happy and proud about his job with that newspaper!! We played tennis, we talked a lot. Though he had a critical view about Israel, he loved the country he lived in. Love brought him to this land. He was very proud of his son and daughter. He happily showed me the pictures of the marriage of his daughter. I will miss him very much.
Salomon Bouman , ex correspondent NRC-Handelsblad in Israël.
The sudden passing away of colleague Ad Bloemendaal is hard to believe and difficult to accept.For more than two decades we used to meet at press events in Israel and Palestine. His reporting was usually informative and always reliable. Ad will be remembered as a likeable person, a helpful colleague and a professional correspondent. Eddo Rosenthal.