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September 29, 1989 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-09-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

involved with Scitez. The cor-
poration has sales and service
divisions in the U.S., Belgium
and Japan as well as an ex-
cetensive network of training
facilities, field service centers
and distribution channels in
North and South America,
Western Europe, Asia, Africa,
the Far East and Australia.
Nevertheless, these multi-
national contacts cannot rival
Maxwell's worldwide web of
conglomerate connections. A
swashbuckling media mega-
lomaniac that the British
public loves to hate, Maxwell
is often blamed, along with
his great rival Rupert Mur-
doch, for dragging the British
press into the gutter. Maxwell
himself has always apolo-
getically claimed that the
public wants sensationalism.
Maxwell came to Britain as
a penniless Jewish refugee
from Czechoslovakia where
his parents perished in the
Holocaust. A former Labor
member of parliament, he left
politics to concentrate on
transforming his publishing
business interests into a
worldwide media empire.
Married to a Catholic, Max-
well, now in his late sixties,
had recently shown scant in-
terest in Jewish matters in
general and Israel in
particular.
In contrast to Britain,
where his high profile
business success and flam-
boyant personality have often
provoked latent anti-
Semitism, Maxwell has won
himself a considerable
reputation in Israel, through
his staunch and vocal support
for the economy and
government.
In addition to his purchase
of Scitex shares, he invested
$30 million for an 18 percent
stake of Teva Phar-
maceuticals and failed in a
bid for the English language
daily newspaper
The
Jerusalem Post, which was
sold to a Canadian con-
glomerate for a reported
$17.4 million. He acquired,
however a 40 percent interest
in Ma'ariv, one of Israel's
leading afternoon papers. In
addition, Maxwell became
president of Israel Bonds in
Britain, pledging to buy $15
million worth of bonds.
Despite his Labor party af-
filiations in Britain, Maxwell
has stood squarely behind the
policies of Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir. He has pro-
moted Shamir's peace plan in
Europe and was one of the
organizer's of the Prime
Minister's Solidarity Con-
ference last March. Maxwell
is being exemplified by
government circles as
epitomizing the role Diaspora
Jewry can play. ❑

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS 21

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