Michael Elkins

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Person.png Michael Elkins   Amazon PowerbaseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Journalist, broadcaster, author, spook)
Michael Elkins – BBC reporter.jpg
BornMeyer Elkins
1917-01-22
New York, USA
Died2001-03-10 (Age 84)
Jerusalem, Israel
Childrenone son
SpouseMartha Goldstein
Member ofOffice of Strategic Services
Close connections to Israeli intelligence operations. Worked for the BBC,CBS and Newsweek. The first journalist to report at the beginning of the Six-Day War, and a speaker at the 1979 JCIT.

Michael Elkins' was an United States Office of Strategic Services operative who a few years later got caught by the FBI arms smuggling for the Jewish Haganah in Palestine, and had to flee the United States to Israel. There, he started working for the US network, CBS, for the magazine Newsweek and then for 17 years with the BBC.

Elkins spoke at the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, on "Caging the Beast".

Origins

Elkins was the youngest of three sons of East European Jewish immigrants who made clothes in the sweatshops of the Lower East Side.[1] He was embarrassed that his parents spoke Yiddish and that his father walked ahead of his mother in the street.[1] He excelled at school [2] and educated himself in libraries.[1] He fell in with hoodlums in New York,[2] then moved to the American West Coast as a union organiser before joining his brother Saul to write scripts in Hollywood.[1][2] He worked in Europe in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA [2] during the second world war.[1]

In his book, Forged In Fury, published in 1971, Elkins wrote of a secret Jewish organisation, some 50-strong, called DIN, formed in Europe in 1945 to assassinate "the killers of Jews" - former Nazis, SS men, camp staff and others who had slipped away unpunished into civilian life. DIN was shortlived but deadly. Elkins changed names, places and dates to protect those of whom he wrote. One DIN member he describes, Arnie Berg, an American, bears a remarkable resemblance to the author himself.[3]

In 1947 Elkins met Teddy Kollek in New York. Kollek was later mayor of Jerusalem.[2] In 1947 he was organising illegal shipments of arms to the Jewish Haganah in Palestine. Elkins joined in.[2] The FBI discovered his involvement and he and his wife, Martha, fled to Israel.[1][2] They lived on a kibbutz, then moved a year later to Jerusalem.

Media Career

Elkins began broadcasting with CBS in the US in September 1956.[1] He became the network's correspondent in Israel, playing an important role in shaping attitudes toward the conflict.

The previous correspondent said he was returning to the United States because "nothing ever happens in Israel".[1] A month later Britain, France and Israel invaded Suez, as Israeli tanks moved into Sinai.[1]

Elkins was the first to report Israel's destruction of Arab air forces on the first day of its well-planned surprise attack in the Six Day War, due to his good connections in the apparatus, or maybe as a reward given to him for services rendered.

He telephoned CBS[4] but it hesitated to broadcast his story.[5] The BBC ran it.[6]

Elkins had come across a politician he knew. The politician directed him to the war-room.[2] Elkins wrote the story but Israeli military censors delayed it. Elkins proposed a deal. He would hold back the story if the censors gave him permission to be the first to broadcast when it was cleared.[2] They agreed. CBS sent him a one-liner: "You alone with Israeli victory. You'd better be right."[2]


 

Event Participated in

EventStartEndLocation(s)Description
Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism2 July 19795 July 1979Israel
Jerusalem
The birthplace of the "War on Terror" doctrine, "a major international forum for the movement against détente".


References