A SPECIAL ISSUE In COMMEMORATION OF THE LATE DR. JOSEPH UNGERMembers of PRIMER were saddened at the sudden passing of one of the stalwarts of our group. Not all of our members knew Dr. Joseph Ungar personally. But all Primer writers knew of his many contributions to our organization. In an association dedicated to the task of responding by letter to anti-Israel media bias, the responses were few that were not informed or even inspired by Dr. Ungar's sage input though his Comment and Analysis documents.
In these documents, which were a staple of PRIMER activity, Dr. Ungar's keen insights were brought to bear on the many raging anti-Israel articles and letters that frequently appeared in the newspapers in our vicinity. Though these media attacks assaulting Israel's honor and legitimacy were frequently obviously misinformed, being laced with errors of fact and omission, and clearly bore the traits of bias, Joe, as we knew him, never failed to rise to the challenge of these attacks. He would put to use his fine analytical mind and his own formidable encyclopedic knowledge of Middle East history and of current events and would come up with analyses that formed the basis of appropriate rejoinders for the benefit of our members.
Joe had a unique ability to pick out those salient points that revealed the insubstantiality of the arguments raised by unscrupulous critics ofthe Jewish State. Under his careful review, a design for response would emerge and would be formed into a document known to our circle as a Comment and Analysis (C&A). This document, carefully prepared by Joe, would clearly identify a hostile writer'' all too frequent distortions, whether of fact, omission, inconsistent morality, or other such lapses on which the writer had premised his arguments. The resulting C&A sent to PRIMER members would soon be converted into an array of individual media responses from our community of responders.
Joe's Comment and Analysis documents were invaluable. They augmented the knowledge of our members and their capability in developing responses, increasing manyfold the likelihood that a response would be made and, very often, the likelihood that many responses would be made. This quantum leap in the number of responses was critical since it insured that some of the letters would be printed by editors who were sensitive to the level and to the quality of responses.
Joe also participated in PRIMER conferences with news editors that resulted in sensitizing them to problems of bias that were being overlooked, a face to face activity that enormously supported the letter writing campaign and in which Joe's personal skills and impressive personality were invaluable.
Other contributions by Joe were no less important. In his capacity as a vice president of PRIMER, Joe's counsel was invaluable in the background in refining organizational precedures enabling operations to run smoothly. Joe was a person whose love of people was naturally expressed in his words and manner, his warmth pervading all his interactions. This was evident at organizational meetings, in which he shared his views and insights to the benefit of our members.
Joe's contributions were remarkable considering that he was a full time practicing physician and a man dedicated to his wife and family. But because he deeply believed in our cause and felt that there was great value in what we were doing for our community, he devoted a good portion ofhis spare time carrying out the very tasks that were the trademark ofour organization, namely, Promoting Responsibility In Middle East Reporting (PRIMER). Joe felt it was his duty to help in this activity where he could and it was his joy to be apart ofit.
Of course, this dedication grew out of his deep love of the Jewish people, their culture and history, and particularly the land ofIsrael and Jerusalem. With such a love in his heart, it is not surprising that he was well versed in studies concerning these subjects and that he had visited Israel many times. This was a love that he communicated to his children who have followed his example, with one of his daughters and her family now permanent residents of the State of Israel. As emblematic of his dedication, in death Joe wished to be buried in Israel and he was laid to rest there in the week of his passing.
Joe's friendship and encouraging mood will of course be sorely missed. But what he accomplishedwill be lasting and the work he made his own will continue in the organization that he helped build and lead. Therefore, with sadness and with pride and as a tribute to this contribution, we decided to dedicate this issue of Media Review to Joe's memory and to include in it a large representative sample of his many letters, Comment and Analyses, documentary critiques, and essays that were distributed for publication to the Jewish press. These will appear throughout this issue and will communicate more about his clarity of mind and his aspirations than any of our words of tribute.