Friday, January 17, 1964—THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS-2
Few experts are as well informed about the water situation in Israel and the countries
adjacent to it as Dr. Walter C. Lowdermilk, one-time land reclamation chief of the U.S. Department
of Agriculture, who, in 1929, conducted a survey in the Mediterranean area in behalf of the
American National Program of Soil and Water Conservation. He had proposed a Jordan Valley
Authority project and his findings were incorporated in one of the
most valuable books published on the subject, "Palestine: Land of
Promise," published by Harper in 1944.
The views of this great authority on soil reclamation and water
conservation are of great importance now, in a time when Arabs who
would rather destroy the economic security of their own peoples
than give recognition to Israel's existence are causing such commo-
tion over Israel's plan to provide water to irrigate its arid South
by means of a new system that will draw upon the supplies of the
Jordan River and Lake Tiberias.
Dr. Lowdermilk addressed the dinner that was given last week
in honor of the 70th birthday of Dr. Emanuel Neumann, one of
American Jewry's most distinguished leaders, and in the course of
it he expressed amazement over the Arab threats over the Kinneret-
Negev Israeli water project which is scheduled to start operating
in the coming few months. Dr. Lowdermilk charged that there is "an
ironic quality" to the Arab position, and he stated:
"The Arab lands are not lacking in water resources. Syria, the
most vociferous of the Arab states on this issue, has the Orontes and
Euphrates and additional rivers and streams. Syria and the other
Arab countries could today be participating with Israel in a great
regional program which would assure to all, an equitable distribution
of water resources; but Syria torpedoed such a program. The plan by the late Eric Johnston was
not implemented because—in Eric Johnston's own words—'Syria objected to the project because it
would benefit Israel as well as the Arab countries'," he said.
"The Jordan Valley Authority project was conceived as a great regional project to benefit the
whole of Palestine, as well as Trans-Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
"But that grand design had to go `by the board' due to the apposition of the Arab states."
"It is all the more astonishing and shocking that Israel's Arab neighbors not only rejected a
project calculated to benefit their own people, but are now threatening to use every possible means;
including armed aggression, to prevent Israel from utilizing its own territorial waters for purely
humanitarian purposes. It is shocking to contemplate that these life-giving waters should rather be
wasted than used to revive wastelands, to make them blossom as the rose.
"Israel, faced with the growing needs of an increasing population and expanding economy,
cannot—and should not be expected to—sacrifice her own future in deference to the irrational
position taken by the Arab states. All who believe in progress will applaud Israel when she carries
out her national water project which can be integrated eventually into a regional plan when the
Arab states have the good sense to cooperate in it."
These facts must be kept in view at this time, while the Arab chieftains are plotting Israel's
destruction. All the nations living in the Middle East could have benefited from the Eric Johnston
plan that had the endorsement of the United States Government. The Arabs rejected it because it
would aid Israel as well as assist them. Instead, they began to divert the Yarmuk River waters
from Israel. Now they are shouting that Israel is harming them with the water plan. It will be
interesting to learn how many of the diplomats in the United Nations, who should know better, will
be prepared to be duped by the Arab arguments. Is it possible that the USSR will, in time, be
more logical and will act justly when this issue faces the UN?
Human Relations Responsibilities
Exoneration of USIA
Two of our foreign correspondents, in reports
published in this issue, one from Jerusalem and
another from Frankfurt, direct attention not
only to the Jewish readers for whom they are
primarily intended, but also to non-Jews whe
must share responsibility for decent human rela-
tions and for assurance that the world will be
protected against the horrors which have caused
mankind to sit up in horror over the inhumanity
of man to man.
In his report from Frankfurt, John Dornberg,
an authority on conditions in Germany, describes
the attitudes of defenders in the trial of Nazis
accused of the brutalities that were enacted in
the Auschwitz extermination camp. His report,
and the accompanying news about the trial in
Frankfurt, serve as an admonition that crimes
should be declared as not to be condoned—in
the spirit of crime does not pay!—no matter
how much time has passed since the criminals
have been at large; and that there should be
a perpetuated warning that anything approxi-
mately Nazism will never be excused, either by
individuals or by nations.
Equally vital is the report from Jerusalem
by Joshua H. Justman which presents a factual
statement on the tortures that were endured
by Israelis who were imprisoned in Syria and
who revealed their sufferings upon their ex-
change last month with Syrian prisoners. The
tale of horror told by the only Israeli who re-
turned without being mentally affected by the
pains they endured reads like an inquisitional
and medieval incident.
Both the Red Cross and the United Nations,
to whom the complaint about Syrian inhuman-
ities has been referred, owe it to their status
as humanitarian bodies to deal with the issue
and to repudiate the horrors. Else, any repeti-
tion of such inhumane acts can lead to an ag-
gravation of difficulties that already have turned
the Middle East into an embattled area.
A reaffirmation by Donald M. Wilson, acting
director of the United States Information
Agency, of a policy of non-discrimination, has
led to the exoneration of the agency of the
charge made by national Jewish organizations
that the deletion of a portion of a film which
would have shown President Johnson with a rabbi
was intended to appease the Arabs.
Wilson's identical statement to the heads
of nine national Jewish movements brought
replies from them that they were "impressed"
by evidence that USIA "has faithfully reflected
the American nation with its ethnic and religious
segments to peoples in all parts of the world."
Apparently the blunder which had drawn
sharp protests from Jewish spokesmen was made
by authors of the script in question. Meanwhile
Jewish leaders were drawn into a controversy
that could have been averted had the USIA itself
been more cautious with its explanations.
There must be constant watchfulness against
abuses, but there ought to be greater concern
also by national agencies not to arouse sus-
It is fortunate that this controversy ended
so amicably and it is to be hoped that the spirit
in which USIA labors will be retained so that
there may never again be cause for concern over
possible pressures from hate-mongers.
You Can't Fool All of the
People All of the Time
In an analysis of how the Jordan River
issue either divides or unites the Arab states,
Dana Adams Schmidt, in a report to the New
York Times, stated, inter alia:
"The Syrian ferocity on this question is
traditional. A succession of governments in.
Damascus have been particularly inclined to
pick fights on the Israeli border at times, such
as the present, when their hold has been shaky."
This brief paragraph speaks volumes in ex-
plaining a situation that has caused so much
trouble in the Middle East.
It also proves that the troublemakers can-
not fool all of the people all of the time.
Famous Zionist Physicians
The otherwise exceedingly enlightening
article on "Physicians in the Zionist Move-
ment," by Dr. S. J. Plashkes of Jerusalem, in
a recent issue, omitted a few very important
Chief among those not mentioned in that
article was the name of Dr. Harry Friedenwald,
one of the great ophthalmologists, whose father
(Dr. Jonas Friedenwald), brothers (Drs. Joseph
and Aaron Friedenwald) and son (Dr. Jonas
Stein FriedenWald), as well as nephews, also
were outstanding . ophthalmological. authorities.
Dr. Harry Friedenwald, an advocate of the
Chevevei Zion movement, was the second presi-
dent of the Zionist Organization (then known
as Federation) of America. (The first American
Zionist president was Prof. Richard Gotheil.).
The Freidenwalds were among the leading
Jewish families in America. It is good to know
that a biography of Dr. Harry Friedenwald will
be published and issued this year by the Jewish
Publication Society of America.
There were other great physicians who were
Zionist pioneers. Many Detroit physicians were
and some still are among the most active
A volume on Zionist Physicians would make
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Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)
Although Egyptian President Nasser was the one who con-
vened the "summit conference" of Arab kings and presidents
against Israel in Cairo, there is cautious speculation that he would
not risk a military attack on Israel . . . On the contrary, the
prevailing opinion is that Nasser called the conference in order to
avoid being dragged into a shooting war with Israel against his
will by Syria . . . It is Syria and not Egypt — not even Jordan —
that is the main objector to Israel's water development plan which
will begin to bring water this spring from the Jordan River and
Lake Tiberias to the Negev . . . Syria may provoke clashes on
the Israeli-Syrian frontier which could, of course, develop into
real warfare over the Jordan River water issue, an issue which
does not affect Egypt since the Jordan River does not run in
Egypt . . . Nasser seems to fear a Syrian-Israeli battle from which
he could not stay away without being branded by Syria as a
"traitor" to the Arab cause . . . On the other hand, Nasser is
well aware of the destruction which his country may face, should
he indulge in war against Israel .. . Israeli bombers could within
minutes destroy the Suez Canal and cities like Cairo, Alexandria,
Port Said . .. This is why one of his military confidants was re-
ported in the Syrian press as stating that Egypt will not go into
a hot war with Israel unless "it is positive that it can win the
war in two hours, otherwise Israel will win in two hours" . . .
Despite such a hint by Nasser on the eve of the "summit confer-
ence" of the Arab rulers, one need not underestimate the conse-
quences of the conference . . . There will be plenty of Arab noise
against Israel at the United Nations Security Council, and the
issue may even be referred for decision to the World Court . .
Israel has already gone far in its preparations for the pumping
of water from the Jordan River and Lake Tiberias to the Negev,
with the knowledge of the U.S. Government and high U.N. officials.
... Tourists visiting Israel have seen the cement pipes and ditches
on the roads from Lake Tiberias to the Negev . . . It is therefore
doubtful whether any pressure can prevent the Israel Government
from putting its water development project into effect.
The Johnston Plan
Water is a precious commodity in the Middle East . . . It
is the key to expanded development of the arid but potentially
fertile Negev . . . It has been vital in the absorption of the im-
migration that has more than doubled Israel's population since
the establishment of the Jewish State . . . It is essential to
Israel's industry and to the country's economic growth . .
Several times Syria has brought complaints to the United Nations
Security Council; and 10 years ago, at Syria's initiative, the Arabs
did succeed in blocking Israel's project to divert the Jordan
River water north of Lake Tiberias . . . The United States then
stopped economic aid to Israel, but subsequently proposed the
Johnston Plan to share the waters in a regional system . . .
Israel has always favored regional water development planning,
in order that the states involved may reap the maximum benefit
. . . It therefore accepted in principle the Johnston Plan which
was prepared at the request of the United Nations by an American
engineering firm under the direction of the Tennessee Valley
Authority . . . So did Jordan and other Arab countries . . .
However, the Arab League vetoed the project, which was pre-
sented to Israel and the Arab governments by the late Eric John-
ston, special ambassador of President Eisenhower . . . Alternative
plans were then drawn up by Israel and Jordan, and each of
these two countries separately moved ahead with parts of the
development in a manner consistent with the regional program
. . . The United States has financed Jordan's diversion of the
Yarmuk River — which together with the Jordan River comprises
the Jordan River Basin — and it has made it clear that it favors
Israel's program as well.
Radio Corporation of America,
David Sarnoff, head of
when he was a singer in a synagogue
likes to talk of the years when
choir, supplementing his meager income as a newsboy with the
$1.50 a week paid to him by the synagogue . . . Even when he
was at the height of his career in the Radio Corporation of Amer-
ica, he still liked to visit New York's Cafe Royal, on Second
Avenue, which was frequented by Yiddish writers and actors .
There was always something nostalgic in him when he spoke of
his boyhood on the Lower East Side of New York . . . This man,
who now heads a giant corporation which is involved in radio,
television, advertising, manufacturing, news gathering, commer-
cial communications, and research — employing about 100,000
people — is still sentimental when talking about his "Pintele
Yid" . . . Although he resides now in a home of six floors with
30 rooms, he still remembers the days when his poor Orthodox
grand-uncle in the village of Korme, near Minsk, trained him
in Talmud to be a rabbi . . . He remembers the small tenement
flat on the lower East Side ghetto where he worked as a delivery
boy helping to support the family . . . He does not forget the
Educational Alliance on East Broadway where he received his
first education in English . . . An impressive picture of David
Sarnoff, the immigrant boy who now, at the age of 72, is the
most powerful man in the history of communication, is presented
in a book just published on him by the Encyclopedia Britannica
Press, entitled "David Sarnoff: Putting Electrons to Work,"
written by John Tebbel, who brings out not only the high points
in Sarnoff's life, but conveys also Sarnoff's views on the future
and on the technological wonders awaiting us.
Building Dedicated for LA Day School
LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Ye-
shiva Torath Emeth, which,
since its establishment in 1957
has held classes in rented quar-
ters, dedicated its own building
at a banquet attended by lead-
ing educators and Jewish com-
The new building is a modern
structure featuring air condi-
ditiong and a built-in communi-