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February 19, 1982 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-02-19

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Friday, February 19, 1982


Purely Commentary

Setting the Record Straight: Exposing the '20/20'
Poison-Spreading and the ABC-TV Program's Failure
to Search for Truth in Israel's Treatment of Arabs

By Philip

Woe Unto the Developing Spirit of a Television Program to Poison Many Minds
and America the Arms-Producer Aiding Those Who Target Israel's Destruction

Autonomy proposals for the Judea and Samaria areas, commonly referred to as the
West Bank, are on the agenda. It will take four parties to lend support to the basic ideas
now being debated: those immediately involved, Arabs living there and Israel govern-
ment, as well as Egypt. Egypt thus far is the only Arab nation seriously involved in
peaceful negotiations, and the United States is a cooperating negotiator. Time is of the
essence, yet it cannot be speeded. The Israeli withdrawal from Sinai is the first step. Then
autonomy will be under fullest consideration.
In the process, it will be necessary to have all the facts on the record. Truth and
reality will have to predominate, and any attempt to distort them will demand severest
condemnation. This applies to the media, and vigilance will be required to prevent the
poisoning of the minds of the listeners and viewers of radio and television programs and
discussants on public platforms.
It happens often, as it did in the name of an ABC "20/20" program, that untruth is
given a platform. Therefore the compulsion to state the facts.
At the outset, the state of affairs in the area whence came the vilest of anti-Israel
propaganda should be fully recorded.
It was during and under Israel's administration that specific progress, with great
gains, was achieved. These are a few of the facts:
Immediately after Six-Day War, 1967 (census)
By the end of 1980

Live Births
(in hospitals - 3,463)
1968 - 25,650
(in hospitals - 11,688)
1979 - 31,473
(increase, but still about 60 percent of births not in hospitals)
(classrooms - 4,402)
1968 - 821
(classrooms - 7,457)
1979 - 1,021

Number of pupils:
1968 - 142,216
1979 - 253,826

(average per class - 32)
(average per class - 35)


Private cars
Trucks, commercial cars
POSSESSION OF DURABLE GOODS (Percentage of households)
Electrical or gas stove
Electrical or gas range
Electrical refrigerator
TV set
Would it have done much good to educate the "20/20" producers to these facts prior to
the showing of a program that was filled with poisonous misrepresentations of facts? But
these are not secrets and should have been appreciated.
Nevertheless, there were other appeals to hatred which demand correcting. Much
was made of the failure of the Israelis to provide Arab residents with water supplies.
There was a needling that Jews have water, and even a swimming pool, but the Arabs are
An authority on this question provides the facts, which are:
Many Arab farmers have also learned to use modern techniques of
,cultivation and irrigation. Obviously this increase in agricultural produg-
tion could not have taken place without an adequate supply of water. In fact
as the following table shows, water consumption in Judea and Samaria has
increased considerably between 1966 and 1980.

WATER CONSUMPTION (thousand cubic meters)
Bethlehem Beit Jala System
Ramallah Elbireh System
Nablus System (from wells)
Jenin System
There was another shocking approach to hatred and lack of appreciation of what
Israelis are doing to elevate the standards of the Arab population. It is in the matter of
hospitalization. With regard to the method that was used by the "20/20" manipulators to
claim inhumanity by the Israelis, the, authoritatively quoted source presents the follow-
The reporter showed a hospital in the small Arab town of Ramallah
which had only one incubator and contrasted it to the Hadassah Hospital in
Jerusalem which had 10 — implying that Jews were receiving adequate
medical attention and Arabs were being neglected and one of those inter-
viewed even went so far as to claim that it was a planned program of
It must be pointed out that Ramallah is a small town only one-fifth the
size of Jerusalem and a half-hour drive from the Hadassah Hospital on Mt.
Scopus. This hospital serves as a regional hospital for the whole surround-
ing area including the Arab villages and towno and some 40 percent of the
patients treated at the hospital are Arab (including in some cases Arabs
from neighboring countries who came there for treatment). The statistics
hardly bear out the accusation of neglect — as can be seen from the follow-
ing table:
Hospitals - total
Hospitalized patients
Percent of bed occupancy
Discharged patients
thereof: deceased

Among the very outrageous accusations against Israel which ABC's instigators
permitted to be injected in the massive "20/20" distortions was the charge that Israel
failed to care for sick children, thus contributing to the Arab infant mortality rate.
Quoting the charge verbatim and offering the facts, -,'onsul General Emanuel Zippori of
Israel in Chicago must be quoted on the subject. The charge and his refutation are:
The Charge: "Ramallah Hospital is supposed to serve a population of
almost 200,000 . . . The infant mortality rate is going up instead of down. 'All
babies who need respirators die, because we don't have baby respirators.'
The Israelis say there is one baby respirator it the Ramallah Hospital, but
at Hadassah, an Israeli hospital serving abc ut the same size population,
there are 10 baby respirators."
The Facts: The population of Ramallah is 20,000. If we add to that figure
the number of inhabitants in all the towns a: id villages in the surrounding
area, that will give us another 80,000, for a total of about 100,000, or one-half
of the figure cited in the report. The statement that the infant mortality rate
in the area is on the rise is simply not true. In 1968, the infant mortality rate
in Judea-Samaria stood at 33.6 per 1,000 live births. By 1974, it was down to
30.7, and in 1980, it was 28.3 — in other words a steady decline over the years
that Israel was in charge of the area. For comparison, we may note the
figures published in the WHO's annual "World Health Statistics," Geneva,
in 1980:
Costa Rica (1976) 33.2, Yugoslavia (1977) 34.5, Kuwait (1977) 39.1, Ven-
ezuela (1977) 39.5, Mexico (1977) 43.2, Argentina (1977) 44.9, Libya (1976) 56.7,
Algeria (1976) _ 87.9, Egypt (1975) 89.2 and Paraguay (1977) 95.2.
The monstrous calumny — calmly delivered by an Arab physician
interviewed on ABC's program, and left unchallenged — that Israel was
engaged in "practically killing, destroying the population" is put to shame
by other data as well.
Percentage of hospital deliveries
(as against home deliveries)
Community medical clinics
Physicians in government service
(per 10,000 population)
Nurses and para-medical staff
in government service (per 10,000 population)
There were manymore methods of distorting facts by the "20/20" producers. Perhaps
the just-quoted will serve the purpose of exposing the shameful method that was resorted
to in an anti-Zionist, therefore also anti-Jewish program that reaches the tens of
thousands who can be easily misled when fakes are promulgated.
The pity is that at a time,when it is so vital that all efforts should be exerted to press
for peace, the irresponsible distorters of truths are permitted to spread lies and hatreds.
The pity also is that in such an agonizing period in history, when there is so little
encouragement to peace-seekers, rumors are permitted to emanate from Jordan that
Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger supposedly said he would no longer deal with
Menahem Begin. The American spokesman makes • it known that another of Israel's
enemies, Jordan and its King Hussein, are to be provided with massive military
hardware. That's what mankind has to look forward to: additional means for advocates of
_The White House committed the horrible blunder registered in AWACS sales to
Saudi Arabia. Now there is a new deal of arms sales to Jordan.
Is this the new spirit of America? Woe unto it!

The Arab Boycott Terror Threatens French-Owned Renault

Renault is French-owned. That doesn't protect it from the Arab boycott terror.
While Israel is the target, Renault is menaced because American Motors, largely
owned by Renault, is a supplier for Israeli manufacturers.
Business Week made the revelation, and its issue of Feb. 15 contains the following:
Renault, France's state-owned car and truck maker, may lose more
than $85 million in sales to the Arab world as a result of the company's drive
into the U.S. market. The Arab,. League's boycott office has instructed its
member nations to ban all Renault products because American Motors
Corp., 46 percent owned by Renault, supplies an Israeli manufacturer,
Matmar Industries Ltd., with 200 or more "CJ" Jeep assembly kits a year.
The Arab boycott action caught Renault by surprise. Because of the
French government's support for Palestinian self-determination, "we
never thought it would happen," explains one source at Renault's Paris
headquarters. "After all, the French government owns us."
Although most Arab League members still have two more months to
pass local legislation to enforce the anti-Renault boycott, the company is
beginning to feel the impact even now. Kuwait and th. United Arab Emi-
rates have already cut back. "We have seen a sharp drop in new orders and
some cancellations of small existing orders already," a truck division offi-
cial says.
At the corporate level, the Renault group is keeping cool. The Renault
board, according to Bernard Hanon, - the company's newly appointed
chairman and chief executive officer, will not pressure AMC into changing
its agreement in Israel. Hanon told Business Week: "A contract is a co -
tract. When you have a contract, you have to hold to it." But Israeli diplom
tic sources in the U.S. say they believe there has already been some pressure
put on AMC from Renault.
The boycott could be the first thorny diplomatic dossier to be handled
in Washington by France's new ambassador, Bernard Vernier-Palliez, Ha-
non's immediate predecessor as chairman of Renault. Although both
French and U.S. law make overt acceptance of boycott clauses in contracts
illegal, one possible compromise could be to let AMC's agreements for
on-the-spot assembly of Jeeps in Israel wind down.
There hasn't been too much talk about the Arab boycott recently, but the danger
springs up often, in many areas. It had become a problem for Israel in the British Isles.
Apparently it was not abandoned by the Arabs, except for the expressed opposition to it as
a legacy from Anwar Sadat's courageous position in Egypt.
If it can be fought in the United States, with this government adhering to a position
of prosecuting offenders, it may help elsewhere. Meanwhile the menace is on the agenda.

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