It is not a little saddening to see Hosni Mubarak and Menachem Begin quarreling over an exchange of state visits before the last portion of Israeli-held Sinai is returned to Egypt. How much better if the two leaders could have anticipated the problem and quietly worked out an agreement by which the Egyptian President could travel to Jerusalem without setting foot in the contested eastern portion of the city. Certainly such a visit, while it could not be expected to end the animosities which still linger between Egyptian and Jew, would be a fitting beginning to a new era of political peace between the two nations.
Unfortunately, the dispute has erupted in public and that makes it awkward for either man to back down. Each has his political flanks to protect. From Israel's standpoint, Mr. Mubarak's unwillingness to travel to Jerusalem simply adds to the deep-seated Israeli fear that peace with Egypt is fragile. Indeed the present tension is a reminder that a signed document, i.e. the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, cannot in itself produce an atmosphere of peace. This takes time and requires a determination on both sides to work at improving relations.
Egypt also, however, has its legitimate concerns. It cannot be said that Israel since the signing of the Camp David accords has acted in the spirit of a constructive pursuit of peace. The planting of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, the blasting of Lebanon, the virtual annexation of the Golan Heights - all these were done without any regard for Egyptian sensitivities. Israel has only itself to blame if Egypt's new ruler sets about repairing relations in the Arab world and distancing himself from the Camp David process.
Nor is it to be forgotten that Jerusalem is an issue. That is why President Sadat's journey there had such symbolic importance. Yet even Mr. Sadat went only once; subsequent meetings with Prime Minister Begin took place in other Israeli cities. Moreover, the status of Jerusalem in effect changed following the Sadat visit when the Israeli Knesset passed a resolution formalizing Israel's control over East Jerusalem - a move censured by the UN Security Council. Today no government regards the issue of Jerusalem as resolved, and the status of Arabs living in East Jerusalem is one of the contentious issues deadlocking the West Bank autonomy talks.
Doubtless these are all factors which President Mubarak must bear in mind. He knows that Egyptians lack enthusiasm for Camp David and that resentment over Egypt's isolation from the Arab world played a part in the assassination of Sadat. He is sensitive to Arab charges that the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty has merely given Israel a free hand to turn its attentions elsewhere. Going to Jerusalem thus entails political and diplomatic liabilities.
Nonetheless, one would still hope that the two leaders could find some compromise formula for an exchange of state visits. Not because return of the rest of Sinai to Egypt hinges on this, or because the peace treaty calls for such visits, which it does not.Rather, because each step of accommodation adds something to a climate of normalization and helps break down the pattern of hatred and fear which has dominated the region for so long. It is a matter of getting into the habit of acting as if there were peace until the heart one day catches up with the deed.
Mr. Begin and Mr. Mubarak thoroughly understand each other's problems. If they are men of good purpose, they will find a way to launch a new relationship as befits two civilized nations.
Each fall the members elect nine people to three-year terms on a 27-member board of directors. This board hires and fires the president and general manager , but ''does not get involved in management of station,'' according to Ms. Cohen.
QED made one major management change in 1980: Linda Cohen, who had joined the station in 1972 and worked her way up, became director of development.
It also ''started planning and managing properly,'' explains Richard Robertson, director of corporate communication. There was some belt-tightening, and the staff was reduced by about 10.
Mr. Robertson points out that KQED is the only public TV outlet he knows of that has a five-year plan, now in its second year. It covers ''everything from equipment to where we want to be programmatically.'' In addition, ''we assessed what people wanted to see and needed to see. We felt what we needed to do was strengthen locally produced programs, so that they became as popular to watch as some of the national programs,'' explains Ms. Cohen. ''We also learned how to promote programs so that people knew they were available.
''Then we set up a system whereby we would be producing approximately one a week of these local programs. About a third of them are culturally oriented; two-thirds current affairs, documentary kinds of things.
''One local program - ''Broken Arrow: Can a Nuclear Weapons Accident Happen Here?'' - got ''tremendous'' audience response, was telecast nationally, and won every major national award, including the Peabody and an Emmy.
In budgeting, management determined a figure for producing a minimum of 52 weekly local programs. That figure was a floor, not a ceiling, and the aim was to produce more than one a week.
''We exceeded the goal in the first year (1981),'' says Ms. Cohen, ''and are about to exceed the goal for the second year.
''It's exciting,'' she says, ''the kinds of things that can happen. If there is something we want to do but it takes a little investment - if we think its good for the long run - we can do it. Very few stations are in that position at the moment. Besides us, Boston, Chicago, and Miami are among those in best position.''
KQED is making money on its excellent physical facilities. On a given day you might find a KQED production taking place in one of the two large, well-equipped studios and in the other a commercial program being produced.
Many stations will begin to do this, says Ms. Cohen, becuase in the 1960s and '70s government put substantial amounts of money into equipment for public broacasting facilities. A lot of them are heavily endowed with equipment and studios - in some cases much better equipment that local commerical stations.
''We hadn't previously marketed this asset particularly well,'' she explains. ''Now we're also marketing our programs nationally and internationally for distribution in all sorts of ways. We hope those will become very substantial income producers for us.
''Considering the administration's penchants for deregulation and budget cutting, KQED's management is puzzled by one recent Federal Communications Commission rebuff. The station had asked for a waiver to permit it to lease some air time on its UHF channel to a subscription TV operation. But the FCC indicated informally on Feb. 24 that it would deny the move, at least temporarily.
Ms. Cohen credits Anthony S. Tiano, KQED president-general manager since 1978 , with putting together ''a really professional organization - large enough to do things but not so large as to lose communication internally.