“Israel’s racist vaccines”
United Nations Human Rights Council
46th session, March 2021
Maldives: “We call on the occupying power to ensure equitable access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinians.”
Syria: “Israel, the occupying power, continues its illegal measures and discriminatory practices, racial discrimination against the Palestinian people.”
Namibia: “Stop immediately with vaccine discrimination. The practice of institutionalized discrimination and apartheid against the Palestinian people by the occupying Power has persisted for far too long. “
Algeria: “We denounce the institutional racism of the Israelis against the Palestinians.”
Human Rights Watch: “Israel’s discriminatory vaccination policy underscores its repressive role and the need for international action to address its serious abuses.”
Pakistan: “Apartheid policies …”
Yemen: “Racist practices of Israel …”
President of the CDH: I give the floor to United Nations Watch.
Hillel Neuer, UN Watch: Madam President, the Vienna Declaration guarantees the right to health. The biggest threat to public health today is the coronavirus.
In this regard, Israel’s world-leading immunization program is a model to be admired and emulated.
Yet for some people all the good news about Israel is a problem. It disrupts their view of the world and makes them angry. And so, their reaction to the good news about Israel’s vaccines has been to turn them into something sinister.
The duck that started circulating was summed up by the comedic Saturday Night Live newscaster, who said: “Israel reports that it has vaccinated half of its population – and I’m going to guess that’s half. Jewish. “
This is exactly what many people around the world believe today.
Madam President, I rise today to state officially, before the United Nations and before the world: this is a lie.
The truth is, Israel’s vaccination program has been going on in all Arab regions of Israel since day one.
Fearing that too many Arab Israelis were coming to be vaccinated, the Israeli prime minister traveled to Arab towns, speaking into the television camera to say in Arabic: “Go get the vaccine.
The truth is, as of March 5, 84% of Israel’s Arab population over the age of 50 was vaccinated with at least one dose or recovered from the virus. The numbers will now be even higher.
Madam President, the truth is that there has never been any ethnic or religious discrimination in Israel’s immunization program. The truth is the opposite: the Israeli government has actively campaigned to encourage Arab Israelis to get vaccinated.
But what about Israel’s Palestinian neighbors? Well, they have their own health system, and under the Oslo Peace Agreement II – article 17, annex I – the Palestinian Authority is responsible for immunizing their population.
Although he doesn’t have to, Israel helps. It has already vaccinated 90,000 Palestinians entering Israel and has just transferred over 60,000 COVAX vaccines to the Palestinian Authority. More help is coming, and that’s a good thing.
Yet over the past few months there has been this recurring slander, which started with activists, but has since been picked up repeatedly by the BBC, Guardian, New York Times and other world media. whole, claiming that Israel was “racist.” “
What is so interesting is that this was NOT what the Palestinians were saying. Look at the timeline.
December 21, 2020: A Palestinian Ministry of Health official states for information that the Palestinian Authority has NOT asked Israel to provide them with the vaccine.
The PA official said, as Khaled Abu Toameh of the Jerusalem Post reports: “We are working on our own to get the vaccine from several sources. We are not a department of the Israeli Defense Ministry. We have our own government and our health department, and they are trying very hard to get the vaccine. “
Suddenly, on January 11, Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh declared, “We condemn the racism of Israel, the occupying Power.”
Apparently, the Palestinian Authority felt pressured by so-called human rights activists to join in the blood defamation. These are the same activists who are currently pressuring this Council to expand its blacklist of Israeli companies, even as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco make peace with Israel and expand their trade, tourism and other. There is something special about it.
January 3, The Guardian: “The Palestinian Authority has NOT officially asked for help from Israel. Coordination between the two sides came to a halt last year, after the Palestinian president cut security ties for several months. “
It was only after the fake story was broadcast by others that the PA suddenly changed its mind.
Initially, the position of the Palestinian Authority was clear: they said they had their own government, their own health ministry, and that they did not want help from Israel,
But activists in Europe and elsewhere were promoting a different story.
January 3,Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch tweeted about “Israel’s discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in the distribution of the Covid vaccine.”
On January 5, Amnesty International tweeted: “As Israel celebrates a record vaccination campaign, millions of Palestinians living under Israeli control will not receive any vaccines. There could hardly be a better illustration of how Israeli lives are valued over Palestinians. “
Madam President, it was only after this false story began to spread that the Palestinian Authority changed its tone.
And the activists contradict each other. In order to blame Israel, activists like Ken Roth have attempted to downplay the immunization powers and responsibilities that were in fact transferred to the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo accords. Yet these are the same people who in another context – to support the prosecution of Israeli officers in the International Criminal Court – argue that the Palestinian Authority is so powerful it is considered a state.
Madam President: The justification and motivation of these activists are clear and have nothing to do with human rights.