26 Nov, 2020
JERUSALEM WEATHER

On Thursday, the World Health Organization,  a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health, held a four-hour session on the coronavirus pandemic or, more specifically, the representatives of the gathered nations took the opportunity to perpetrate a modern-day blood libel, blaming Israel for the plague that has killed over 1.3 million globally.

WHO: Baseless Claims of Israeli Human Rights Violations

At the  Seventy-third World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland,  Cuba, Iraq, Lebanon, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and the Palestinians sponsored a resolution blaming Israel for humanitarian violations against the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, and the Druze living in the Golan. The resolution passed after a  78 to 14 vote, with 32 abstentions and 56 countries absent.

The actual resolution did not specify Israel in its list of violations, preferring instead to “the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan”. As per the resolution, the WHO is required to hold the same debate at next year’s assembly, and to prepare another report next year on the “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”

Representatives addressed alleged Israeli violations in speeches during the session. Some of the countries that von- are embroiled in deadly internal conflicts or are serious human rights violators. 

Criticism of the WHO

Hillel Neuer, executive director of the UN Watch, condemned the “cynical politicization of the world’s top health agency at the expense of focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic and other vital global health priorities and emergencies.”

Neuer emphasized that only one item on the agenda singled out a specific country, which was of course Israel. Neuer noted the irony of this specificity, given that the UN’s “own Middle East peace envoy [Nickolay Mladenov] had hailed Israel’s ‘excellent’ coordination and cooperation with Palestinians amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

He said the claim Israel is violating health rights is a “lie” and that “the opposite is true,” noting thousands of Palestinians receive care at Israeli hospitals on a regular basis and that Syrians wounded in that country’s civil war were treated in Israel during Operation Good Neighbor.

Among the countries that voted against the resolution were the United States, Britain, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Slovenia, Cameroon, Swaziland and Micronesia.

The Israeli government chose to view the condemnation in an optimistic light, noting that in 2019, 96 countries voted to condemn Israel, while this year 78 did so. The number of countries that voted against the resolution similarly increased from 11 in 2019 to 14 this year. This year, 32 countries abstained as opposed to 21 who did so in 2019.

The WHO resolution echoes the blood libels from 700 years ago when the Jews were blamed for the Black Death that killed over 100 million people. Targeting Israel and Jews with blame for the coronavirus has also been carried out by known anti-Semites and anti-Semitic regimes like the one in Iran.

The WHO and China: Shiva the Destroyer

The WHO also works closely with China despite the country’s egregious human rights violations. This working relationship was inexplicably cemented last year in a meeting overseen by a statue of the Hindu goddess, Shiva the Destroyer

 

The WHO has also been accused of working with China during the pandemic.  A report by the Centra Intelligence Agency (CIA) titled “U.N.-China: WHO Mindful But Not Beholden to China,” claims that in January after it was clear the novel coronavirus epidemic that began in Wuhan was becoming a pandemic, the Chinese government began stockpiling medical supplies from other countries, pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to delay declaring a global health emergency in order to facilitate stockpiling. The CIA report also claimed that the Chinese government threatened to stop cooperating with the World Health Organization (WHO) if the UN organization responsible for handling pandemics.