So many, including politicians and media, have jumped on the Jew-hating bandwagon, accusing Israel of withholding vaccines from the Arabs living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. An advocate for truth dissects these claims and shows a dozen reasons why this claim is nothing more than the same ag-old racism that haas always targeted Jews.
Human Rights Watch: Israel is Ignoring the “Palestinians”
UN Watch published a report chronicling tweets by Human Rigths Watch executive director Ken Roth claiming that the Israeli government is pursuing a racist policy by not vaccinating the citizens of the Palestinian Authority.
According to NGO Monitor, funding for Human Rights Watch is not fully transparent, with the HRW website only listing some organizations that provide “partnership and support.” These include George Soros’ Open Society Institute.
Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, responded to Roth, ripping apart his claims, point by point.
Roth claimed, “[The] Israeli government has already vaccinated 10% of its citizens for the coronavirus, but as the occupying power it has not vaccinated a single Palestinian. That means residents of illegal settlements get vaccinated but not yet the Palestinians next door.”
Without relating to the horribly inaccurate claim of Israel being an “occupying power” or the “illegal” status of the Jews living in Judea and Samaria, Neuer responded, “He says “as occupying power,” Israel “has not vaccinated a single Palestinian.” But the PA is responsible for health & vaccinations.”
Neuer also cited the Oslo Accords 1995 Interim Agreement, Annex I, Art. 17, which states, “Powers and responsibilities in the sphere of Health…will be transferred to the Palestinian side……the Palestinian side shall continue the vaccination of the population.”
Neuer also quoted the Palestinian Authority which stated, “We are working on our own to obtain the vaccine from a number of sources. We are not a department in the Israeli Defense Ministry. We have our own government & Health Ministry, and they are making huge efforts to get the vaccine.”
A “Palestinian” official told the J-Post that they are acquiring vaccines from other sources, most notably four million doses of a Russian-made vaccine. In a separate thread, Neuer dispels the fallacy of a racist Israeli health policy by noting that “59% of the Arab population in Israel above the age of 60 has been vaccinated.” By setting up more than 80 vaccination stations, and more than 28 mobile stations, a total of 229,466 Arab-Israelis representing a total of 18% of the community has been inoculated.
Hypocrisy and Lies
Neuer points out the hypocrisy of HRW’s claims:
“Ironically, while Ken Roth’s position has been to argue that the PA has so many powers that it’s even legally a state—and so can join the ICC & sue Israel—he pretends not to know about the legal power the PA actually does have, per the Oslo Accords, over Health & Vaccinations,” Neuer tweeted.
Neuer also describes how the PA has manipulated this foreign bias by fabricating a narrative:
“In late December, PA Health Ministry officials said that they did not ask Israel to provide the Palestinians with the vaccine,” Neuer wrote. “But when they saw that anti-Israel critics began propagating the successful smear, the PA suddenly released a statement claiming that Israel is nevertheless responsible for providing vaccines. The PA made this statement even as they were busy signing their own deal with the AstraZeneca pharmaceutical firm, as well as procuring the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.”
“Meanwhile, the head of the World Health Organization’s mission to the Palestinians, Gerald Rockenschaub, has clarified that “informal discussions” between Israel and the WHO took place — contrary to false claims that Israel had refused an official WHO request to supply Palestinians with vaccines.”
HRW: History of Israel Hatred and Lies
Described by NGO Monitor as “a powerful NGO, with a massive budget”, HRW has been criticized for having an anti-Israel bias while ignoring the human-rights abuses of less-open regimes. The organization has also been criticized for poor research methodology and lax fact-checking. In the words of NGO Monitor, “Its publications reflect the absence of professional standards, research methodologies, and military and legal expertise, as well as a deep-seated ideological bias against Israel.”
Others Joined In
But unfortunately, HRW was not the only advocate of the vaccine blood libel. The Guardian repeated HRW’s charges. Even while noting that the PA has refused Israel’s offers of help and its plans to receive vaccines from other sources, the Guardian places the blame on Israel. While noting that the PA is “cash-strapped”, the Guardian does not mention that the PA invests over $300 million in its “pay for slay” program that rewards terrorists.
This vaccine blood libel was also picked up by the Independent which reputed the lie that PA health officials were rebuffed when they attempted to purchase vaccines from Israel.
This truth did not prevent several politicians from the Democratic party from making their own blood libels. Two weeks ago, US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib called Israel a “racist state” and falsely claimed that Israel was denying access to coronavirus vaccines to Palestinians in an interview with the left-wing news program Democracy Now!.
“I mean, I think it’s really important to understand Israel is a racist state and that they would deny Palestinians, like my grandmother, access to a vaccine, that they don’t believe that she’s an equal human being that deserves to live, deserves to be able to be protected by this global pandemic,” said Tlaib in the interview.
Not content with this lie, she continued.
“It’s really hard to watch as this apartheid state continues to deny their own neighbors, the people that breathe the same air they breathe, that live in the same communities,” Tlaib said. “You could put a settlement wherever you want, but on the other side of that wall is a farm community, a village, where my grandmother lives, and many of our, you know, various family members and others that I know are trying, again, to live a good life, a free life, free from these oppressive policies, these racist policies, that deny them access to public health, deny them access to freedom of travel, deny them access to economic opportunities.”
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon replied directly to Tlaib.
@RashidaTlaib continues to lie.
She now claims #Israel is racist and denies #Palestinians vaccines.
The truth is Palestinians control their own healthcare.
Perhaps the #PA should buy vaccines instead of spending $Ms on terrorist salaries?
Her false claims reek of antisemitism. pic.twitter.com/ggNuiqU0He
— Ambassador Danny Danon | דני דנון (@dannydanon) January 20, 2021
Newly-elected New York Congressman Jamaal Bowman joined senior House Rep. Joaquin Castro, freshman Rep. Marie Newman, former vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine joined in with their versions of the lie.
In truth, it was reported by the Hebrew-language news site Y-Net that the PA had already received a shipment of vaccines from the Israeli government.
“The first shipment of 2,000 vaccines of Moderna’s Coronavirus vaccine was transferred to the Palestinian Authority’s medical teams through the Beitunia crossing,” Y-Net wrote. “This is out of the 5,000 vaccines approved by the political echelon in accordance with the recommendations of the Minister of Defense and the Coordinator of Government Operations in the Occupied Territories.”
The Director-General of Support Medical Services at the Ministry of Health, Osama al-Najjar, told Anadolu Agency that the ministry or any other Palestinian party “did not receive” any quantities of the Corona vaccine from Israel.
Al-Najjar added, “We have not been informed of the existence of vaccines, and we do not know anything,” indicating that Israel is under international pressure and wants to publish this news to alleviate it.
He said that “international institutions and human rights organizations are pressuring Israel to allow vaccinations to enter the occupied Palestinian territories. “
In a policy that many Israelis find distasteful, Palestinian Media Watch reported that terrorists in Israeli prisons are being vaccinated before many Israeli citizens.