World criticizes Israel for not giving vaccines to Palestine, even though they do (and aren’t obligated to)

February 26, 2021 • 9:15 am

The universal claim that Israel is evil for abnegating its supposed moral and ethical duty to provide Covid vaccine to the Palestinians is an example of total misunderstanding as well as of a duplicitous  Palestinian campaign to demonize Israel. It also shows how Israel haters, many on the Left, never let facts get in the way of their prejudices. Read on.

Bernie Sanders is just one among many chastising Israel for not giving coronavirus vaccine to the Palestinians. This was also implied the other night on the NBC Evening News, which reported that although Israel was perhaps the country with the highest proportion of vaccinated citizens in the world (it’s small and efficient), “Palestine had not received much vaccine.” Accusations that Israel was either legally or morally obliged to give vaccine to Palestinians have also come from the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the BBC.

Here’s Bernie’s “J’accuse”:

Now this accusation is wrong on two counts and misguided on another.  The first error is the claim that Israel is “responsible” by international accords to give vaccines (or provide healthcare) to the Palestinians. That is not true at all. In the first Oslo Accord of 1993, the Palestinian Authority agreed to take responsibility for its own healthcare, as well as other issues. Here’s the exact extract from that accord:

Despite this agreement, which is recognized even by Wikipedia, none of the media sources above—save the BBC, which finally admitted it was wrong—have even noted that it is the Palestinians’ responsibility to secure their own vaccine and their own healthcare. The Palestinians, early on in the Covid crisis, even asserted that they didn’t want any help from Israel in this crisis. But they said this sotto voce, and were quite willing to go along with the world’s claim that Israel was remiss in not providing the Palestinians with vaccine. (It goes without saying that Israel is vaccinating all its citizens, Arab and Jew alike, as well as Palestinians who work in Israel and Palestinian Arabs who are residents in Israel, the latter mostly in East Jerusalem. Some apartheid state!) And they quietly asked Israel for vaccine (see next point):

Wrong assertion #2: It’s not hard to discover that Palestine did (quietly) ask Israel for Covid vaccine early on, supposedly for healthcare workers but also probably for Palestinian leaders. In fact, we don’t know where the donated vaccine went, but Israel has already given Palestine 3,000 doses of vaccine when they were not required to. And now Israel has volunteered to set up a free Covid vaccine clinic on the Temple Mount, where Palestinians and other Arabs gather en masse and it would be easy to give them jabs (see the article below).  Such mass gatherings can also create superspreader events.

The Palestinians have refused Israel’s offer (click on screenshot):

As the report notes:

Channel 11 reported Wednesday that PA President Mahmoud Abbas opposed the initiative, saying it would give Israel a “foothold” in the Al Aqsa compound. (Jerusalem had suggested the idea of putting a discreet vaccination unit inside a pharmacy on the Temple Mount.)

Israel also tried to soften the Palestinian rejection by proposing that only Arabs would administer the immunizations, and that they would be dressed in regular clothes, with nothing identifying them as coming from Israeli health organizations. The PA remained adamantly against the idea.

No dice; Abbas thinks that Israel (which owns the Temple Mount land, though agreed to allow the area to be administered by Palestinians and other Muslims) is trying to claim that Israel is using the vaccination offer as a ploy to gain more control of the Temple Mount. There is no evidence for this, and the fact that Israel promises that the vaccinations would be administered by Arabs supports that. So the Palestinians have missed a chance for thousands of them to get vaccinated.

One more thing: Israel is under no obligation, via the Oslo Accords, to give hospital care to Palestinians. But they do: in spades! The only Palestinians who aren’t given permission to be treated in Israeli hospitals are known terrorists. Israel even treats the relatives and offspring of terrorists. In 2010, 180,000 Palestinians received medical treatment in Israel. Recently, a top Palestinian leader was treated for Covid in an Israeli hospital, where Saeb Erekat chose to go instead of checking into a Palestinian hospital. (Unfortunately, he died, for he had multiple comorbidities. Of course people then accused Israel of killing him!). Why does Israel do this for its sworn enemies: residents of a territory that teaches Jew hatred and is sworn to eliminate the state of Israel? Because the Israelis are being charitable. This is hardly an apartheid state!

As for the ethical obligation, in what world is a country obligated to care for the health of citizens of a territory that attacks them, fires rockets at them, and is determined to wipe out that state? Would any country in the world other than Israel do this? I can’t think of any. And yet, despite all this, Israel is still demonized by the world. Let me add here that among all the Arab territories and countries in the Middle East, the Palestinian territories are way ahead in ordering and now procuring vaccines. Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and other places? Forget about it: they’ve barely begun. But it’s Palestine the world is concentrating on for its supposed lack of vaccine. Are people not concerned with other Middle Eastern states? Of course not, and you know why.

Finally, it’s ironic that Bernie Sanders, who, if he lived in Israel, would be considered a Jew deserving of being murdered by Muslims, is such a good friend of Palestine. Regardless of the irony of a secular Jew—I think Bernie’s really an atheist—extolling people who would cut his throat if they could, he seems to know nothing at all about the Oslo Accords, the vaccines Israel has already given to Palestine and offered more, or about the healthcare Israel regularly gives to thousands of Palestinians.

It’s odd: I never thought much about Israel or was a gung-ho supporter of Israel, but the way the world, and especially my beloved Left, demonizes that country on completely bogus grounds has turned me into a defender of Israel. I don’t defend everything about it, of course: I don’t like occupation of the West Bank, and I have always favored the now moribund “two state solution” (it’s moribund almost entirely because the Palestinians have refused that solution several times). But the hypocrisy of the world, the UN, and the Left when it comes to Israel, and the willingness of these folks to completely ignore facts in favor of prejudice when it comes to this one tiny country, seems to me understandable only in light of a legacy of anti-Semitism.

23 thoughts on “World criticizes Israel for not giving vaccines to Palestine, even though they do (and aren’t obligated to)

  1. “As for the ethical obligation, in what world is a country obligated to care for the health of citizens of a territory that attacks them, fires rockets at them, and is determined to wipe out that state? Would any country in the world other than Israel do this? I can’t think of any. And yet, despite all this, Israel is still demonized by the world.”

    The Left’s support of often murderous and backward Islamic regimes, and its increasing hostility to Israel, may be the result of a very bad case of “the bigotry of low expectations”. They expect so little of the Palestinians, and seem to take for granted that a country like Israel should be as successful as it is (relative to its Islamic neighbors).

    It’s almost complimentary in way…like a parent chastising their talented daughter for not getting an A+ in every subject, while excusing the Cs and Ds of the dull-witted son who is trying his best with his limited capacities…and even blaming the daughter for not helping him!

    1. I found the ethical obligation part weird too. Why isn’t the UK and Britain vaccinating all of us then under “ethical obligation”. There is no obligation for any country to help out anyone else.

      1. Like it or not International Law views Israel as illegally occupying the territory. The UK does not occupy the US. Again, you can agree or disagree, but a very large majority of legal scholars agree with this. Wiki:

        “There is an international consensus that some of the actions of the states involved in the Arab–Israeli conflict violate international law, but some of the involved states dispute this.”

        As an occupier this imposes certain duties owed to the occupied population. Any “agreements” between the occupier and occupied are inherently suspect (or null) due the complete asymmetry between the positions of the parties. If the family enters into a ransom “agreement” with a kidnapper is that really a valid contract? Russia (USSR) had “agreements” with the governments of the occupied Eastern European countries. Did you really views those “agreements” as legitimate?

        1. What an interesting view on “international law”.

          Except for the decision from San Remo (League of Nations, 1922) there is no binding decision of any international body stating that Israel is “illegally occupying the territory”. There are many opinions, statements, cries of outrage, etc., but none of it constitutes “international law”. Some may think it’s a pity, but even Wikipedia is not a body competent to create “international law”. There is a dispute between legal experts whether this territory is occupied by Israel or not – there definitely is no consensus in the matter. The situation is very complex, almost without precedent. Normally, such territories to which two sides have claims is called “disputed”, not “occupied” (see the discussion about Kashmir).

          But when it comes to Oslo Accords – an agreement signed by both parties under auspices of the United Nations, European Union and the US (who all endorsed the accords by signing it), i.e., as binding in international law as possible – it’s treated in the same comment as null and void!  
          Viva Wikipedia!

      2. News Update (NBC Feb. 26, 2021, 9:13 AM CST):

        “Israel suspends plan to give Covid vaccines to allies abroad before most Palestinians

        Israel has suspended a controversial plan to use coronavirus vaccines to win allies abroad before giving them to most Palestinians after the initiative was hit with legal challenges….

        …Benny Gantz, Israel’s defense minister, accused the prime minister of going “behind the backs” of his Cabinet and making the decision without consulting them.

        On Thursday, Israel’s attorney general announced a review into whether Netanyahu has the legal authority to make the decision on his own. “The attorney general is examining the claim that vaccines were transferred to foreign countries without authority,” a spokesman said…

        …Israel argues that under the 1993 Oslo Accord, the Palestinians are responsible for securing their own vaccines. But United Nations officials and human rights groups say that as the occupying power, Israel is obligated under the Geneva Conventions to provide them.”

  2. The victim narrative is far more seductive than real life for those that *want* to hear it, even though it isn’t true. I’d add that in my opinion the victim narratives are pernicious and divisive.

  3. Joe Biden on Israel: “I think it’s about time we stop…apologizing for our support for Israel…It is the best $3 billion investment we make. Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region.” i.e. mutual back-scratching between relentless U.S. empire-building and the Israeli expansionist agenda. In Israel bribery is a crime, fraud is a crime but slaughtering entire families with warplanes on, Gaza etc., is an accepted norm. The brutal Israeli apartheid regime is regularly condemned by the vast majority of countries at the UN for gross human rights abuses. Many Jews rightly condemn Zionism as a political movement which uses Judaism as a front. Strong evidence suggests Israel colluded with anti-Arafat Palestinians to kill Arafat and replace the secular Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction Yasser Arafat’s Fatah, with the P.A. which was much easier to manipulate in Israel’s divide and rule agenda. The Zionist’s Biblical claim on Palestine is false because it’s based on a fictional 6,000 year-old Earth where Neanderthals never existed. In the real world, most people have some Neanderthal DNA because our human ancestors migrating from Africa mated with Neanderthals. Africans whose ancestors have never left Africa have no Neanderthal DNA.

    1. This is a completely idiotic comment that shows you have not read anything I’ve written about the so-called “apartheid regime” of Israel, as in this post, or the so called slaughter of Gazans, which you imply is unprovoked. As for the Neanderthals, you are skirting the edge of lunacy here, but I’ll let others rebut your lies.

    2. Your comment is so full of falsehoods that there are just two possibilities:

      1. You are so indoctrinated that you wouldn’t see a lie if it stared you in your face;

      2. You lie deliberately because you hate Israel (and most probably Jews as well).

      Israel doesn’t have any expansionist agenda: directly after the Six-day War, Israel proposed the exchange of all territories (except Jerusalem) for peace – the Arabs refused. Israel gave back Sinai as soon as there was a chance for peace. Israel left the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank and was prepared to leave almost the whole West Bank in exchange for peace – the Arabs refused.

      Israel is not “slaughtering whole families in Gaza” – Israel bombs terrorists who incessantly fire thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians.

      Israel is not an apartheid state – and never was.

      Israelis didn’t kill Arafat – he died of illness.

      The Bible was not written by “Zionists”. It was written by Jews. Nice try to avoid using the word “Jews” and making this crazy sentence more palatable for your comrades.

      1. Exactly, Malgorzata, I was immediately thinking of giving back those territories too. Hardly the agenda of an “expansionist” state.
        It is not an ‘Apartheid’ state either, Israeli arabs (Israeli Palestinians) are full citizens, be it vote or vaccination indeed. All those accusing Israel of being an ‘Apartheid’ state should look at South Africa 30-40 years ago. There is no comparison.
        And on Arafat you are right too.
        Pat is only right in one of his contentions: Israel is “regularly condemned by the vast majority of countries at the UN ” although I suspect the reasons are not those non-existent “gross human rights abuses”.
        On all other contentions he’s clearly brainwashed (or, as you point out, just lying).
        As an old lefty, I share Jerry’s desperation at the Ctrl left’s smooching with Islamists and hatred for Israel.

      2. Not sure if your parting statement about this commenter’s “comrades” is meant to imply he is coming at this from the Left. If so, I think that is incorrect. His rant bespeaks the paranoid style of the isolationist, anti-(((globalist))) rightwing. This conclusion is reinforced by his/her earlier comment on the site relying on The Washington Times, the far-right organ of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his Unification Church.

        1. When it comes to far-left and far-right and their hate to Israel there is almost no difference. They are “comrades in arms”, quoting each other and using each other propaganda tricks, like the phrase “Zionist Bible”.

          1. Oh, I agree that there is a “horseshoe theory” aspect to antisemitism on the Left and Right. But there is also a big difference: left-wing anti-Semites tend to march in support of feckless boycotts. Right-wing anti-Semites have been known to grab AK-15s and shoot up shuls.

            1. By supporting and empowering Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Huthi and other assorted Islamists groups the Left is outsourcing the task of killing Jews to others. By constantly demonizing Israel the Left is encouraging and justifying antisemitism generally. There simply is no need to “grab AK-15s” and dirty own hands.

  4. For anyone from the U.S. to complain about or instruct another country concerning it’s healthcare in it’s country or toward people elsewhere is a non-starter. Get your own house in order if that is possible but throwing out advice to another, that is nonsense. We have no business criticizing anyone on this issue. .

  5. I wish more of these people would go live in Israel for a little while. The experience would probably not change the mind of any hard core Islamists, who hate Jews as a basic tenet of their religion, but normal people who are even slightly open minded would come back with a different perspective.

    This certainly happened to me. My family has a lot of Jewish background, but I was never a Jew or Christian. I certainly had a great deal of sympathy for the Palestinians, mostly from what I now realize is propaganda I received at university. After a couple of months working there, my position changed completely. I saw in Israel a people who exhibit more restraint and compassion than I could ever have, towards people openly calling for and working towards the complete elimination of Jews as a group and as individuals.

    I have seen no action taken by Israel that has not been a defensive action, carried out with the minimum force possible to stop the threat. That threat is extraordinary. The Palestinians prioritize killing Jews above even the welfare of their own people. They teach their children that stabbing a Jew, or blowing up a group of them, is the highest possible aspiration.

    1. Precisely. One of my daughter’s best friends in college was gung-ho BDS; until she spent two weeks in Israel and realized how she badly she had been duped.

  6. The “Socialism of fools”, as August Bebel was said to characterize Left anti-semitism in the 1890s, has been going strong for a long timne. Seymour Martin Lipset analyzed it in 1971 as follows.
    “THE fact that this time the predominant weight of the anti‐Semitic thrust is on the left rather than the right will surprise only those who are unaware of the considerable literature on anti‐Semitism in the socialist and other leftist movements. The identification of the Jews with international finance, with capitalism, with the status of businessman, with Shylock has long replaced the image of the Jew as Antichrist for many on the left and right. Karl Marx him self accepted the stereotype which linked Jews with capitalism.
    …In his book “The Social Basis of American Communism” (1961), Nathan Glazer concluded that “in general there was no group In the population for which the party showed more contempt and disdain, in its formulations of specific party positions, than the Jews. Melecn Epstein has told the incredible story of the party’s treatment of the Arab massacres of Jews in Palestine in 1929. This was initially referred to in the Yiddish [Communist party paper] Freiheit as a ‘pogrom.’ The party then severely castigated the Freiheit for not seeing the Arab uprising as a ‘class war . . . against British imperialism and their Zionist agents.’ The Freiheit immediately corrected its error by resorting to a treatment of the Palestine events not very different from that of an anti‐ Semitic newspaper.”

    Lipset goes on to point out that anti-semitism had a sort of intermission for a quarter century after World War II, in reaction to the enormities of the Nazi holocaust—but then began to reappear, left and right, as consciousness of the holocaust began to fade. It is only that short period of about one generation after the War that is out of the ordinary.

  7. This ‘story’ is not far off the old blood libel. It spread rapidly after ‘liberal’ sources such as The Guardian promoted this nonsense, and so-called “humanists” such as Peter Ferguson jumped at the chance to get in some old-fashioned antisemitism, stating “settlers” were getting the vaccines before Palestinians. After the facts were known, there were no apologies from either.

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