Sunday, April 11, 2021

Israel haters keep the vaccine libel going

The Guardian has yet another article accusing Israel of not providing COVID vaccines to the Palestinian Authority.

Not surprisingly, the author's analysis highlights a barely-36 hour delay of a couple of thousand vaccines by Israel, yet ignores that:

Israel vaccinated hundreds of Palestinian college students at Tel Aviv University and probably elsewhere
Israel has vaccinated all Arab residents of Jerusalem who wanted to be inoculated - most of them not Israeli citizens
Israel has facilitated the delivery of hundreds of thousands of vaccines that the Palestinian Authority negotiated on its own
Every time the Palestinian Authority asked Israel for help with vaccines, Israel did everything they asked
Both the Oslo Accords and the Geneva Conventions say that the primary responsibility for vaccinations comes from the Palestinian Authority 

As far as the last point goes, the Oslo Accords 1995 Interim Agreement explicitly states that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for acquiring vaccines in case of an epidemic. Annex III, Article 17:
1. Powers and responsibilities in the sphere of Health in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will be transferred to the Palestinian side, including the health insurance system.

2. The Palestinian side shall continue to apply the present standards of vaccination of Palestinians and shall improve them according to internationally accepted standards in the field, taking into account WHO recommendations.

6. Israel and the Palestinian side shall exchange information regarding epidemics and contagious diseases, shall cooperate in combating them and shall develop methods for exchange of medical files and documents.
The idea that Oslo contradicts the Geneva Accords is absurd - the Geneva Conventions and its authoritative interpretation say  the exact same thing! 
[T]here can be no question of making the Occupying Power alone responsible for the whole burden of organizing hospitals and health services and taking measures to control epidemics. The task is above all one for the competent services of the occupied country itself. 

Israel has and continues to work with the Palestinian Authority on fighting COVID-19 as it has since the first cases appeared in the region, in line (and beyond) its obligations under international law.

There are no articles in official Palestinian media demanding that Israel provide vaccines to Palestinians. These articles are only in Western media. Palestinian leaders have said from the beginning that they want to be responsible for procuring vaccines, and they have negotiated with all the major vaccine manufacturers as well as with the international COVAX system to obtain them. 

On the contrary - Palestinian media is filled with stories about how well the PA is dealing with the pandemic. 140,000 people have received vaccines so far (not counting the ones that Israel inoculated.) The Palestinian media and government blame literally everything on Israel, but not a word blaming Israel for withholding or delaying vaccines to them. 

Despite this article being pure propaganda, the libel was retweeted by Human Rights Watch's Ken Roth, that famous "leftist Zionist."