Thursday, September 02, 2021

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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syringesRamallah, September 3 - Observers of Palestinian society have noted of late that more than a century of rejecting the notion and manifestation of a sovereign Jewish presence anywhere in the ancestral Jewish homeland, bringing upon themselves a century of misery and political limbo, has served as ample training to reject immunization against the CoV-SARS-2 pathogen, whereby they also bring upon themselves misery.

Commentators specializing in Palestinian social and political trends remarked this week that Palestinian collective unwillingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 marks a phenomenon that could not have happened with such robust force without the similarly self-destructive refusal to accept Israel as a concept, and then as a fait accompli.

"I'm not sure Palestinian society would be where it is today, COVID-immunization-wise, if not for irredentism and intransigence on Jewish sovereignty," argued Khalil Shikaki, a prominent Palestinian pollster. "It takes a long time to nurture an intolerance so profound that one will indulge it even at disastrous cost to oneself or one's identity group. Palestinian vaccine avoidance didn't spring up out of nowhere; it's of a piece with Palestinian avoidance of accommodation with the reality of the Zionist project's success and with the absurdity of thinking it can be undone in any meaningful way. In both cases, the immediate- medium-, and long-term damage to Palestinians will be immense, and only grow as the trend persists."

Shikaki also pointed to cases in which the consequences of each type of intransigence have dovetailed. "Refusal to vaccinate puts more people at risk of hospitalization and painful, lonely death," he explained. "Refusal to accept Israel as a fait accompli puts Palestinians at risk of choosing to engage in activities that result in hospitalization and painful death, as well as the likelihood of isolation in prison. This also holds true on the more metaphorical and international level, where refusal to undertake the responsibilities of emerging statehood, instead wallowing in entitlement that reeks of supremacism, produces isolation on the global stage as even erstwhile allies lose patience and eventually switch sides in deed if not in word."

Diplomats pointed to other confluences of the two types of rejectionism. "We just gave the Palestinian Authority $38 million in vaccines that will go to waste," observed US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood. "At their current rate of vaccination they'll end up having to chuck much of their current stock, let alone those tens of thousands of doses. It's the same thing with all the aid we and others have given them through the decades: they waste in on embezzlement, terrorism, incitement, and other self-defeating endeavors."


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