“No country has done what we are able to do,” said Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu. He is so right – but not in the way he thinks he is.
By Kathryn Shihadah | Israel-Palestine News | Jan 31, 2021
…most Palestinians under Israeli rule, regardless of age or risk, don’t qualify.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (who is up for re-election this spring) boasts, “We are vaccinating at 10 times the pace of the United States. No country has done what we are able to do.” He’s right.
Israel is so far ahead in the Covid vaccine game that the Israeli Health Ministry is making it available to all Israelis over 35 years of age – not just essential workers, healthcare providers, and high-risk individuals.
But most Palestinians under Israeli rule, regardless of age or risk, don’t qualify.
Compared to the US vaccination rate of about 6.2%, Israel has distributed initial doses of the vaccine to roughly 29% of its population, and second doses to nearly half (Israeli Palestinians – Muslim and Christian – appear to be receiving proportionately fewer vaccines than Israeli Jews). For a short time, Israel enjoyed celebrity status for having the “fastest rollout in the world.”
It wasn’t long before word got out that for the occupied Palestinian territories under Israeli control, the celebrated vaccine response was just another example of Israeli apartheid. Journalists and politicians chided Israel for its discriminatory policies – which in turn led to a wave of rebuttals against those who would dare to tarnish the good name of Israel.