Under Israeli apartheid, there are two different pandemics

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A Palestinian woman, wearing a protective mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic, walks past graffiti with a slogan in Arabic reading: “protect yourself and your family” in Gaza City, on February 27, 2021. (photo: Majdi Fathi / Nurphoto via Getty Images)
Israel’s unethical vaccination strategy risks failure at multiple levels.

By Alice Rothchild | Truthout | Feb 28, 2021

…when health care is treated as a privilege rather than a human right, individual and societal health suffer.

There is growing concern regarding the inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine, nationally and internationally. As the rollout continues, some U.S. states are allocating more vaccines to health centers, local health providers and tribal programs, focusing on vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations, and paying attention to outreach to communities of color.

There is also serious discussion of a global approach, lifting patents for vaccines that were largely developed using governmental funding. The pandemic has revealed the glaring contradictions when both public health and medical care are allocated along racial, economic and geographic lines. Addressing these issues alerts us to the fact that when health care is treated as a privilege rather than a human right, individual and societal health suffer.

One of the most glaring contradictions during the pandemic is in Israel/Palestine, where approximately 5 million Palestinians living under a 53-year military occupation are being left behind. Israel, a developed country with top-notch health care facilities and universal health care access for its citizens through large health maintenance organizations, has been an example of a successful vaccination rollout, despite its challenges reaching Palestinian citizens and ultra-Orthodox Jews.

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