The following is from the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 46th Session, March 2021.
Palestinian FM Riad Al-Maliki: Israel refuses to accept its responsibilities as an occupying power, not only in terms of providing vaccines to the Palestinian people but also in preventing them from arriving to Palestinian territories.
Qatar: Opting out of this responsibility can only be understood as an Apartheid.
Indonesia: Israel’s COVID-19 vaccine program is another example that highlights the inequality and discrimination that defines Israel’s foreign policy towards Palestinians.
Iran: The Israeli regime persists in its brutal policy of subjecting Palestinian children to all sorts of atrocities, including denial of providing equitable vaccination facilities for the Palestinians.
UNHRC Chair: I now give the floor to United Nations Watch.
UN Watch: Thank you, Madam President. My name is Youssef Haddad, and I am an Israeli Arab from Nazareth, and also vaccinated.
Accusations have been made that Israel’s coronavirus vaccine program is “racist.” This is false. Like me, my family, friends and hundreds of thousands of other Israeli Arabs have been vaccinated.
The State of Israel is running campaigns in Arabic to encourage us Arab Israelis to get vaccinated, and Israel’s National EMS Magen David Adom, composed of Jews and Arabs, is working directly in Arab communities to vaccinate.
And about our Palestinian neighbors. Despite that we are not obligated under the Oslo Accords, we help. Israel, not the Palestinian Authority, has vaccinated thousands of Palestinians, while the PA uses vaccines on their own officials, and their friends. It was Israel that set up vaccination centers for Palestinians at Qalandiya.
Any attempt to claim that Israel’s vaccine policy is racist is a blatant attempt to smear Israel and distract from the corruption of nations on this very council.
Instead of holding the PA accountable, you target Israel. Instead of discussing how Palestinians in Lebanon face discrimination, you attack Israel. Instead of holding nations accountable for human rights abuses, including China which sits on this council while committing genocide against Muslims, you smear my country.
I am proud to be an Arab, and I am proud to be an Israeli, because Israel takes care of all its citizens and even others.
If the rest of the world emulated Israel’s example, instead of distracting from their own failures by attacking Israel, we would already be living in a different reality in the battle against coronavirus.