By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib attacked Israel on Tuesday, claiming that her grandmother living in lands controlled by the Palestinian Authority was being denied a coronavirus vaccine because of Israeli “racism.”
Interviewed by the Democracy Now! television program, Tlaib latched onto recent accusations by anti-Israel organizations that claimed Israel was responsible for providing coronavirus vaccinations to Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority itself has not requested vaccines from Israel and for the past several decades has run its own separate healthcare system under the terms of the Oslo Accords.
The PA has repeatedly said it is procuring its own vaccines through the World Health Organization and the UN, and last December announced it had purchased 4 million doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine, 5,000 of which are due to arrive this week, Reuters reported.
“Israel has no intention of every being caring, or allow equality or freedom for them [Palestinians] as their neighbors,” she charged.
Israeli officials have stated clearly that their responsibility is to their own population. The Health Ministry is inoculating all Israelis, including its roughly 2 million Arab citizens, regardless of their religion or ethnicity.
When it became clear earlier this month that the deliveries of the Russian vaccine were delayed, Palestinian officials started blaming Israel and anti-Israel organizations echoed the accusation, drawing fierce rebukes from Israeli NGOs.
“The PA has been assuring its population for two months that its Ministry of Health is in control, has ordered vaccines, and that their arrival is imminent, without Israel’s help and the PA’s behavior following its inability to acquire the Covid-19 vaccine fast enough is no different,” said Maurice Hirsch of the media watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch, which reported last week on the Palestinian efforts.
”The PA has chosen its default excuse for all PA failures: to blame Israel,” Hirsch said. “This sudden attack ignores the fact that the PA did not want Israel’s help and did not ask for Israel’s help, and contradicts its repeated assurances that it succeeded to secure the vaccines.”
Hirsch documented that in November, Palestinian Minister of Health Mai Alkaila met with WHO and UN officials, announcing that the PA would “submit the necessary documents to the WHO and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) to ensure that Palestine is provided with adequate coronavirus vaccines.”
It was widely reported at the time that Israel was purchasing vaccines from multiple sources, however, the Palestinian Authority made no request to Israel and on Dec. 12 announced the deal for 4 million doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine. On Jan. 9, the PA announced they were getting 2 million more doses from the British company AstraZeneca