Senator Sanders blasts Israel for providing excess COVID vaccine to other countries while “failing to vaccinate” Palestinian Arabs.
US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday blasted Israel for providing some of its excess COVID-19 vaccine to other countries while failing to vaccinate Palestinian Arabs.
Sanders retweeted a link to a New York Times article on the Israeli donation to other countries and wrote, “As the occupying power, Israel is responsible for the health of all the people under its control. It is outrageous that Netanyahu would use spare vaccines to reward his foreign allies while so many Palestinians in the occupied territories are still waiting.”
On Tuesday, Kan News reported that Israel would ship roughly 100,000 Moderna vaccines to 15 allies, as well as a number of countries in Africa that have strong or budding ties with Israel.
The countries that will receive the vaccines, according to reports, include Honduras, Guatemala and the Czech Republic.
Sanders becomes the latest US lawmaker to criticize Israel for failing to provide Palestinian Arabs with COVID-19 vaccines, even though Israel is not obligated to do so under the Oslo Accords.
Several lawmakers from the Democratic party had previously criticized Israel over this, most notably Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Joaquin Castro and Rep. Jamaal Bowman.
The criticism is unjustified, however, as Israel has already transferred thousands of doses of vaccines to the PA and even transferred vaccines to Gaza, whose Hamas rulers continue to hold the bodies of Israeli soldiers.
Furthermore, under the Oslo Accords it’s not Israel but the PA that’s responsible for vaccinations of the Palestinian population.
Sanders, who is Jewish and spent time in a Kibbutz when he was younger, has repeatedly criticized the Israeli government and has alleged that it is “racist”.
Last year, he added his name to a letter by Democrats against Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.
Previously, he claimed that AIPAC provides a platform for “leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights” in justifying his decision not to address the conference.
In 2019, Sanders caused an uproar when he told the J Street conference that the US should redirect its aid to Israel and give it to Gaza instead.
Despite all these, he has refuted claims that he is anti-Israel and insisted that he is simply advocating for a foreign policy “that not only protects Israel, but deals with the suffering of the Palestinian people as well.”