Major media outlets are playing a role in promoting the lie that Israel
is somehow barring Palestinians from getting vaccinated against coronavirus.
In March, the Anti-Defamation League published an article on its website called “Coronavirus crisis elevates antisemitic, racist tropes.”
The article featured images shared by white supremacists and anti-Israel antisemites on social media and messaging apps accusing Jews of, among other things, intentionally spreading COVID-19. One example was a cartoon of the IDF trapping an elderly Palestinian woman with the spiky balls that have come to symbolize COVID-19.
Not among the examples? Major media outlets. Ten months later, quite a few could be added to the list of contemporary examples of the centuries-old antisemitic libel that Jews spread diseases.
Twitter accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers have been spreading the libel that Israel, the world leader in vaccinating its population against COVID-19, is intentionally leaving the Palestinians to languish in the middle of a pandemic. But that’s Twitter; anyone with an opinion can express it, even if it’s not based on facts.
Yet, in recent days, supposedly respectable news sites that are supposed to check facts and be accountable to the truth are spreading the same bile as Iranian Holocaust-denial cartoon contest runner-up Carlos Latuff in that example from the ADL article.
“As Israel leads in COVID-19 vaccines per capita, Palestinians still await shots,” the NPR headline reads, implying some kind of correlation.
“Palestinians left waiting as Israel is set to deploy COVID-19 vaccine,” read an Associated Press headline, reprinted by countless news outlets, including PBS and Al Jazeera.
An article in the UK-based Observer, a sister newspaper of the far left and anti-Israel Guardian, lamented in its headline: “Palestinians excluded from Israeli Covid vaccine rollout as jabs go to settlers.”
“Human rights groups accuse Israel of dodging obligations to millions in occupied territories who may wait months for vaccination,” reads the subhead.
If you perused these purported newspapers of records’ coverage of the coronavirus vaccine rollout, you would get the impression that Israel has engaged in some kind of conspiracy to, well, trap the Palestinians with the spiky coronavirus balls.
As the UK Board and Deputies and other critics noted, the responsibility and authority to acquire and distribute vaccines in these areas is the PA’s, not Israel’s. Indeed, the PA has not even asked Israel for help; and it was the PA’s decision to cut off coordination with Israel last year.
The Observer’s fabricated allegations, coupled with the photo of a Haredi Jew being vaccinated – implying that Jews have arrogated for themselves exclusive privileges at the expense of oppressed, underprivileged Palestinians – are just the latest example of malicious vilification of Israel.