… What is going on with COVID-19 in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, but it appears that Israel is allowing the people there to act as a hot-house reservoir of virus.
There’s a lot of news about how Israel has a very high vaccination rate (55.3%) and has a tremendous drop-off in terms of infections, but the vaccination policy applies to official Israel, only, not occupied territories. And, it appears that Palestinians who have work in Jerusalem and come through the wall/security, are given access to shots, in order to protect the population beyond the wall. [wapo]
Israel has so far immunized the largest number of people per capita. As of April 19, nearly 60 percent of Israelis had received at least one dose and nearly 58 percent were fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data. Though Israel was later than some countries to sign vaccine deals, it offered to pay premium prices and give drug companies access to its health-care data. The country reportedly spent $788 million on coronavirus vaccines by March, most notably on a large shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech’s RNA vaccine. While Israel has been criticized for neglecting the Palestinian population in its midst, its vaccination campaign has otherwise been deemed a success and has allowed the return of a more normal way of life, including the lifting of outdoor mask requirements.
Israel is an occupying power, and completely controls the Palestinian population in its midst. If it’s only giving vaccine to the ones that are providing service – that’s unspeakable. Basically, it’s the same monstrous shit that the US government pulled with leaving the prison population largely unvaccinated (including shuffling prisoners around to make sure the virus spread) while innoculating the prison guards.
The reporting is consistently applauding Israel, e.g.: [wapo] which goes on at length about how great Israeli public health is, right now, and has one line at the bottom:
(In Palestinian territories captured by Israel in the 1967 war, the vast majority of the population has yet to be inoculated, and Israel has faced criticism at home and abroad for not providing more vaccines.)
Fucking ethno-nationalism. I wonder if the Chinese government used COVID-19 to thin down the population in their Uighur concentration camps, too?
The Guardian: [guard]
Instead of vaccinating Palestinians, Benjamin Netanyahu tried to send thousands of doses around the world as rewards to countries that moved their embassies to Jerusalem
Ah, “vaccine diplomacy”.
The US media has widely lauded Israel’s vaccine success – as a country in a “post-pandemic future” of concerts and indoor dining; as a country that could teach the United States a few lessons in pandemic management; as a country that, despite being in the midst of a contentious election, leaned on its robust universal public health system to vaccinate as many people as possible. However, many of these vaccine success stories mention the issue of Palestinian vaccines in passing, as an unresolved “controversy,” “debate,” or just another instance of Palestinians and Israelis being unable to agree on anything.
The difference couldn’t be more stark – two populations living under one regime, heading in opposite directions in the struggle with Covid-19. On the Israeli side, we see a country returning to normalcy: a re-opened economy; a vaccination certificate program that allows for entry into gyms, restaurants, and cultural venues; plummeting infection and hospitalization rates; a surplus of vaccines nearly seven times the small country’s population. On the Palestinian side, minimal vaccines, overwhelmed hospitals, and an economy in crisis. Including the 100,000 Palestinian workers with Israeli work permits that Israel finally agreed to vaccinate in March, Palestinians have received enough vaccines for just over 4% of the 5 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Humans really are shit.
ICE in the US appears to have been negligent as a matter of unofficial policy, and allowed its detention centers to turn into virus reservoirs: [nyt]
Our analysis compared estimated infection rates in ICE detention centers with infection rates in prisons and in the general population. As Covid-19 cases rose last June, ICE detention facilities had an average infection rate five times that of prisons and 20 times that of the general population.