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  • Writer's pictureAvi Abraham Benlolo

Press Release: Israel Unfairly Slammed About Vaccine

01/06/21: Over the last number of days, a rumour has been circulating in the media and on social networking sites, accusing Israel of not vaccinating the Palestinian community. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On January 3, 2021 - a headline in The Guardian reported "Palestinians excluded from Israeli Covid vaccine rollout as jabs go to settlers". In Canada, this was followed on January 4th by a mostly positive story about Israel's vaccine rollout in the Globe and Mail. In that article, however, the author wrote in brackets "Another political element is that Israel is not vaccinating Palestinians, but that is a human-rights issue, not health and logistics".

A controversy also erupted in Canadian media over a Twitter post by an NDP MP whose online post links to The Guardian article that misconstrues the complexity of the vaccine rollout. I have since reached out to the MP and the Globe and Mail to work with them with the best and sincerest intention on correcting this information. Additionally, I will be be speaking to media to ensure the correct information is provided in the public interest".

The fact is that Israel has been vaccinating all its citizens including Arabs, Christians, Druze, Bedouins and Jews. On January 3rd, Israel announced at a press conference in the Arab village of Umm al-Fahm that it had vaccinated its 1 millionth citizen.

In fact, on January 2, 2021 Al-Jazeera (An Arab daily) reported reported what Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters from Tira, another Arab village: “it’s important for me that the Arab public in Israel will get vaccinated quickly” because “it’s saving lives”.

The Palestinian Authority has rejected Israel's offers of assistance. Instead, it has stated it seeks to find its own vaccines and administer them on its own. Since Canada has recently allocated $90 million to assist the Palestinians, this can also be a terrific opportunity and vehicle for Canada to provide support on the ground.

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