To the editors,
The Forward published an op-ed by Sari Bashi, a lawyer and research director at an Arab advocacy organization, that ignored reality while expounding the reasons why Israel should vaccinate all Palestinians. (“Yes, Israel should vaccinate all Palestinians. Here’s why.”)
Her claim is based on the Geneva Convention’s Law of Occupation, which requires an occupying power to see to the medical needs of the occupied population. The exception is if the occupied have medical capabilities of its own. The Palestinian Authority, or PA, accepted responsibility for the medical care of its people, including vaccinations in the Oslo Accords. The PA also rejected any help offered by Israel and even refused to take vaccines donated by Qatar because they came via Israel.
The PA’s difficulty in vaccinating its people is because it is cash-strapped. No further explanation given. Bashi might consider looking into how much of the international aid it receives goes to rewarding terrorist murderers of Israelis and into the bank accounts of the PA’s corrupt leadership.
It is a very familiar refrain the Palestinians have developed: they are innocent victims of Israel’s oppression. We have heard the story in different versions many times. The only question is why The Forward finds it worthy of publishing it.