No sooner had I published my blog on the flood of lies about Israel’s vaccination obligations when Andrew Marr on BBC1 TV joined the IJB Club (‘Israel Jab Conspiracists’) – and at Gold Level. He interviewed Israel’s Minister of Health, Yuli Edelstein (38:00 on the iPlayer). (Here for non-UK viewers).
The interview was recorded. It is obvious that two of the Minister’s answers were cut off.
Marr (43:04) said to the Minister “The UN says it’s your legal obligation to ensure the Palestinians under occupation have a swift and equitable access to Covid 19 vaccine. Why aren’t you doing this?” The Minister correctly responded “It’s not our legal obligation but it’s in our interest.”
But Marr lied. ***The UN DID NOT SAY THAT***. Michael Lynk said it. He’s the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967. He was appointed by the notoriously anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council. The Council is made up of 47 UN Members elected by the UN General Assembly (so the chance of Israel being a member is zero). Current members include such paragons of human rights as China, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Cuba, Libya and Venezuela. Lynk was obviously chosen because of his anti-Israel history. He succeeded Richard Falk.
The Minister said vaccinating the Palestinians was in Israel’s interest, to stop it spreading. His response was cut at the word ‘spreading’ (43:41). Why? The BBC should not edit the responses of Israel’s Ministers on such a sensitive topic.
Then Marr (43:50) quotes from Lynk’s statement to ‘prove’ that Israel is ‘required’ to vaccinate the Palestinians: “Israel is required under the Fourth Geneva Convention, “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”, to maintain health services in the occupied territory. Article 56 requires Israel to adopt and apply “the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics” in cooperation with national and local authorities.”
The Minister responds correctly, by saying that the Oslo Accords make the Palestinian Authority responsible for the healthcare of Palestinians.
Marr interrupts (44:17): “Again I’m sorry to interrupt but the United Nations says that international law should supercede the Oslo Accord on this“.
Nonsense. The Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply in either Gaza or Judea/Samaria because neither is ‘occupied’ according to the legal definition of the term. Gaza was returned to full Palestinian control in 2005. The only goods not allowed in are those used for making bombs. Judea/Samaria was grabbed illegally by Jordan after the 1948-’49 War that followed the end of the UK’s League of Nations/United Nations Mandate for Palestine. Israel took it back when it repelled Arab attacks in the Six Day War (1967). An offer to return it was spurned at Khartoum.
Finally and disgustingly Marr quotes from the petition of the NGO Rabbis for Human Rights, telling the Minister that the 200 who signed are “your own citizens”. “The Rabbis are right aren’t they?” said Marr. Look at the petition. 102 of the names – more than half – are from OUTSIDE Israel. And judging by the UK names (with which I am familiar) the organisation is virtually entirely representative of one strand of Judaism, the less observant strand.
To say that all the 200 are Israeli citizens is a disgrace. It is Israeli citizens who pay taxes and are entitled to be vaccinated by the Israeli medical authorities. Not Jews in the US, UK, South Africa, Denmark, France or Luxembourg. It is Israeli citizens who lose out if vaccine is diverted to outside the country. Not Jews who live in London or New York. There are reports that the EU is running short of vaccine. How would Marr feel if the UK agreed to donate vaccine – paid for by his taxes – to Greece?
Moreover Marr’s error amounted to saying that all Jews worldwide have responsibility for the claimed errors of the Israeli government. Which is slamdunk antisemitic.
And the Minister’s answer is cut short by the editor – for the second time.
A disgraceful example of BBC bias against Israel
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Update: Excellent piece by Mark Pickles. He documents ago recent claims by the Democrat Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, using the vaccine-apartheid libel to prove that Israel is ‘a racist state’.