February 23, 2021
© Photo: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
Israel is always backed by successive administrations in Washington and can literally get away with murder in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The first weeks of this year have been lively and deadly for Palestinians, with Israeli troops and settlers continuing to burn down, bulldoze and otherwise destroy olive trees, villages and farmland in the Palestinian territory they occupy. The long-term campaign against Palestinians was given impetus by the Covid-19 pandemic which presented the Israeli authorities with the opportunity on February 15 to block vaccine from being delivered to the besieged Gaza strip which is home to about 1.9 million Arabs.
On February 17 it was reported that “Israel has permitted Palestinian officials to send the first shipment of 2,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to the blockaded Gaza Strip” and an Israeli official was quoted as saying that “The 1,000 Sputnik vaccines delivery, donated by Russia and provided to the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Authority, have just been transferred.” This sort of vicious fandango by the Israelis was playing with people’s lives, but it cannot be expected that there might be any expression of regret for holding up the desperately needed shipment.
Were the Israeli’s vaccine tactics not so devastatingly malicious and barbaric, it might have been amusing to hear the views of newly-elected President Biden on the subject of combating the global plague. On the day the Israelis reluctantly released some vaccines to the Palestinians, Uncle Joe made his first phone call to Prime Minister Netanyahu (who is currently under indictment for fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three corruption cases) and praised him for “leadership in the fight against the coronavirus.”
The White House noted especially that “The President affirmed his personal history of steadfast commitment to Israel’s security and conveyed his intent to strengthen all aspects of the U.S.-Israel partnership, including our strong defence cooperation.” Further, as an afterthought, Uncle Joe “underscored the importance of working to advance peace throughout the region, including between Israelis and Palestinians.”
That might be easy enough to do if the Israelis succeed in destroying all of the Palestinians’ productive farmlands and basic dwellings which are being torn down in freezing weather during the pandemic.