Ali Abunimah Lobby Watch 22 February 2021
On Sunday I appeared on Katie Halper’s YouTube show to talk about how Israel lobbyists are in an uproar over a joke on Saturday Night Live.
The joke bitingly called attention to how Israel’s apartheid government is denying millions of Palestinians vaccines and adequate access to healthcare amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Israel is reporting that they’ve vaccinated half of their population, and I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half,” comedian Michael Che said in the SNL skit.
The Zionist Organization of America demanded that the producer of the NBC comedy show apologize for the joke and fire whoever wrote it.
Former New York state assembly member Dov Hikind, previously a member of the violent extremist group the Jewish Defense League, claimed Saturday Night Live had a “long record of anti-Semitism.”
Avi Mayer, of the Israel lobby group the American Jewish Committee, accused SNL of “promoting anti-Semitic myths” and also demanded an apology.
Mayer, who has a history of whitewashing the most extreme Israeli racism against Palestinians, asserted that “Every Israeli citizen – Jewish and Arab, Muslim, Christian, of any or no faith – is eligible to be vaccinated.”
The AJC is circulating a petition demanding a retraction and an apology.
I told Halper that Mayer was lying by omission.
While it may be true that all Israeli citizens – including the approximately 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel – are eligible for vaccination, what Mayer and other Israel apologists fail to mention is that five million more Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and siege in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are not getting vaccinations.
Israel even delayed the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank from shipping vaccines to Gaza for frontline medical workers.
The apartheid becomes even more stark when one considers that Israeli settlers living in Jewish-only colonies on Palestinian land are receiving vaccines, while Palestinians in nearby towns and villages are not.
Israel’s refusal to supply vaccines to Palestinians is a flagrant violation of its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention. As the occupying power, it must ensure the health and hygiene of the civilian population it occupies.
Watch the video of our discussion above, which begins with a few minutes of humorous banter.
But if you want to skip ahead to the heart of the discussion about Israeli COVID-19 apartheid, click here. (Go to source)