An Israeli Arab activist on Tuesday defended Israel on its coronavirus vaccination policy at UN Human Rights Council session after representatives from Iran, Qatar, and the Palestinian Authority accused the Jewish state of implementing a racist inoculation strategy.
Yoseph Haddad slammed the officials who claimed Israel’s vaccination program was allegedly intended only for the country's Jewish population. "Any attempt to claim that Israel’s vaccination policy is racist is a blatant attempt to defame Israel and distract from the corruption of some countries in this council,” he said.
Haddad is the CEO of “Together – Vouch for Each Other, which was founded in 2018 by a group of young Israeli Arabs – Christians, Muslims, Bedouin and Druze, who felt determined to bring about change in the Israeli-Arab sector and adopt a positive direction vis-à-vis Israeli society and the country.
Speaking on behalf of UN Watch, Haddad said he is an Arab from Nazareth who has been vaccinated.
“Accusations have been made against Israel that its vaccination program is racist and that is not true. Like me, my family, friends and hundreds of thousands of other Israeli Arabs have been vaccinated,” he shared.
“The State of Israel is campaigning in Arabic to encourage us Israeli Arabs to get vaccinated and Israel’s Magen David Adom National Rescue Organization, which consists of Jews and Arabs, works directly with Arab communities to vaccinate its residents,” he said.
Haddad also said that Israel is helping vaccinate thousands of Palestinian workers employed in Israel despite not being obliged to do so under the Oslo Accords. "Israel, and not the PA, has vaccinated thousands of Palestinians. And while the PA used vaccines to inoculate only VIPs, it was Israel that established vaccine centers for Palestinians.”
Israel has so far vaccinated over 50,000 Palestinian workers with a goal to vaccinate 120,000 Palestinians at eight different vaccination centers throughout the West Bank.
“Instead of blaming the PA, you are denouncing Israel. Instead of discussing how Palestinians in Lebanon are discriminated against, you are attacking Israel. Instead of blaming countries for human rights violations, including China, which sits on this council and is currently committing genocide against Muslims, you are defaming my country,” he said, adding he is proud to be an Arab living in a country that "cares for all its citizens".