The BBC has once again accused Israel of not doing enough to vaccinate Palestinians despite earlier having to apologise for the same lie it accused Israel of this week.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotoveley was forced to defend Israel and ‘fact check’ the BBC after their false accusations were once again levelled at Israel.

This time it was Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis who was showing the hostility to Israel, quoting six anti-Israel organisations that accuse Israel of having “legal, moral and ethical obligations” to vaccinate Palestinians. These organisations, while Israeli, are very pro-Palestinian and their work undermines the Israeli government on a number of issues. It also goes against what the UN and international law states.

Ambassador Hotovely said: “Let’s make a fact check. The Palestinians asked to run their own programme of vaccination. I think sometimes there is a little bit of misunderstanding of their responsibility because according to all international agreements their health authorities should take care of the Palestinian population.” Even so Israel had stepped in to help when asked, she added.

Hotovely then challenged Maitlis directly, saying: “Would you impose getting vaccines to the leaders of the Palestinians? Would you say you have to accept Israeli access and Israeli help when they are not interested?

“Can you impose receiving vaccines when their leadership want to be in charge of the programme? You are patronising the Palestinians.”

She continued: “They had their own programme, they bought the Russian vaccine – I think we need to respect that.”

The ambassador was completely right to put this point forward. The media and global bodies like the United Nations often pander to the Palestinians and belittle them in their treatment. The Palestinians want their own state, but when they are given autonomy over something which they fail at delivering, Israel is blamed for not helping the Palestinians.

The BBC admitted in February that Israel has no legal obligation and issued a clarification that the responsibility for vaccinating Palestinians does indeed lie with the Palestinian Authority.

“Although there is a wider dispute over the issue, the Accords – which Israel signed with the Palestine Liberation Organisation – give the Palestinian Authority oversight of public health under the principles of self-determination,” the BBC said.

Yet Maitlis continued to repeat, “legal, moral and ethical”, speaking over the ambassador in a menacing tone.

It does not matter what six organisations say. The BBC themselves says otherwise, as does the United Nations, the Israeli government and indeed the Palestinian Authority.

The BBC should stop repeating this lie.

Here are some further details to fact check the BBC and clarify that Israel is actually doing a lot to help the Palestinians than they are required.

Despite Israel having no obligation to give vaccines to Palestinians, it has still given more vaccines to the Palestinians than the UK has given to any other nation.

Downing Street confirmed in March that the UK will not give away any vaccines to other countries until all Britons have had their first dose AT LEAST. We haven’t even given any to Ireland, despite there being an open border between our territories. At the time of writing, Ireland has only vaccinated 10% of their population, while Northern Ireland has vaccinated over 40%.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: “Our first priority is to ensure the safety of the British public.”

This is exactly the stance Israel has, but Israel is still willing to help Palestinians.

Let’s look at how Israel is doing a better job helping the Palestinians than the UK is at helping anyone else.

Israel first started helping the Palestinians by giving them vaccines to help treat doctors and nurses on the front lines. The PA promised to use these vaccines responsibly, but instead admitted later on that they gave these first doses to PA officials, politicians and their families, along with the Palestinian national football team.

Then, when Israel vaccinated over 105,000 Palestinians who work in Israel, the PA took credit for these vaccinations and lied to the European Union that it was the Palestinians themselves who had vaccinated the Palestinians.

The EU never rebutted this false claim despite European media having videos that clearly showed it was Israeli health teams giving the vaccines for free to the Palestinians.

Once again, Israel gets no praise for this, and once again the PA lies about it.

Even before the vaccines were released, Israel helped with transporting ventilators and other much needed medical equipment for COVID treatment into the Palestinian territories. The Palestinians, instead of thanking Israel for the help, rejected the shipments entirely simply because they had come via Israel. The PA’s hatred of Israel is so great that they were willing to put their own people’s lives at risk rather than accept the aid coming via Israel.

In fact, this was the PA’s policy. They refused to cooperate with Israel and did not ask them for help with the vaccine rollout. They did not want Israel’s help.

That is until they saw the success Israel was having and the praise they were receiving for being so successful. When Israel was being lauded in the media for leading the world, the Palestinians played the victim card and smeared Israel.

Sadly, many anti-Israel organisations and news outlets took the bait and spread the lies far and wide. The BBC has helped to spread this misinformation and continues to do so.

It is shameful.

Speaking at the United Nations in late January, Israel’s Ambassador helped challenge these lies and libels against Israel.

“I would like to shatter the latest blood libel being spread by the Palestinians – false and grotesque accusations about Israel’s campaign to vaccinate its people,” Erdan said.

His remarks came after Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Malki told the council Israel had not provided Palestinians with vaccines (the PA was trying to score political points at the UN rather than help their people).

“The occupying power has not provided any vaccine to the Palestinian people under occupation to this day, insisting that it is under no obligation to do so,” he said.

The claim is false for four reasons: Firstly, the Palestinians have not formally requested Israel’s help in vaccinating its people. Further, as Erdan pointed out to the Security Council, under the Oslo Accords, the responsibility to do so lies with the Palestinian. The PA also “informed Israel they intend to purchase vaccines from the Russian government and Israel has announced it will facilitate their transfer,” Erdan said.

“According to the international agreements, the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the healthcare of its own population – just as it is responsible for their education system,” Erdan said.

“These are the facts,” he added.

Indeed, these are the facts so the BBC should stop spreading the lies.

Israel is not obligated to vaccinate the Palestinians but still does so even though the Palestinians slander Israel on the global stage. Israel has given more vaccinations to Palestinians than any other country has to date and Israel has done more to help Palestinians than the UK (or any other European nation) has done to help any other country.

Maybe we should take the plank of wood out of our own eye before removing the speck of dust from Israel’s.

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