The UK, France, Germany and other EU states voted today for a UN resolution, co-sponsored by the Arab group of states and the Palestinian delegation, that singled out Israel at the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the only violator of “mental, physical and environmental health,” and commissioned a WHO delegation to investigate and report on “the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory” and in “the occupied Syrian Golan,” and to place it on the agenda again at next year’s meeting.
Out of 24 items on the meeting’s agenda, only one, Item No. 19 against Israel, focused on a specific country.
“The UN reached new heights of absurdity today,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “by enacting a resolution which accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, even as in reality Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks.”
“Shame on Britain, France and Germany for encouraging this hijacking of the annual world health assembly, and diverting precious time, money, and resources from global health priorities, in order to wage a political prosecution of Israel, especially when, in reality, anyone who has ever walked into an Israeli hospital or clinic knows that they are providing world-class health care to thousands of Palestinian Arabs, as well as to Syrians fleeing Assad,” Neuer added.
“At the same time,” said Neuer, “UN Watch commends the principled stand taken by the U.S., Canada, Australia, Paraguay, Guatemala, Micronesia and Papua New Guinea in joining Israel to oppose perpetuating a politicized agenda item.” The U.S. and Canada both took the floor today to strongly object to the anti-Israel exercise.
The vote was 107 to 8 for the resolution, with 8 abstentions and 58 absent. The resolution calls for reports on a series of alleged Israeli violations, including on “the impact of prolonged occupation and human rights violations on mental,
physical and environmental health” in “the occupied Palestinian territory.”
The text also adopted three reports mandated by last year’s Arab-sponsored resolution: a “field assessment” on “health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory”, a similar report by the WHO director-general, and a related report by the WHO secretariat.
Palestinian and Syrian Submissions
By backing the measure, EU states joined in the political targeting of Israel—in the form of a special debate, three lopsided reports, the resolution, and the publication of country submissions, including an inflammatory 59-page Palestinian submission which complains of a “racist separation barrier” while blaming increased Palestinian traffic accidents on the fear of “being pursued by settlers”; and a Syrian submission laced with anti-Semitic conspiracy tropes, yet circulated as an official UN document on the conference agenda, which alleges that “the Israeli occupation authorities” continue “to experiment on Syrian and Arab prisoners with medicines and drugs and to inject them with pathogenic viruses.”
Unable to deny Israel’s medical treatment of thousands of wounded Syrians, the regime accuses Israel of a plot: healing “armed terrorists from Jabhah al-Nusrah” so that they can “resume their subversive terrorist activities directed against the country’s peaceful citizens and its infrastructure.”