Saturday Night Live broadcast an anti-Semitic ‘joke’ by Weekend Update comedian Michael Che last night in which Che said Israel was only giving COVID-19 vaccines to the “Jewish half” of Israel. This was a scripted remark with an on screen graphic, indicating NBC standards and practices approved the slur against the Jewish people in Israel.
Che said, “Israel is reporting that they vaccinated half of their population. And I’m gonna guess it’s the Jewish half.”
Video posted to Twitter by David Lange @Israellycool:
Excerpt from ABC News on Israel and its vaccine progress:
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are falling among vaccinated age groups in Israel, which could be a sign that the nation’s rapid vaccination campaign is working.
Israel’s vaccination campaign kicked off Dec. 20, giving priority to medical professionals, people with high-risk conditions and adults 60 or older. On Jan. 10, second doses began for those groups, and by Feb. 6, 30% of Israel’s entire population — 80% of individuals 60 or older — had received two doses of the vaccine.
Today, 32% of Israel’s population is fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. By comparison, the United States has fully vaccinated about 5% of its population…
…The researchers found that infections fell among all age groups between between mid-January and mid-February, but the effect was most striking among the largely vaccinated group — people 60 or older. In the weeks that followed a peak of COVID-19 infections in mid-January, cases among those 60 and older fell 66%, according to an extended dataset sent to ABC News by Uri Shalit, who worked on the analysis.
The BBC reported last week on the status of Palestinians and the vaccine (excerpt):
Israel leads the world in terms of the number of doses per head of population, with more than 74 doses given for every 100 people.
It has also started to transfer some doses to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, so that vaccinations can begin for frontline health workers.
In occupied East Jerusalem, all Palestinians are entitled to be vaccinated against Covid by Israel, as are medics working at the six Palestinian hospitals there – many of whom come from other parts of the West Bank and Gaza.
That’s because Palestinians in East Jerusalem have Israeli residency status – so those living there pay Israeli taxes and have access to Israeli health insurance…
…The Palestinian Ministry of Health – which operates in the West Bank – said in a statement that they have deals with four companies that will provide enough vaccines for 70% of its people.
A delivery of 10,000 doses of Russian-made vaccine has now arrived. Israel says it is giving 5,000 doses to the Palestinians – two thousand of these have been delivered to the West Bank so far.
The population of the West Bank and Gaza is now around five million, according to the latest UN estimates.
The Palestinians have also said they expect to vaccinate about 20% of the population with doses supplied under the international Covax scheme, backed by the WHO.
The Christian Science Monitor reported in January on Israel’s efforts to persuade reluctant Arab Israelis to get vaccinated:
Israel has been making international headlines as a vaccine rollout machine as it seeks to become the first country to reach communitywide immunity. But to reach that milestone, a major hurdle has to be cleared: increasing vaccination levels among its Arab minority, 20% of the population.
Indeed, while over 75% of Jewish citizens over the age of 60 have already been vaccinated, the figure among Arabs is just 43%.
Some Israeli Arabs are avoiding vaccination centers because of rumors on social media fueling mistrust of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. Others are deterred by conspiracy theories about the Israeli authorities, in whom trust is already shaky due to years of systemic discrimination.
Still others deny that COVID-19 is even a problem.
The phenomenon appears somewhat surprising, given that a growing number of Israeli Arabs work in health care, representing nearly a fifth of the country’s doctors, 24% of its nurses, and 48% of all pharmacists, government data show.
Reduced access to health clinics, especially for Bedouin Arabs in southern Israel, many of whom are scattered in tiny shantytowns that lack basic services, also contributes to the lower numbers…
Reactions to Che and SNL’s anti-Semitic smear:
And from the personal account of Jamil Dakwar, the ACLU’s Human Rights Program director: