Israel has been providing the Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza with crucial aid against the coronavirus—not simply out of love and charity, but because populations in such close proximity to each other have a mutual interest in tackling the problem. Israel fears the security implications of a meltdown of Palestinian society in either or both enclaves, which could result in massive rocket fire or large numbers of desperate people storming Israel’s borders.
For now, the aid and cooperation have prompted even the United Nations, known for obsessive and severely disproportionate criticism of Israel, to sing the praises of the Jewish state.
The Palestine branch of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs—not considered one of Israel’s greatest fans—reported that the Israeli and Palestinian Authority ministries of health, along with Israel’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), have been meeting regularly.
“As part of this effort,” the UN agency said, “COGAT is facilitating four trainings for Palestinian medical teams, while the Israeli [Health Ministry] donated over 1,000 testing kits and thousands of PPEs [Personal Protective Equipment] to the West Bank and Gaza.”
For his part, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, stressed the “excellent coordination” between the sides and said:
Examples of critical supplies [furnished by Israel] include swabs for collection of samples and other laboratory supplies required for COVID-19 testing…. This is in addition to Israel’s cooperation to allow for the movement and access of personnel involved in the COVID-19 response to and from both the West Bank and Gaza.
Hillel Neuer, head of a pro-Israel UN watchdog, said such compliments from the UN were “more proof aliens have taken over.”
Proof that aliens haven’t yet taken over, though, is the fact that even in this situation of a shared emergency and vital Israeli assistance, harsh and even bizarre Palestinian anti-Israeli propaganda continues unabated.
In one example noted by Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab-Israeli journalist who writes for the conservative Gatestone Institute:
While Israeli and Palestinian medical professionals were working together to prevent the spread of the virus, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, Wafa, came out with yet another blood libel against Israel.
According to Wafa, Israel was now releasing wolves to attack calves belonging to Palestinian farmers in the Jordan Valley. The agency claimed that three calves were killed when they were attacked by wolves “released by the Israeli occupation forces in the Jabarees area in the northern Jordan Valley.”
Abu Toameh points out that while “there have always been wolves in the area,” there has never been any evidence that diabolical Israel has made use of wolves to attack Palestinian livestock.
Imaginative as that allegation was, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh—number two in the PA after Mahmoud Abbas—may have managed to go one further. This week Shtayyeh accused IDF soldiers of deliberately spreading the novel coronavirus among the West Bank’s Palestinian population.
In the latest iteration of an ongoing and long-standing blood libel, Shtayyeh claimed, “We were exposed to testimonies that some of the [Israeli] soldiers are trying to spread the virus on car handles.”
The firebrand politician cited racism as the main motive behind the soldiers’ actions.
“This is racism and hatred of people who long for the death of the other. We will record this in the list of [Israel’s] crimes,” Shtayyeh said.
When two months ago President Trump publicized his “deal of the century” plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, it was rightly lauded by many—including in Israel—for offering a much more realistic blueprint in which Israel would not have to give up all its territorial assets and leave itself dangerously vulnerable.
But to say the plan is realistic in that sense is not to say that, for now, it’s viable.
Not as long, that is, as Palestinians remain addicted to hate and a victim mentality. Whether they can ever shake that addiction is an open question, but as long as they can’t, there can be pragmatic cooperation—and Israeli assistance that even the UN can praise—but no peace.