The WHO’s Unhealthy Obsession with Israel

May 27, 2022 | David May
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The World Health Assembly—the annual meeting of the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO)—will conclude in Geneva tomorrow. As it has every year since 1968, it dedicated part of its time to discussing “health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.” The fact that this is a permanent yearly agenda item for the assembly has nothing to do with any special medical circumstances in these areas, nor with any particular ability the WHO has to provide healthcare to their inhabitants. Rather, it is another example of the capture of the United Nations by the anti-Israel movement. David May explains:

The WHO’s 2021 report on Israel, like ones before it, made no mention of Hamas’s deleterious effects on Palestinian healthcare. During the 2014 war, Hamas operated out of Gaza’s Shifa hospital, turning its doctors into human shields. While Gaza was in a COVID-19 lockdown in August 2020, Hamas launched numerous incendiary devices at Israel, thereby increasing Israel’s restrictive measures on the coastal enclave. Hamas has a long history of abusing medical travel permits to Israel to conduct terrorist attacks. And Hamas diverts Palestinian funds that could have provided for healthcare to instead provide for deadly weapons. None of this made the cut.

The WHO report clarified that the Palestinian Authority (PA) severed ties with Israel in May 2020 “in the context of the further annexation of large parts of the West Bank announced by Israel,” but failed to mention that the annexation never occurred. The termination of ties undoubtedly hindered the collaborative healthcare efforts necessary to fight a pandemic.

[But] the report’s main flaw is that it [makes] Israel . . . the only country subject to an annual resolution and report. . . . When the Biden administration announced it would resume funding for the WHO last year, it promised to pursue reforms of the agency. But the administration’s engagement-only strategy hasn’t curtailed the WHO’s anti-Semitism.

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