To the New York Times, prioritizing friends over enemies is amoral
The New York Times is an amazing paper. Take the report titled "Israel Gives Vaccine to Far-Off Allies, as Palestinians Wait." The gist of it is this: Israel has a small surplus of COVID vaccine doses and, as a token of friendship, will sent them "to nations like the Czech Republic and Honduras that pledged to move diplomats to Jerusalem" rather than to Palestinians to whom they gave so far, as a humanitarian gesture, "2,000 doses and promised 3,000 more" — "token figures, given the size of the Palestinian population."
Why the Times thinks this worthy of an article is unclear. For one, Israel is in no position to inoculate populations that are comparable in size to its own. As is clear from the article itself, several thousand doses it plans to send to friendly countries (to be used undoubtedly for the health care workers) are just a token of friendship. So it looks as though the Times' intention is to smear Israel with violating "international law": "human rights watchdogs say that Israel should organize a systematic vaccine program in the occupied territories, rather than sporadically deliver spares a few thousand at a time. They cite the Fourth Geneva Convention, which obliges an occupying power to coordinate with the local authorities to maintain public health within an occupied territory, including during epidemics."
Why Israel should be responsible for inoculating Palestinians is not at all clear, given that, as the report itself notes, "the Palestinian Authority was given responsibility for organizing its own health care system in the 1990s, after the signing of the Oslo Accords that gave the Palestinian leadership limited autonomy in parts of the occupied territories." (The specifics can be found in an excellent article that quotes the relevant "chapter and verse"). In the report, the Times simply uses the classical tactic of trying to look fair while throwing the mud at Israel in the hope that some of it sticks.
The Times' attempts to accuse Israel of wrongs that are in fact rights is as unnatural and forced as the Palestinian outrage quoted in its report: "It is a system of oppression," said Salem Barahmeh, executive director at the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, a Ramallah-based advocacy group. "It says a lot about a regime," Mr. Barahmeh added, "that it is willing to send vaccines halfway across the world, potentially for a quid pro quo, and not offer the vaccine to the millions of Palestinians who live under the Israeli occupation."
In fact, this quote "says a lot" about something else: the culture of irresponsibility embedded in the Palestinian mindset. Not only do Palestinians fail to realize that Israel does not have the vaccines for "the millions of Palestinians" and that it is the Palestinian Authority's duty to acquire it; what is stunning is the spectacular failure of the Palestinians to realize that the terrorism they unleashed against Israel after refusing to fairly settle the conflict, killing over a thousand Israelis in suicide bus and restaurant bombings and maiming thousands more, did not endear them to the Israelis, who, as is only natural, prioritize for help friends over enemies.
While the Palestinian position can at least be understood in the context of their desire to destroy Israel by means foul or fair, the intention of the Times in making up a story out of a non-story is less clear.
Unless, of course, the Times also shares the Palestinian goal of destroying Israel. That would certainly explain it.
Image: New York Times.