While Germany plans on sharing Europe-only vaccine with Israel, there has been no commitment made by the German government towards the Palestinians who are currently under Israeli occupation. This will be in line with Germany’s ‘special’ relationship with Israel due to the Holocaust.
In 2008, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was invited to speak in the Israeli Knesset. She went on to describe the duty Germany owes Israeli, as well as the “special historical responsibility for Israel’s security” as part of Germany’s “raison d’être.”
A Ynet report claims that Germany used its influence and power within the E.U. to bend the rule that a European-produced vaccine would only be given to European countries. Germany justified its actions, in part due to the historical commitment Germany made towards Israeli following the second World War.
According to Israeli media, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Health Minister Jens Spahn made the commitment to Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Israel’s Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff in conversations on Oct. 11.
“I thank the German foreign and health ministers for their support of Israel in the fight against the coronavirus,” Ashkenazi said. “This step symbolizes the special and deep friendship and the warm bond between the countries.”
Separate and unequal
While settlers who are living illegally on Palestinian lands will be eligible to take the vaccine, the Palestinians who’s land they’re on will not be permitted to take the vaccine. This glaring discrimination is due to the fact that the Israeli government has taken in these settlers and fully integrated them into their political, health and legal systems.
Meanwhile, Palestinians living under constant occupation must deal with a healthcare system that is grossly under-resourced and.
A report in 2015 by Physicians for Human Rights Israel describes the glaring inequality and difference in both health care system. The report went on to say “The average life expectancy of Palestinians residing in the occupied territories is about 10 years lower than average life expectancy in Israel…. in recent years, the life expectancy gap between Israel and the occupied territories has increased.”
The group demands that Israel bear the responsibility for the health of the Palestinian population, as required under international law for an occupying power.
Yet rather than hold Israel accountable for its lethal violations of its basic legal and humanitarian obligations, Germany appears eager to help exacerbate them.