GENEVA, May 22, 2019 — The annual assembly of the UN’s World Health Organization today voted 96 to 11 for a resolution—co-sponsored by the Arab bloc and the Palestinian delegation—that singled out Israel over “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”
Unlike previous years, Germany for the first time voted against the measure. This followed a sustained campaign in the Bundestag led by MPs Frank Müller-Rosentritt and Bijan Djir-Sarai of the FDP, supported by UN Watch, which helped to make the case in German media, government circles and civil society.
Out of 21 items on the meeting’s Agenda, only one—Item No. 14 against Israel—focused on a specific country. There was no agenda item or resolution on any other country, including Syria, where hospitals and medical infrastructure have suffered devastating bombings by Syrian and Russian forces; Yemen, where 19.7 million people lack access to health care service due to the current crisis; or Venezuela, where the health system has collapsed, causing millions to flee the country.
The UN reached new heights of absurdity by enacting a resolution which accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, even as in reality Israeli hospitals provide life-saving treatment to Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks.
Shamefully, countries like France, Belgium, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland joined Syria, Sudan and North Korea in voting yes, thereby encouraging the hijacking of the annual world health assembly, and diverting precious time, money, and resources from global health priorities, in order to wage a political prosecution of Israel.
In reality, anyone who has ever walked into an Israeli hospital or clinic knows that they are providing world-class health care to thousands of Palestinian Arabs—including last week to Palestinian leader Jibril Rajoub—as well as to Syrians fleeing Assad.
The vote was 96-11 on the resolution, with 21 abstentions and 56 absent.
UN Watch applauds those who once again voted to oppose the resolution, as they did on last year’s nearly identical text: the US, Britain, Australia, Canada and Guatemala.
And we commend those that changed from voting Yes or Abstain last year, to voting No this year: Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Honduras and Hungary.
Both Brazil and most recently Germany announced that they would in general at the UN oppose biased resolutions against Israel, and today they kept their promise.
In addition to voting against the resolution, the US, Britain, Germany and Canada took the floor to strongly object to the politicization of the forum. Click for video.
The resolution calls for a report on a series of alleged Israeli violations, including on “the mental health of Palestinians affected by the exposure to violence and the context of chronic occupation.”
By passing the decision, the WHO also adopted a report that points the finger at Israel for increased health and mental health issues stemming from “trauma injuries and exposure to violence during the ‘Great March of Return.”
The report completely ignores the leading role of Hamas and other terrorist groups in orchestrating the violent riots and deliberately encouraging demonstrators to approach the hostile area of the Gaza-Israel border.
The WHO’s report also lauded the successful training of 1600 UNRWA staff members in providing mental health services, omitting the role of UNRWA teachers’ incitement to terrorism and violence on the mental health of Palestinian children.