Saturday Night Live has come under fire this weekend for having made the following joke: “Israel just announced it has now vaccinated half its population. I’m guessing it’s the Jewish half.”
I can understand why some people think that any criticism of the State of Israel is anti-Semitic. But how is this a criticism? I’m old enough to remember the vaccination program that was mounted when polio was making its way across Europe in 1943. I don’t remember Germany being criticised for prioritising healthy young Berliners ahead of the elderly residents of the Warsaw Ghetto.
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This is actually a funny joke from Saturday Night Live, and at least made me laugh. It is of course inaccurate because Jews are far more than half of the population. It is also inaccurate because Palestinians living in Israel are Israeli citizens and are being vaccinated with the same priorities (age, essential workers) as everyone else. But being factually accurate is not the same as being funny. I don’t go to Saturday Night Live because I want factual enlightenment, I go there because I want them to make me laugh.
The following article is a week old. Much can change in that period of time. But the final subsection is particularly interesting, “Whose responsibility is it to vaccinate Palestinians?”
Covid 19: Why are Palestinians behind in vaccine efforts? Reality Check. BBC.