Steve Kramer

Don’t Cry for the Poor Palestinians

Once again Israel is being asked questions about its decisions that no other country need explain. This one was written by an American woman to an Israeli American friend of mine, who asked me to write a reply.

“Question:  Why isn’t Israel allowing the Palestinians the vaccine in your occupied territories? [sic] This is really harsh, in my opinion.  Israel may hate them, but they are human like we all are. If they continue to get the Virus, then you are just killing them slowly like our president ….”

The Palestinian Arabs are NOT being denied vaccines by Israel, nor have their governments asked Israel for help. They are being denied vaccines by their own Palestinian Authority (synonymous with the PLO) and by Hamas in Gaza. You will not get reliable information from the major human rights organizations. Unfortunately Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam are filled with propaganda against Israel, despite (or because of?) many Jews working for them and Jews donating to them.

A few facts: the only refugees in the world whose descendants are also classified as “refugees” are Palestinian Arabs. The UN funds a unique refugee organization just for the Palestinian Arabs (and their children, and their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren, etc. in perpetuity) who fled what became “Israel” in 1948. That organization is UNRWA, which is separate from the one other UN organization for ALL other refugees, UNHCR. Also served by UNRWA are Palestinian Arabs who live in the PA and Gaza. This is also unique, in that these Palestinian Arabs are considered refugees while living in areas which are governed by their own people. Why? 

You may not be aware that more Jewish refugees were forced out of Arab countries after 1948/1967 than Palestinian Arabs from Israel (roughly 800,000 Jews compared to 700,000 Arabs). Never heard of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands, who are called Mizrahi Jews? That’s because they were absorbed and prospered in Israel and in other Western countries.

To address your question directly: Palestinian Arab governments (PA and Hamas) are responsible for their citizens, not Israel. They each have autonomy in their own areas. They are constrained to the extent that they continue to attack Israelis. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be. Their leaders are well known to be corrupt, with many of them having usurped millions of dollars from the aid they are given each year. 

You may also not know that the Palestinian Arabs receive more international aid per capita than any other people – and their population increases with every new generation. There is no interest in settling them permanently. On the contrary, their leaders’ strategy is to keep them as what I call, “show refugees.” They are taught in UNRWA schools to hate Jews and they are surrounded by schools, playgrounds, parks, etc. which feature the names of terrorists who murdered Jews. The PA calls these people “martyrs” and pays those incarcerated in Israeli jails generous salaries. Even more money is given to families whose “martyrs” died in the act of murdering Jews.

Israel paid top dollar for every dose of vaccine that it receives, much more than Britain or the US. Every country is spending money to procure vaccines for their people, except the Palestinian Arab governments. Like usual, they cry and moan about their status as “poor Palestinians,” blame everything on the Jews (Israelis), and beg for more money from donors. Even their fellow Arabs have awoken to their game, and are making peace agreements with Israel and exchanging diplomats. They have grown disgusted with the Palestinian Arabs’ perpetual whining.

Yes, there are people in what you call the West Bank who wish for peace with Israel, but they are ruled by those who use them as pawns. Those rulers love dead Palestinians because they elicit sympathy from Western liberals. You probably haven’t noticed that they get little sympathy or funds from their fellow Arabs. Those Palestinian Arabs who would like to compromise with Israel have little opportunity to make their case heard, because they live in kleptocratic dictatorships ruled by terrorists. Many emigrate if they can.

You no doubt have heard that Israel leads the world in vaccinating its citizens – Jews, Arabs, Druze, Christians. But not only its citizens: Palestinian Arab residents of Jerusalem who haven’t availed themselves of Israeli citizenship are still eligible to be vaccinated. Nevertheless, they are choosing to be “jabbed” at a rate far less (20% compared to 60%) than their Jewish neighbors.

I could go on, but instead I suggest that you widen your horizons about what’s going on in the Middle East. I’ve been writing about the situation here for 25 years. I invite you to read some of my articles ( and to look at articles in the Jerusalem Post,, or newsletters from the many pro-Israel organizations, especially,,, and  My guess is that you’ve been propagandized without realizing it. I invite you to prove me wrong.

I wish you and all my readers good health and a better new year!

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
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