As the World Health Organization (WHO) remains under fire for its early handling of the coronavirus pandemic and ties to China, indications of political prejudice are emerging from within the United Nations agency whose mandate is supposed to be solely focused on global health.
This time, in lockstep with much of the U.N. infrastructure, the agency is being accused of political biases toward Israel.
WHO’s frequently issued coronavirus situation reports – the most recent dated April 23 – do not list Israel as a country in the Eastern Mediterranean Region – although it does list its neighbors, including Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
Instead, in all the reports, the state of Israel is listed as being in the “European Region” alongside the likes of Spain, Italy, France, and Germany.
The “Occupied Palestinian Territory” is given its own category under “territories.” WHO did not immediately respond to a request for comment or clarification.
Countries that are heavily Muslim have rejected Israel’s membership in the Middle East region and Israel has argued that the UN has caved to Arab regions by refusing to recognize the country as part of the Middle East.
The Jerusalem Post also asserted this week that WHO “routinely singles out Israel and condemns them for supposed human rights violations, revealing the organization’s political agenda.”
At the organization’s annual assembly in 2019, countries voted to pass a resolution that singled Israel out over “health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”
U.N. Watch also pointed out that, “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.” No scrutiny was devoted to the health catastrophes and ongoing unrest running rampant in other middle eastern countries such as Syria, Iran, and Iraq and nor was the abysmal health woes of the likes of the North Korean government targeted.