Israeli ambassador calls for Saturday Night Live to apologize over vaccine joke

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Feb 22, 2021

An Israeli diplomat is upset with Saturday Night Live for a joke the favored NBC present made about Israel’s coronavirus vaccination marketing campaign.

On Saturday, a comic book joked that Israel has solely vaccinated its Jewish residents throughout its Weekend Update phase.

“Israel is reporting that they vaccinated half of their population, and I’m gonna guess it’s the Jewish half,” mentioned Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che.

Israel’s ambassador to the United States and United Nations accused the present of bigotry in response, saying Israelis of all religions are being vaccinated.

“I’m a big fan of humor but, perpetuating antisemitism is just not funny,” mentioned Gilad Erdan in a tweet to the present. “Your ‘joke’ is ignorant-the fact is that the success of our vaccination drive is exactly because every citizen of Israel – Jewish, Muslim, Christian-is entitled [to] it. Apologize!”

The joke alluded to the variations between the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Israel is main the world in vaccines administered per capita. As of Sunday, 50.5% of Israelis have acquired no less than one dose of the vaccine, in keeping with Oxford University’s Our World in Data.

The vaccine rollout within the Palestinian territories has been a lot slower. The Palestinian Authority solely started vaccinating Palestinians within the West Bank in early February after receiving a batch from Israel, whereas Israel started vaccinating its residents in December. Gaza acquired its first vaccines final week when Israel allowed a cargo in and started administering doses on Monday.

Israeli residents of all religions are eligible to obtain the vaccine. Palestinian residents of Israel in addition to Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem have acquired doses alongside Jewish Israelis. Some Israeli mayors are at the moment providing incentives to each Arabic-speaking and ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities to obtain the vaccine resulting from their comparatively decrease vaccination charges.

The United Nations regards the West Bank and Gaza as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, although Israel disputes the place. The Palestinian Authority has worldwide recognition and administers some areas of the West Bank. The Palestinian group Hamas runs Gaza internally. Israel maintains management over the West Bank’s borders and Israel and Egypt management Gaza’s borders.

Israeli settlers within the West Bank have been in a position to obtain the vaccine concurrently residents in Israel correct.

Israel disagrees that it bears duty for vaccinating Palestinians, saying it falls to the Palestinian Authority. Some human rights teams argue Israel is accountable as an occupying energy.

Al-Monitor’s efforts to reach Saturday Night Live have been unsuccessful.