Litzman blasts Palestinian ‘political attack’ on Israel at WHO’s yearly assembly

In recent years, Palestinian representatives have taken advantage of the forum to criticize Israel even though no other country is exposed to such verbal attacks.

May 25, 2016 00:39
1 minute read.
Ya'acov Litzman, the deputy health minister

Ya'acov Litzman, the deputy health minister. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman, in Geneva to attend the annual assembly of the World Health Organization, denounced on Tuesday a “political attack” by a Palestinian representative to the organization, which is supposed to be totally nonpolitical.

The unnamed representative of the Palestinian delegation charged that “Israel is a country of occupation and harms Palestinian medical institutions in Gaza and elsewhere.” He called on the WHO to be concerned about the health of the population in Gaza and “all Arab countries.”

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In recent years, Palestinian representatives have taken advantage of the forum to criticize Israel even though no other country is exposed to such verbal attacks.

“The WHO is a professional organization, and I am very disappointed that the Palestinian representative has used this forum for a political attack against my country,” Litzman said when he was given his turn to speak. “The WHO is not a political organization. Therefore, I will speak on global, regional and Israeli health.”

He noted that “Sustainable Development” was the theme of the assembly this year.

“Sustainable development involves action and policy created today for the benefit of the future,” he said.

“This approach is paramount for a better and healthier world. It is part of my conviction as an Israeli government minister and as a citizen of the world. To achieve this vision, fighting poverty and inequality are central issues to be addressed.”

Litzman added that “as governments, we have the obligation to minimize the gaps between the center and the peripheries, both socioeconomic and geographical. We are committed to the weaker parts of our population, and we are fighting in all frontiers to meet these challenges. We see eye to eye with the UN and WHO, and we support and implement sustainable development goals.”

Litzman recommended that developed countries take one percent of their space-research budgets and allocate these funds toward cancer research. He mentioned his own basic dental services for children and mental-health reform, and his intention to provide basic care as part of National Health Insurance for the geriatric population that needs nursing care.

“Healthy food is a mainstay of our health,” he told the assembly.

“Recently, I initiated a proactive program of food regulation enhancing food of high nutritional value for all strata of our population,” he said.

“Junk food is a public enemy.”

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