Covid-19 Fault Lines: Palestinian Physicians in Israel
Special Feature: 
Palestinian citizens of Israel
Palestinian physicians
settler colonialism
public health emergency

This essay explores representations of Palestinian physicians in the Israeli health-care system during the Covid-19 pandemic and the dynamics that have played out in that system during the public health emergency from the perspective of a Palestinian physician. It argues that the health-care system, an essential pillar and infrastructural foundation of the settler-colonial project, is naively imagined as an apolitical, neutral sphere. As the site of a metaphorical battlefield against Covid-19, it has been window-dressed as an arena for brotherhood between Israeli Palestinians and Jews, and fantasized about as a gateway to political gain or equality for the Palestinian citizens of Israel (PCIs). Throughout the process, settler militarism, settler symbols, and settler domination have continued to be normalized.

Author biography: 

Osama Tanous is a specialized pediatrician based in Haifa. He is currently pursuing his Master of Public Health degree and is also a researcher for the Galilee Society—The Arab National Society for Health, Research and Services and the nongovernmental organization Policy, which is dedicated to improving the health, environmental, and socioeconomic status of the PCIs through equality. An analyst with the think tank Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network, Tanous is a 2020 Fulbright Hubert H. Humphrey fellow in public health and health policies. His research interests include structural violence and health disparities.

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