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Health Inequity and Medical Apartheid in Palestine

Health Inequity and Medical Apartheid in Palestine

Date(s) - 07/21/2022
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

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JHU-UPF Public Policy Center


Thursday, July 21, 2022, at 11:30 am EDT (5:30 pm CEST).

The JHU-UPF Public Policy Center invites you to learn about, reflect on and debate the issues surrounding health inequities in Palestine

About this event

Thursday, 21st July 2022 at 5.30pm CEST

Location: Online via Zoom (registration is required; the Zoom link will be sent to all participants one day before the event)

Language: English


In recent years, following decades of advocacy and work by Palestinians, multiple Israeli and international human rights organizations (including Human Rights WatchB’Tselem and Amnesty International) have likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to a system of apartheid, predicated on “the domination of one racial-national-ethnic group over another,” as described by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.

This system of separation and oppression functions in all aspects of life, including but not limited to the legal system, access to food and water, freedom of movement, and access to education. However, the COVID-19 pandemic offers a unique opportunity to view how this system functions in the health system, where a complex web of physical and political barriers to health decrease Palestinian health and well-being.

To discuss these issues of medical apartheid and the structural causes of health inequities in Palestine, the JHU-UPF Public Policy Center is delighted to invite two experts in public health and health policy in Palestine to speak at the fifth Policy Dialogues seminar: Yara Asi and Osama Tanous.

Dr. Yara M. Asi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida in the School of Global Health Management and Informatics and a Visiting Scholar at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. Her research agenda focuses on global health, human rights, and development in fragile populations. She is a Non-resident Fellow at the Arab Center Washington DC, a 2020-2021 Fulbright US Scholar to the West Bank, the Fall 2021 US Fellow at Al Shabaka Palestinian Policy Network, and the co-chair of the Palestine Health Justice Working Group in the American Public Health Association. She has also worked with Amnesty International USA and the Palestinian American Research Center on policy and outreach issues. She has presented at multiple national and international conferences on topics related to global health, food security, health informatics, and women in healthcare, and has published extensively on health and well-being in fragile and conflict-affected populations in journal articles and book chapters. Her work has also been featured in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Nation, +972 Magazine, The Conversation, Al Jazeera, The World, and other outlets. Her forthcoming book with Johns Hopkins University Press will examine war as a public health crisis.

Osama Tanous is a specialized paediatrician based in Haifa, Israel. He is a researcher at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University, USA and the Galilee Society: The Arab National Society for Health, Research and Services. He is a board member of Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, and published in the International Journal of Health Services last year on the effects of structural violence on Palestinian children’s health.

The two speakers will briefly explore the colonial and historical underpinnings of the Palestinian health system as it functions today, including the role of racialization and racism. They will then discuss the current state of the health system, including how it functions under Israeli occupation and blockade, using the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine distribution as a case study and looking at policy alternatives to the current situation. After the presentations, there will be a question and answer session, in which participants are encouraged to contribute questions and reflections on the key issues raised.


More information about Policy Dialogues:

The Policy Dialogues (#PolicyDialogues) series forms part of the JHU-UPF Public Policy Center’s initiative to make knowledge around policymaking and its impacts on people’s quality of life and wellbeing more accessible and interdisciplinary. Its objective is to tackle and explore highly important current topics, emphasising policy proposals and social change. Policy Dialogues encourages dialogue between participants, recognising all experiences and points of view as useful for the construction and democratisation of knowledge and for informing policymaking processes.


Twitter: @pubpolcenter



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