Israel admits giving contraceptive injections to Ethiopian immigrant women

Israel/Palestine
on 76 Comments

A disturbing story of official racism in Israel. Haaretz reports:

Israel admits Ethiopian women were given birth control shots

A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.

Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu has instructed the four health maintenance organizations to stop the practice as a matter of course.

The story broke on Israeli television in December, and the government denied it. From the JTA:

Israeli and Jewish aid officials are denying an Israeli TV report alleging that Ethiopian immigrant women have been coerced into taking contraceptive shots.

The report, which aired Saturday night on Israeli Educational Television, charged that coercive contraception is behind a 50 percent decline in the Ethiopian birth rate in Israel over the last decade.

At that time, a Haaretz columnist appropriately summarized: “An inconveivable crime: Israel’s patronizing and inhumane treatment of Ethiopian women is nothing new.”
Update. Tablet’s Yair Rosenberg says the government hasn’t admitted the coercive aspect; so I removed that word from my original headline. Today’s Haaretz report summarizes the coercive aspect in the original television report:
 
According to the program, while the women were still in transit camps in Ethiopia they were sometimes intimidated or threatened into taking the injection. “They told us they are inoculations,” said one of the women interviewed. “They told us people who frequently give birth suffer. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.”

76 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    January 27, 2013, 10:31 am

    from haaretz:

    almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community.

    • Krauss
      January 30, 2013, 8:24 am

      A ‘racial hygene’ program targeting Jews who happened to have the wrong color. Says it all, really, about what kind of nation Israel is.

  2. kalithea
    January 27, 2013, 11:05 am

    Does the fact that Zionism is inherently racist come as a surprise to anyone? If Zionists are intent on favoring and maintaining some kind of delusional “purity” by undermining and controlling their own, just imagine their repulsion and hatred for “others”, Muslims, Christians, etc.. Of course this is demonstrated in cruel and disgusting acts against “others” every day. Do we need more proof that this is a racist state enabled by the U.S. and some European countries? The proof of blatant racism and hate against “others” is already OVERWHELMING.

    • Citizen
      January 27, 2013, 11:15 am

      @ kalithea
      Are you suggesting that the issue wrt Zionism is racism actually masks a battleground revolving around “What’s good for the Jews” in the eyes of the most influential Jews and their organs and those who think more universally as in what’s good for all humans?

      • lysias
        January 30, 2013, 2:22 pm

        If — as I suspect — the Ethiopian women who are being given these injections are Falasha Jews, what matters would seem to be “What’s good for some Jews”.

      • seafoid
        January 30, 2013, 5:34 pm

        Not all Jews are chosen in the same way.

    • seafoid
      January 27, 2013, 4:05 pm

      They get everyone afraid of the outside world and then they do as they like. There is a huge gap between the success of Jews in the outside world of business and the working of the system inside Israel.

  3. Mndwss
    January 27, 2013, 11:41 am

    A baby is a cancer in the body of Israel.

  4. just
    January 27, 2013, 12:32 pm

    Eugenics. Only God can help Israel– maybe, but I think it’s too late.

    The mask has fallen– no democracy, only apartheid. No peace, only belligerence.
    No justice, only injustice.

  5. traintosiberia
    January 27, 2013, 12:40 pm

    Quite consistent with the practices of penning the African migrants in cages and making threat to bomb the child care center run for the African immigrants. It is also in line with denying the safety measures to the guest workers during 2003 Iraq war . Racism is in the air. Just not that long ago, one of the Israeli ministers reminded his/her Austarlian counterpart why and how Israel understood the Australian anxiety of the “Yellow Peril” flooding the Down Under.

  6. Walid
    January 27, 2013, 12:53 pm

    We had the story of trading in body parts stolen from morgues and now the sterilization of the descendants of Solomon. Wondering what we’ll discover next about these illustrious Israelis.

    • Hostage
      January 28, 2013, 3:44 am

      Wondering what we’ll discover next about these illustrious Israelis.

      We already witnessed the spectacle of the Rabbinate requiring the Ethiopian Jewish community to “convert” to forms of “Judaism” practiced in medieval Spain or Germany and put an end to their own religious customs: See “Israel putting end to millenia-old tradition of Ethiopian Jewish priests. Israeli rabbis working to phase out the kessoch, who preside over the community; the 13 newest kessoch will also be the country’s last.
      link to haaretz.com

      Why wasn’t an Ethiopian Chief Rabbi added alongside the Ashkenazi and Sephardi ones? If those two groups don’t accept each other’s authorities, why should the Ethiopians?

      • Hostage
        January 28, 2013, 4:08 am

        P.S. The treatment of Yemeni, Ethiopian, and Russian Jews at the hands of the State’s medical and religious/conversion authorities, together with the total non-recognition of Reform and Conservative Jews by the Rabbinate aren’t isolated incidents. They are part of a pattern and practice of discrimination. The arrest of the Women of Wall group and those other situations prove beyond any doubt that Israel is a state that persecutes other Jews.

      • eljay
        January 28, 2013, 12:00 pm

        >> link to haaretz.com

        Why does Israel’s rabbinate hate Jews so much?!

        >> “After 2,500 years of isolation from the nation of Israel, we have returned. Now we need to find a way to be one people,” Rabbi Hadana said.

        I thought Jews were already one people (as well as a collective, a nation, a tribe, a faith, a civilization and a culture). Perhaps Mr. Hadana and his holy (holier than thou?) colleagues could simply accept these Ethiopian Jews for who they already are: Jews.

  7. tommy
    January 27, 2013, 1:36 pm

    Inhumane behaviors like compulsory contraception for people deemed inferior was supposedly one reason for Israel’s creation, but Israel’s reason for being is based upon a racial nationalism, which guides its every policy. As Israel matures as a state, those policies become increasingly transparent, and repugnant to those who reject such Twentieth Century ideologies because of the inhumane behaviors they unleash.

    • sardelapasti
      January 27, 2013, 1:50 pm

      tommy: Or, crudely and shortly said, Nazi eugenics.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 27, 2013, 1:52 pm

        we did something similar in the US too sardelapasti. i believe in conjunction w/israeli scientists at the time, as i recall.

      • just
        January 27, 2013, 2:00 pm

        “The United States was the first country to concertedly undertake compulsory sterilization programs for the purpose of eugenics.[31] The heads of the program were avid believers in eugenics and frequently argued for their program. It was shut down due to ethical problems. The principal targets of the American program were the mentally retarded and the mentally ill, but also targeted under many state laws were the deaf, the blind, people with epilepsy, and the physically deformed. According to the activist Angela Davis, Native Americans, as well as African-American women[32] were sterilized against their will in many states, often without their knowledge while they were in a hospital for other reasons (e.g. childbirth). Other Native American activists such as Dr. Pinkerman concluded some 25,000 Native American women were forcibly sterilized against their will. Fortunately, these cases, as common mathematics would prove, were exaggerated [4].”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • American
        January 27, 2013, 2:02 pm

        annie…. what was that? I remember what we did in the experiments carried out on black men in the US, and I remember the sterilization of the retarded at one time, but did we do this to black women?….got any info on it?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 27, 2013, 2:26 pm

        american, here’s an informative link about north carolina i just found with a little googling around. awful graphic. link to uvm.edu

        there’s more by googling ‘eugenics US african american’

      • Walid
        January 27, 2013, 2:59 pm

        Another experiment carried out by the US although not having anything to do with sterilization was in the early 50s. The CIA with the knowledge of the Canadian Government conducted mind-control experiments using LSD on 78 mental patients at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. The purpose behind the program was CIA research into chemical methods to be used for brainwashing and in the interrogation of caught spies. After decades of court actions and denials by both governments, they finally settled out of court with the families of the patients that had been experimented on. The experiments were part of a larger CIA program called MK-ULTRA, which also saw LSD administered to U.S. prison inmates and patrons of brothels without their knowledge, according to testimony before a 1977 U.S. Senate committee.

        link to cbc.ca

      • yonah fredman
        January 28, 2013, 1:19 pm

        annie- i believe in conjunction w/israeli scientists at the time, as i recall.

        What? Really? When? Who? Link?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 28, 2013, 4:00 pm

        just some mental cross circuitry yonah. i knew about the tens of thousands of californians sterilized in napa during the 50’s and thought that was where i read about it. but after a little googling i see both mentioned in this article, but it turns out they were not in collaboration. although certainly there were collaborations going on all around the world at one time.

        link to haaretz.com

        A shocking new study reveals how key figures in the pre-state Zionist establishment proposed castrating the mentally ill, sterilizing the poor and doing everything possible to ensure reproduction only among the `best of people.’

        …..

        She decided to look into whether there was only anecdotal and non- representative evidence, doctors and public figures here and there who supported eugenics – and she found many publications that promoted eugenics. Supporters of the idea were key figures in the emerging medical establishment in Palestine; the people who managed and created the Israeli health system.

        One of the most prominent eugenicists of the Mandatory period was Dr. Joseph Meir, a well-known doctor who acquired his education in Vienna, served for about 30 years as the head of the Kupat Holim Clalit health maintenance organization, and after whom the Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava is named. “From his position at the very heart of the Zionist medical establishment in the land of Israel in the mid-1930s, he brought young mothers the gospel of eugenics, warned them about degeneracy and transmitted the message to them about their obligation and responsibility for bearing only healthy children,” says Stoler-Liss.

        my mistake!

      • Annie Robbins
        January 28, 2013, 5:09 pm

        walid, it was a famous (and hushed up) CIA program referenced in your link.

        The experiments were part of a larger CIA program called MK-ULTRA, which also saw LSD administered to U.S. prison inmates and patrons of brothels without their knowledge, according to testimony before a 1977 U.S. Senate committee.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Precursor experiments

        A precursor of the MKUltra program began in 1945 when the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency was established and given direct responsibility for Operation Paperclip. The program recruited former Nazi scientists, some of whom studied torture and brainwashing, and several who had been identified and prosecuted as war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials.[15][16]

        Several secret U.S. government projects grew out of Operation Paperclip. These projects included Project CHATTER (established 1947), and Project BLUEBIRD (established 1950), which was renamed Project ARTICHOKE in 1951. Their purpose was to study mind control, interrogation, behavior modification and related topics.

        lots of embedded links in the article. but for more options outside of wiki i recommend googling MKUltra and checking out this pdf of the congressional investigation. much of it was covered up, of course.

        link to nytimes.com

      • Walid
        January 29, 2013, 4:15 am

        Not a very big mistake, Annie, it has been proven that Zionist hands have been busy in the development of chemical and biological hanky-panky from as far back as the early 40s with Ben-Gurion. You have the documented Zionist poisoning of Palestinian water wells as ordered by Ben-Gurion at Acre and Baysan described by Ilan Pappé:

        According to British doctors in the city’s Lebanese Red Cross hospital, the troops also caused an outbreak of typhoid and dysentery among Arabs and even British soldiers by poisoning the water supply with germs. These germs were developed by the Biological Warfare Science Corps program, set up by Ben-Gurion himself in the 1940s and ironically known by its acronym HEMED, which means “sweetness” in Hebrew.

        Exhausted, starved, and fearing more death and destruction, the Palestinian inhabitants of Acre and Baysan finally surrendered in a matter of days only to be loaded by Jewish soldiers at gunpoint onto trucks that drove them to their future refugee camps.

        link to isreview.org

  8. sardelapasti
    January 27, 2013, 1:57 pm

    In the US it isn’t part of an official doctrine of a racially defined state. With the Zionists it is, giving the lie, once more, to the pseudo-religious cutesifying of Zionism.

    • W.Jones
      January 27, 2013, 10:50 pm

      You’re on the right track, but as we learned in the post “The latest existential threat to Israel? Those Russians the world was implored to free”, it’s not really racially-defined after all. If it was, Russians of Jewish ethnicity would not have a problem.

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2013, 6:15 am

        @ W Jones
        All the natural Russian speakers in Israel are Jews under the Law Of Return, copied from the Nuremberg Laws. That is, they’ve all claimed to have at least one Jewish grandparent or being married to such a claimant.
        An exception would be the many purely Gentile Russian ladies taken to Israel by Israeli sex traffickers.

      • W.Jones
        January 29, 2013, 8:13 pm

        Citizen,

        You are generally correct: “All the natural Russian speakers in Israel are Jews under the Law Of Return, copied from the Nuremberg Laws. That is, they’ve all claimed to have at least one Jewish grandparent or being married to such a claimant.

        The exception is that a 1970’s amendment to ROR law excludes converts to other religions from its definition.

        But in any case, since your statement proves they really do have the right ethnic background hasn’t your statement raised the possibility: “it’s not really racially-defined after all. If it was, Russians of Jewish ethnicity would not have a problem.”

      • sardelapasti
        January 28, 2013, 10:12 am

        In fact, the Russians having problems are those not considered to be Master-Race.

      • W.Jones
        January 29, 2013, 8:21 pm

        Sardeplasti,

        I can see racial undertones in the Shas ad, depicting the blond haired lady as an outsider. However, isn’t the substance of the objection that the person’s conversion is not sincere or real?

        That is, the intolerant people admit that the Russians often qualify for the ROR based on genetic heritage, but they do not qualify enough based on whether they belong to the religious community, as Phil’s article “The latest existential threat” claims:
        they come here and they have the non-Jewish mother and the Jewish father… There are no civil marriages in Israel. If Russian Israelis defined as non-Jews wish to marry, they must go abroad or convert.

      • sardelapasti
        January 30, 2013, 12:55 am

        Jones:
        “However, isn’t the substance of the objection that the person’s conversion is not sincere or real?”
        The contrary –based on several real-life close encounters with similar occurrences. We are talking about a subpopulation of religious bigots who do not recognize conversion (‘religious’ would hardly be an adequate adjective in terms of some other, universalist religions, of course) and I read the whole point of the movie as a clear denunciation of both conversions and official rules about recruiting to the tribe –no matter how appetizing the bride. The objection, the way I got it, filtered through many instances of remembered gossip and discussions, is to the inclusion of someone not born into the tribe.

      • W.Jones
        February 2, 2013, 2:18 pm

        Sardeplasti,

        You wrote: ” We are talking about a subpopulation of religious bigots who do not recognize conversion”.
        Does this go back to the school of Shammai? My understanding though is that the school of Hillel won and the school of Shammai lost. After all, how many “Shammai” student groups are there on campus?

        Secondly, don’t the rabbis and religious schools generally recognize that this non-conversion position is incorrect?

        Third, the movie denigrated receiving conversion certificates quickly by impersonal fax. My interpretation was that the Ad considered the Beitanu party’s conversions to be illegitimate. I took it that the bad conversions were those with no ceremony or religious preparation or discussion, just someone getting a fax sent to them.

        Now you could be right. Perhaps the convert had gone through classes before getting the wedding fax, and perhaps the groom was upset that she was a convert at all. I am not sure the Ad shows this one way or another.

        In any case, I certainly believe what you are saying from personal experience. I have occasionally heard such mention from people in the community, which I am not myself, so typically lack the firsthand experience.

        One time at school one student from the community told the other students that a blond student from a mixed marriage (or convert marriage) was labelled with a special term in their community, and that the term referred to people with mixed background. I didn’t have any particular awareness at the time about these issues, but remember feeling that this was demeaning, even though I didn’t have any relationship with the student. What term could that have been? Gekesha or something?

  9. Denis
    January 27, 2013, 2:07 pm

    OK, so this is a little confusing to me.

    The story, and the only story, is the coercion. If the Israel government is providing the contraceptive to the Ethiopian ladies on a take-it-if-you-want-it basis, there is no story. This would be a service provided by the government to people who can choose whether or not to access it. That’s good. That’s what governments should do.

    But if the ladies are being coerced, then this is a very damning story, and, I would guess, there would international law ramifications.

    So let’s step back the timeline of these stories. I don’t have a Harretz account (and I’ll be dipped in sh&t and ice skate across Hell before I buy one), so all I have is the headlines and leaders that Phil links to. Here is the way Harretz played this story in its summaries:

    Dec09.12: Talila Nesher article explicitly claiming the women were coerced.

    Dec11.12: Efrat Yardai story explicitly claiming the Ethiopian women are forced to receive Dep-Provera

    Jan27.13: Talila Nesher story clip put up on the outside of the Harretz pay-wall now says “officials acknowledge injecting women of Ethiopian origin . . .” This excerpt doesn’t address the coercion issue.

    But an extended quote from Nesher’s article, part of which Phil has provided, makes it clear that Nesher’s story is, indeed, about coercion.

    A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.

    Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu has instructed the four health maintenance organizations to stop the practice as a matter of course.

    The ministry and other state agencies had previously denied knowledge or responsibility for the practice, which was first reported five years ago.

    Gamzu’s letter instructs all gynecologists in the HMOs “not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.”

    He also instructed physicians to avail themselves of translators if need be.

    Gamzu’s letter came in response to a letter from Sharona Eliahu-Chai of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, representing several women’s rights and Ethiopian immigrants’ groups. The letter demanded the injections cease immediately and that an investigation be launched into the practice.

    About six weeks ago, on an Educational Television program journalist Gal Gabbay revealed the results of interviews with 35 Ethiopian immigrants. The women’s testimony could help explain the almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community. According to the program, while the women were still in transit camps in Ethiopia they were sometimes intimidated or threatened into taking the injection. “They told us they are inoculations,” said one of the women interviewed. “They told us people who frequently give birth suffer. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.”

    From: link to desertpeace.wordpress.com

    The link to Rosenberg’s Tablet article above just goes as far as a Rosenberg I-love-me page. I don’t see any Tablet article. Nevertheless, the fact that the government hasn’t “admitted the coercive aspect” means nothing. When they start to explicitly deny the coercive aspect, we’ll know for sure they did it.

    • W.Jones
      January 27, 2013, 10:53 pm

      Doesn’t Annie’s quote make it obvious: “almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community.”

      Are one in two women going to completely voluntarily choose to be sterilized?

      • Denis
        January 28, 2013, 9:55 pm

        @W: “Are one in two women going to completely voluntarily choose to be sterilized?”

        Absolutely. The Ethiopian birth rate, which is the baseline here, is 2x higher than the Israeli b’rate. The Ethiopian’s in Israel have a b’rate approximately what the general Israeli b’rate is.

        That tells you that these women did not have access to contraception when they were in Ethiopia, either b/c there just isn’t any or because of social norms. It tells you that when they reached Israel they gained the same amount of control over their own bodies as other Israeli women.

        You can’t infer from a simple percentage drop in b’rate that anybody coerced anybody to do anything. An equally valid conclusion is that the coercion was in Ethiopia where these women were coerced to have children.

        This is not an argument that Israel hasn’t coerced these women to accept the De-Po injections, it’s an argument that you can’t deduce that, or anything, from a 50% decline. Nothing like over-reading the data. Next you’ll be arguing that the 50% decline proves that Israel coerced all the Ethiopian men to be circumcised with a chain saw.

      • iResistDe4iAm
        January 29, 2013, 5:49 am

        Denis: “Absolutely. The Ethiopian birth rate, which is the baseline here…”

        That’s not correct. Many Ethiopian Jews emigrated to Israel in the 1980s and 1990s. Therefore the baseline is the established Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel (as per Haaretz “in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community“.

        The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics’ main function is to collect, research and publish statistical data on all aspects of Israeli life. For the purposes of analysis, Israel chooses (like other countries) to categorise is migrant population by country/region of origin (eg. former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Arab countries, etc). From the wording in the Haaretz article, it can be assumed that the reported decline is based on official Israeli statistics (in any case, the reported decline hasn’t been denied by Israeli officials).

        Denis: “You can’t infer from a simple percentage drop in b’rate that anybody coerced anybody to do anything.”

        A ~50% drop in the birth rate over 10 years is anything but simple. In fact if it was simple/negligible/ordinary it wouldn’t have prompted the investigative report to begin with.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 29, 2013, 9:47 am

        Nonsense Denis, the 50% drop is consistent with either possibility, so it proves neither. However, the accompanying circumstances go to establish that racism and bigotry is at the heart of this matter.

        “Next you’ll be arguing that the 50% decline proves that Israel coerced all the Ethiopian men to be circumcised with a chain saw.”

        That’s the worst kind of bs logical falacy. There is no evidence suggesting this, while there is evidence suggesting that the israelis ran a racist and perhaps coercive contraception program. Your attempt to impeach the latter by comparing to your boogie-man scenario is transparent nonsense and bush league.

      • Denis
        January 29, 2013, 4:07 pm

        @Woody: “That’s the worst kind of bs logical falacy. There is no evidence suggesting this”

        With regards to my “chain saw” remark, sorry for that spike in your blood pressure, dude, but I am literally stunned, as Biden might say, that you, or anyone, would take that comment as anything other than absurd hyperbole.

        You might whip out your dictionary when you get a second and turn to “reductio ad absurdum” and you’ll see the path I was going down, figuratively.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 28, 2013, 9:48 am

      “If the Israel government is providing the contraceptive to the Ethiopian ladies on a take-it-if-you-want-it basis, there is no story. This would be a service provided by the government to people who can choose whether or not to access it. That’s good. That’s what governments should do.”

      Not necessarily. If the israeli government is providing free contraceptives to Ethiopina immigrants and refugees but not to Jewish immigrants, then I’d say that’s pretty damning evidence of racism, regardless of the coercion issue. (and the fact that they ordered the practice stop is pretty much prima facie evidence that it was, in fact, coercion, or else why stop the program?)

      “Nevertheless, the fact that the government hasn’t ‘admitted the coercive aspect’ means nothing. When they start to explicitly deny the coercive aspect, we’ll know for sure they did it.”

      No one’s ever lost a lot of money betting on the truth of allegations of racist acts by the israelis.

      • Denis
        January 28, 2013, 1:57 pm

        @ Woody: “Not necessarily. If the israeli government is providing free contraceptives to Ethiopina immigrants and refugees but not to Jewish immigrants, then I’d say that’s pretty damning evidence of racism, regardless of the coercion issue. ”

        My understanding of Israeli contraception policy, which “understanding” comes exclusively from what I read here and other places on the Internet, is that the government provides contraception to all women between 18 and 42 at a small co-pay, and to women outside that age range at no cost. When I said if the government was providing the services to Ethiopian women, I was assuming on the same basis as everyone else, but your point is interesting.

        If a government offers contraception to one (“undesirable”) demographic cheaper or on better terms than to another (“more desirable”) demographic, is that unethical or illegal?

        Those of us here at Nuanced Racism, Inc. like the way you think.

        Does the US provide contraception to poor Americans on more favorable terms than to wealthy Americans? I mean, are Planned Parenthood services means-tested?

        I’m not trying to bait you. I’m asking b/c you’ve opened an interesting line of thought I’ve never gone down before.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 28, 2013, 3:24 pm

        denis, it’s almost as if your demonstrating a willful blindness. have you read the first haaretz article? the women were coerced. they were in holding immigration areas.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 28, 2013, 3:44 pm

        “If a government offers contraception to one (‘undesirable’) demographic cheaper or on better terms than to another (‘more desirable’) demographic, is that unethical or illegal?”

        I don’t see how it could be seen in any other way but unethical, if it was based on the person’s status as part of the out-group. (Further thinking… if it was merely one part of a larger benefit package that was offered specifically to improve the immigrant’s lot, and was offered to all immigrants of a certain level of poverty, that could be okay.)

        “Does the US provide contraception to poor Americans on more favorable terms than to wealthy Americans? I mean, are Planned Parenthood services means-tested?”

        I don’t know. But I see a clear difference between offering it to people for free because they can’t afford it, and offering it to people for free because they’re Ethiopian.

      • Denis
        January 28, 2013, 10:06 pm

        @Woody “I see a clear difference between offering it to people for free because they can’t afford it, and offering it to people for free because they’re Ethiopian.”

        Aha, that’s the sticking point all around — it’s a matter of perception. Where you see poor people offered contraception as OK b/c “they can’t afford it,” someone else would say it’s evil because it’s a gov’t plan to keep poor people from reproducing.

        Where you see dirt in Israel offering voluntary contraception to Ethiopians because they are Ethiopians, I could just as validly see it as nobly offering it to them b/c they are poor.

        Of course, we are on the topic you raised of the ethics of voluntary free or government subsidized contraception. This is not about the gov’t holding some woman down and injecting her w/ De-Po or threatening women, which would not just be unethical, it would be illegal.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 29, 2013, 9:55 am

        “Aha, that’s the sticking point all around — it’s a matter of perception.”

        No, it’s a matter of fact. They either ran a racist program or they didn’t. Your obfuscation tactics are a typical, transparent and rather cynical attempt to cloud that fact by introducing subjective perception. That’s crap. While the zios try to defend israeli actions by profferring “facially plausible” explanations, like you did here (“they were just helping these poor women out!!”), they can only do so by ignoring or denying the evidences and reasonable implications that go against that excuse.

        Here, the Etheopians’ testimony, and the fact that there is no indication that these supposed wonderful, free shots were available to poor Jewish women, but only to Ethiopians, fairly demonstrates a racist motivation.

        “Of course, we are on the topic you raised of the ethics of voluntary free or government subsidized contraception. This is not about the gov’t holding some woman down and injecting her w/ De-Po or threatening women, which would not just be unethical, it would be illegal.”

        Again, you’re obfuscating (or attempting to) the point by pointing to a boogieman. Yes, it’s unethical and illegal to hold the woman down and inject her. It’s equally unethical and illegal to establish a racist contraception program, regardless of whether it relies on force, coercision or deceit. It, by its very existence, is unethical and illegal — in fact, it is so even if not one woman ever received a shot.

  10. seafoid
    January 27, 2013, 2:09 pm

    Nice. But Israel was never run on the basis of human rights.
    Not for Palestinians, not for Mizrahim, not for poor Ashkenazim.

  11. American
    January 27, 2013, 2:14 pm

    Odd as it may be, considering my low opinon of Israel, there have been times I thought things like the reports of harvesting organs from dead Palestines and things like this forced birth control were too far fetched to be true, —-but they’ve turned out to be true.

  12. Les
    January 27, 2013, 2:44 pm

    Sounds like the US, whites over blacks. Guess what happened to women in Puerto Rico over the course of many years?

    • SimoHurtta
      January 27, 2013, 6:50 pm

      Surely there have been extremely bad events in world in the past and even in recent times. But these events do not justify what Israel has done and is doing.

      Israel now “celebrates” the yearly memory of the events of the Holocaust and demands those constant loyalty oaths from the western world in forms of endless compensations and quilt confessions. Never again – they say in Israel. On the same time Israel has done much of the same Nazis did in Germany. Maybe the scale is still debatable, but the difference is that the story of Nazi empire is something that happened and is “closed” , the story of Israel is still on a developing story and the most bloody chapters are in the future if a complete u-turn is not made. Erasing a population of millions, the Palestinians, will not be tidy. Neither will be using nukes against neighbors.

      Israel is today’s “Germany of the 30’s” more than any other country. Surely Israeli is not like the pre WW2 Czechoslovakia or Poland. Israel is one of the mightiest military forces in the world armed to their teeth with nukes, nerve gases and bacteriological weapons. The society is so severely radicalized with a racist nationalistic/religious ideology that the nearest comparison point in the western world are fascist nations in the 30’s and the South African apartheid era. The politicians are so aggressive with their lebensraum demands and who do not see any other means in foreign policy than using military force. The leading rabbis express fervently so racist views, which said by a Christian priest would end his carrier in a millisecond and even cause severe problems with the laws in our countries. ETC.

    • Denis
      January 27, 2013, 9:34 pm

      Oh, yes. And we dare not mention Tuskegee.

      But Americans are . . . uh, so much more civilized now. (Thank you, Pam.) The white ones, anyway. The black ones were OK all along.

      In any event, America’s disgusting past does not excuse Israel’s disturbing present.

  13. Kathleen
    January 27, 2013, 7:17 pm

    “official racism?” plenty of “official racism” being practiced by Israel before another act of “official racism” has been exposed. Horrible

    Another human rights issue that Rachel Maddow will not be reporting about.

  14. ToivoS
    January 27, 2013, 8:14 pm

    Not mentioned at all in the comments or the initial post — the Ethiopeans are not Africans, they are Jews. It is most unfair to call them African immigrants. This is how this scandal should be phrased — Israel is sterilizing Jewish immigrants!

    In fact the Ethiopean immigrants are more Jewish than about half of those from the former Soviet Union. Isn’t about time to start sterilizing those Slavic pretenders? Interesting paradox we have here. Could it be that white skin trumps Jewishness?

    • Annie Robbins
      January 28, 2013, 2:57 am

      the Ethiopeans are not Africans, they are Jews.

      ????? you make it sound as tho one cannot be an african and a jew. you can take the ethiopean out of africa but you can’t take africa out of the ethiopean.

      Could it be that white skin trumps Jewishness?

      gee, ya think? link to mondoweiss.net

      • Bumblebye
        January 28, 2013, 9:17 am

        Back in the mid 80’s my (non Jewish) Ethiopian friend explained that they see themselves as a dark-skinned Semitic people, as opposed to ‘negroid’ per the rest of Africans.

      • lysias
        January 30, 2013, 4:31 pm

        Amharic and several other languages of Ethiopia are Semitic languages, of the South Semitic branch.

  15. Blank State
    January 27, 2013, 10:48 pm

    Eugenics, eh?

    Oh, well. Wanna discuss the term “satanical” again???

    Israel, a “valuable ally in the middle east”. Hmmm….whats that say about us?

  16. iResistDe4iAm
    January 28, 2013, 3:14 am

    From Haaretz: “About six weeks ago, on an Educational Television program journalist Gal Gabbay revealed the results of interviews with 35 Ethiopian immigrants. The women’s testimony could help explain the almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community.”

    An “almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate” is an unprecedented decline for such a short period.

    To put this into perspective, the following statistics for crude birth rates (births per 1,000 total population) are provided for comparison:

    World: in 2012 the estimated birth rate was 19.14 compared to 21.16 in 2002 = a decline of 9.5%
    link to indexmundi.com

    Israel: in 2012 the estimated birth rate was 18.97 compared to 18.91 in 2002 = an increase of 0.3%
    link to indexmundi.com

    Ethiopia: in 2012 the estimated birth rate was 42.59 compared to 44.31 in 2002 = a decline of 3.9%
    link to indexmundi.com

    Some thoughts that come to mind:
    – Is an unprecedented ~50% decline in the birth rate of Ethiopian-Israelis considered a successful demographic outcome, or is it just another eugenics crime?

    – Will the same eugenics solution be used to resolve the so-called Palestinian “demographic threat” that Israeli officials claim is a threat to Israel’s “Jewish and Democratic” character?

    – If it took just one inquisitive journalist to uncover this decade long crime, what did the thousands of Israeli officials and doctors — who should have known — do about it? (apart from help implement it)

    • W.Jones
      February 16, 2013, 4:22 pm

      Dear I Resist,

      I have a bit of skepticism about the story, because you wrote some striking statistics:

      Israel: in 2012 the estimated birth rate was 18.97 compared to 18.91 in 2002 = an increase of 0.3%
      link to indexmundi.com

      Ethiopia: in 2012 the estimated birth rate was 42.59 compared to 44.31 in 2002 = a decline of 3.9%
      link to indexmundi.com

      Doesn’t it make sense that the Ethiopians who immigrated to Israel naturally showed a lower birthrate because they were now living in a developed country, where birthrates are naturally lower? People in developed countries naturally have lower birthrates, statistics show.

      You counterargued earlier by writing that the baseline was what Ethiopians were experiencing in Israel, not in impoverished Ethiopia. So one need not focus on the high level of the 43% birthrate in poor Ethiopia.

      However, if the baseline like you say is their birthrate in Israel, then doesn’t that toss out the possibility of the birthrate’s low level being caused by the sterilization program, which took place in camps in Ethiopia?

      • iResistDe4iAm
        February 20, 2013, 10:42 am

        Doesn’t it make sense that the Ethiopians who immigrated to Israel naturally showed a lower birthrate because they were now living in a developed country, where birthrates are naturally lower? People in developed countries naturally have lower birthrates, statistics show.

        Yes, migrants tend to adopt the lifestyle of their chosen countries as they gradually assimilate. Assimilation however, does not happen in a decade, it usually occurs gradually over many generations.

        The fact that the birth rate declined is not unusual. The fact that it declined precipitously within a decade is unprecedented, hence the current controversy.

        Voluntary contraception is one possible explanation, but as the Haaretz report states, there are at least 35 Ethiopian immigrant women who claim they were coerced into taking the injections.

  17. Klaus Bloemker
    January 28, 2013, 3:49 am

    Before Hitler and his SS people decided on the final solution, they had considered the option of sterilizing the Jews in Poland. When this idea circulated among higher up Nazis, it was considered too outrageous and should not be taken seriously.

    • Klaus Bloemker
      January 28, 2013, 11:40 am

      Sterilisation of Polish Jews.
      ———————————-
      In case someone doubts what I said. I got it from a book about the Jewish ghetto in Lemberg. I lend this book to someone who’s Jewish family was from Lemberg. But I didn’t get the book back. The book is an account of the daily lives of Jews in the Lemberg ghetto, the work they were assigned to etc.

      It also contains a letter by the German who was in charge of the ghetto.
      He wrote to a friend (and I quote from memory):

      “There is something I hardly dare to mention to you. I have heard of the idea to sterilise the Jews.” And he goes on to say that he thinks that this idea is nuts.

      I can’t remember when this letter was written, it must have been before Germany’s attack on Russia. – I just mention it to point to something.

      • Denis
        January 28, 2013, 2:17 pm

        Klaus, I would wager a lot of money that history is full to over-flowing with despicable nut-cases wanting to sterilize this group or that group.

        Case in point: The whole eugenics movement was jacked up by a bunch of white Christians in late 19th century England and then spread westward to white Christians in the US (including FDR), and eastward to white Christians in Germany (notably, Hitler).

        Unchecked fertility can be a pretty scary thing to whatever political, religious, or racial group is in power at the moment.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 28, 2013, 4:30 pm

        Yes Denis, you are right – the Nazis didn’t invent the idea of sterilisation.
        —————-
        Nor did they invent anti-Semitism. – Although, it was a 19th century German who coined the term “Antisemitismus”. – But that’s the German philosophical obsession with getting a term right. When you got the right term, you know what a thing is. – We are a nation of philosophers, alas, often gone astray.
        See Hegel and Karl Marx.

  18. Accentitude
    January 28, 2013, 4:34 am

    [Nazi Germany] admits [Jewish] women were given birth control shots

    A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of [Jewish] origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.

    Oh the outrage when white people are victims but…since its poor destitute black people that Israel is purging itself of….the silence of the international community can be quite deafening.

  19. Elliot
    January 28, 2013, 4:23 pm

    I don’t get it. When did this happen? Back in the 90s, per Rosenberg’s report or was the program running as recently as a couple of months ago?
    Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu has instructed the four health maintenance organizations to stop the practice as a matter of course.

    Rosenberg’s piece is still unclear. Were the women told these injections would only lower their birthrate (“They told us people who frequently give birth suffer.”) but still allow them to have some children? If so, the government medical staff may not have been coercive but they certainly were lying to the Ethiopian women.

    The Ethiopian woman’s report is plausible. The Israeli government decides that it can’t handle large immigrant Ethiopian families so it runs this contraceptive program. The government expects it will hit most, but not all, women of child-bearing age. The government’s intent therefore is not to terminate Ethiopian reproduction but rather to cut the numbers of children. Some Israeli nincompoop on the medical team read that memo and blurted it out to one of the Ethiopian women.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 28, 2013, 5:38 pm

      “The government’s intent therefore is not to terminate Ethiopian reproduction but rather to cut the numbers of children. ”

      Equally evil. Typical israel.

      • Elliot
        January 28, 2013, 9:22 pm

        Yes. And as bad as Australia until the 70s and the U.S. before that. One significant difference is that, while Australian Whites have taken 200 years to come to terms with the Aboriginals, the State of Israel sought out the Ethiopians. It helped streamline these Judaized Orthodox Christians into an acceptable form of Judaism (I agree with Hostage’s comment). Israel saw in the Ethiopian airlift a fulfilment of the Zionist dream.
        But then Israel treats them like primitives. The Ethiopians were simultaneously colonized and welcomed as fellow colonizers (see Ethiopians in the army and on West Bank settlements).

  20. Walid
    January 29, 2013, 2:56 am

    Some Israelis and other Zionists may have joked about it, but somehow there’s a bit of truth and wishful thinking on the part of Israelis about the awful subject of chemically strerilizing the Palestinians to ethnically cleanse the land of them; from Ali Abunimah a couple of months back:

    Sterilize the Palestinian people, Dutch writer Leon de Winter says with Israeli ambassador listening

    Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Thu, 11/22/2012 – 19:20

    On the night a ceasefire came into effect ending eight days of Israeli slaughter that left 162 people, the vast majority unarmed civilians, dead in Gaza, Dutch columnist and author Leon de Winter proposed adding chemicals to Gaza’s water supply to sterilize the population.

    The website PowNed reported that de Winter “made his proposal for forced eugenics yesterday evening in Amsterdam at a solidarity meeting of Dutch Jews,” and that the speech by de Winter was broadcast this morning by Dutch mainstream and publicly-funded Radio 1.

    PowNed said:
    “De Winter responded in his speech to the accusations of genocide leveled against Israel, saying that the population of Gaza had only increased over the last few years. “Maybe we should secretly add some means of birth control to Gaza’s drinking water,” De Winter proceeded to propose.

    The suggestion was met with roaring laughter by the public. Among the participants that evening were the Israeli ambassador to the Netherlands, Hiam Devon, and the cheerful leader of the [religious ultra-conservative] SGP party, Kees van der Staaij.”

    De Winter blogged until 2008 on the mainstream liberal news site Elsevier. He is also an “an adjunct fellow” at the Hudson Institute, a right-wing American think-tank.

    While de Winter, known for his “humor,” might have intended his suggestion as some sort of sick joke, the reported reaction suggests that the audience were only too ready to mock an already dehumanized population.

    De Winter’s comment fits neatly with Israel’s racist conception of Palestinians as a “demographic threat” simply because they are not Jews.

    Such genocidal comments are particularly disturbing in The Netherlands given the upsurge of Islamophobia and xenophobia in recent years, and because the country had a particularly shameful history of collaboration with the Nazis in deporting Jews to their deaths during the Second World War.

    link to electronicintifada.net

  21. Walid
    January 29, 2013, 5:52 am

    For Zionists here that cannot believe that Israel is capable of such things as sterilizations or that had never heard of Ness Ziona, the 1998 crash in Amsterdam of the El Al 747 cargo carrying tons of sarin gas chemicals or Gunnar Heinsohn’s and Martin Kramer’s “superfluous young men” plan to starve Gazans to slow down their procreation or of Dov Weisglass’ starvation borderline diet for Palestinians, here’s some interesting reading of Avner Cohen’s “Israel and Chemical/Biological Weapons: History, Deterrence, and Arms Control” a comprehensive essay on Israel’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. These weapons of mass destruction were started by Ben-Gurion and Shimon Peres. The essay includes some background on Israel’s scientist, Avraham Klingberg, selling Israeli bio-chemical state secrets to the Soviets and his capture and imprisonment à la Vanunu.

    Opening excerpt from Cohen’s essay:

    In April 1948, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father and first prime minister, wrote a letter to Ehud Avriel, one of the Jewish Agency’s operatives in Europe, ordering him to seek out and recruit East European Jewish scientists who could “either increase the capacity to kill masses or to cure masses; both are important.”2

    One of the scientists Avriel recruited was a 30-year old epidemiologist and colonel in the Red Army named Avraham Marcus Klingberg. In time, Klingberg became one of Israel’s leading scientists in the area of chemical and biological weapons (CBW). He was among the founding members and, subsequently, the deputy director of the Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR) in Ness Ziona, a dozen miles southeast of Tel Aviv.

    Decades later in 1983, Professor Klingberg was secretly arrested, tried, and convicted as a Soviet spy. It took another decade until the espionage case at IIBR—one of Israel’s most sensitive defense research facilities—was publicized. To this day, the Israeli security establishment treats all details of the Klingberg case as highly classified.3

    Until the news of Klingberg’s arrest and imprisonment was published, there was almost no public reference to Israel’s CBW programs.

    link to bsos.umd.edu

  22. hophmi
    January 30, 2013, 10:54 am

    link to haaretz.com

    Is the number 50% or 20%? The December 2012 article says it’s been a 20% drop in the last 10 years.

    link to haaretz.com

    “The birth rate among Israel’s Ethiopian immigrant population has dropped nearly 20 percent in 10 years. ”

    Moreover, the idea that this is eugenics is nonsense. Depo-Provera is birth control, not sterilization. Its “long-lasting” effect is that a shot lasts for three months. Fertility returns in most cases within 9 months. There is no sterilization program.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 30, 2013, 3:59 pm

      Here’s our hoppy, defending the undefensible again because the perps are Jews. Let’s run a “what if” hoppy. What if there were a large number of Jews who were refugees to a country and the country forced the Jews to get these shots, and there was a history of virulent antisemitism. Would you quibble over whether it was 20% or 50% or whether it was technically “eugenics”??

    • iResistDe4iAm
      January 30, 2013, 11:25 pm

      Haaretz Dec.09, 2012: [my emphasis]
      “We said we won’t have the shot. They told us, if you don’t you won’t go to Israel And also you won’t be allowed into the Joint (American Joint Distribution Committee) office, you won’t get aid or medical care. We were afraid… We didn’t have a choice.
      According to the report, the women were given the Depo Provera injections in the family planning workshops in transit camps, a practice that continued once they reached Israel.

      Haaretz Jan.27, 2013:
      Gamzu’s letter instructs all gynecologists in the HMOs “not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.”

      The reports indicate the Depo Provera injections [plural] started in the transit camps, but continued regularly after the women reached Israel. Furthermore it’s implied that the prescriptions continued until very recently, when the Health Ministry issued its directive “not to renew prescriptions”.

      Personal choice => voluntary contraception
      Involuntary acquiescence under duress => birth control by coercion => eugenics

      Even if the decline was 20% in 10 years, in the absence of an explicable cause, such a decline is still considered abnormal.
      In the same period, the overall birth rate of Israel increased marginally by 0.3%.
      link to indexmundi.com

      In comparison, it took 31 years and enforced population control (one-child policy) for China to reduce its birth rate by 33.2% from 17.82 in 1979 to 11.90 in 2010 (its lowest birth rate).
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      The idea that long-term birth control by coercion is somehow voluntary is nonsense.

    • Cliff
      February 1, 2013, 7:43 pm

      It’s absolutely disgusting that hoppy is whitewashing this story.

      Disgusting but unsurprising given his comment history.

      This is a sterilization program. That is the essential philosophy.

      It’s just that going to that extent would cause more harm than good and given the obvious history of such a method – it would not be tactically advantageous for Israel.

      Israel does not want these people to be a part of the country.

  23. Cliff
    February 1, 2013, 7:43 pm

    Has the American media (TV for example) picked up this story?

  24. Reuben_Manhattan
    February 5, 2013, 9:49 am

    Look up “ringworm kids”. Its not the first time dark skinned jews have been experimented on.

  25. iResistDe4iAm
    February 20, 2013, 10:39 pm

    There’s a new Yahoo News report (via Associated Press) dated 18 February:
    link to news.yahoo.com

    Some extracts [my emphasis]:

    While the allegations have been strongly denied by the government, it remains unclear why so many Ethiopian women were receiving Depo-Provera, a long-acting birth control injection that is rarely prescribed to other Israelis.
    […]
    The accusations in Israel first emerged in 2008, when the Yediot Ahronot newspaper published a report showing a disproportionate number of Ethiopian women were receiving injections of Depo-Provera, which is administered once every three months instead of as a daily pill.
    […]
    Eyal and others point to official figures that show the Ethiopian birth rate plummeted from 4.6 children in 1996 to 2.5 in 2011 — lower than the Israeli average of 2.9.

    The reported rates (4.6 children in 1996 to 2.5 in 2011) represent a decline of 45.7% over a period of 15 years.

    BTW I think the reported rates refer to total fertility rates as opposed to crude birth rates (Wikipedia definition: The total fertility rate of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if she were to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates through her lifetime, and she were to survive from birth through the end of her reproductive life).

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