The dark secret of Israel’s stolen babies

Israel/Palestine
on 46 Comments

It is Israel’s darkest secret – or so argues one Israeli journalist – in a country whose short history is replete with dark episodes.

Last month Tzachi Hanegbi, minister for national security, became the first government official to admit that hundreds of babies had been stolen from their mothers in the years immediately following Israel’s creation in 1948. In truth, the number is more likely to be in the thousands.

For nearly seven decades, successive governments – and three public inquiries – denied there had been any wrongdoing. They concluded that almost all the missing babies had died, victims of a chaotic time when Israel was absorbing tens of thousands of new Jewish immigrants.

But as more and more families came forward – lately aided by social media – to reveal their suffering, the official story sounded increasingly implausible.

Although many mothers were told their babies had died during or shortly after delivery, they were never shown a body or grave, and no death certificate was ever issued. Others had their babies snatched from their arms by nurses who berated them for having more children than they could properly care for.

According to campaigners, as many as 8,000 babies were seized from their families in the state’s first years and either sold or handed over to childless Jewish couples in Israel and abroad. To many, it sounds suspiciously like child trafficking.

A few of the children have been reunited with their biological families, but the vast majority are simply unaware they were ever taken. Strict Israeli privacy laws mean it is near-impossible for them to see official files that might reveal their clandestine adoption.

Did Israeli hospitals and welfare organizations act on their own or connive with state bodies? It is unclear. But it is hard to imagine such mass abductions could have occurred without officials at the very least turning a blind eye.

Testimonies indicate that lawmakers, health ministry staff, and senior judges knew of these practices at the time. And the decision to place all documents relating to the children under lock until 2071 hints at a cover-up.

Hanegbi, who was given the task of re-examining the classified material by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been evasive on the question of official involvement. “We may never know,” he has said.

By now, Israel’s critics are mostly inured to the well-known litany of atrocities associated with the state’s founding. Not least, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homeland in 1948 to make way for Israel and its new Jewish immigrants.

The story of the stolen babies, however, offers the shock of the unexpected. These crimes were committed not against Palestinians but other Jews. The parents whose babies were abducted had arrived in the new state lured by promises that they would find in Israel a permanent sanctuary from persecution.

But the kidnapping of the children and the mass expulsion of Palestinians at much the same time are not unrelated events. In fact, the babies scandal sheds light not only on Israel’s past but on its present.

The stolen babies were not randomly seized. A very specific group was targeted: Jews who had just immigrated from the Middle East. Most were from Yemen, with others from Iraq, Morocco and Tunisia.

The Arabness of these Jews was viewed as a direct threat to the Jewish state’s survival, and one almost as serious as the presence of Palestinians. Israel set about “de-Arabizing” these Middle Eastern Jews with the same steely determination with which it had just driven out most of the area’s Palestinians.

Like most of Israel’s founding generation, David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister, was from Eastern Europe. He accepted the racist, colonial notions dominant in Europe. He regarded European Jews as a civilized people coming to a primitive, barbarous region.

But the early European Zionists were not simply colonists. They were unlike the British in India, for example, who were interested chiefly in subduing the natives and exploiting their resources. If Britain found “taming” the Indians too onerous, as it eventually did, it could pack up and leave.

That was never a possibility for Ben Gurion and his followers. They were coming not only to defeat the indigenous people, but to replace them. They were going to build their Jewish state on the ruins of Arab society in Palestine.

Scholars label such enterprises – those intending to create a permanent homeland on another people’s land – as “settler colonialism”. Famously, European settlers took over the lands of North America, Australia and South Africa.

The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has observed that settler colonial movements are distinguished from ordinary colonialism by what he terms the “logic of elimination” that propels them.

Such groups have to adopt strategies of extreme violence towards the indigenous population. They may commit genocide, as happened to the Native American peoples and to the Australian Aborigines. If genocide is not possible, they may instead forcefully impose segregation based on racial criteria, as happened in apartheid South Africa. Or they may commit large-scale ethnic cleansing, as Israel did in 1948. They may adopt more than one strategy.

Ben Gurion needed not only to destroy Palestinian society, but to ensure that “Arabness” did not creep into his new Jewish state through the back door.

The large numbers of Arab Jews who arrived in the first decade were needed in his demographic war against the Palestinians and as a labour force, but they posed a danger too. Ben Gurion feared that, whatever their religion, they might “corrupt” his Jewish state culturally by importing what he called the “spirit of the Levant”.

Adult Jews from the region, he believed, could not be schooled out of their “primitiveness”. But the Zionist leadership hoped the next generation – their offspring – could. They would be reformed through education and the cultivation of a loathing for everything Arab. The task would be made easier still if they were first detached from their biological families.

Israeli campaigners seeking justice for the families of the stolen babies point out that the forcible transfer of children from one ethnic group to another satisfies the United Nation’s definition of genocide.

Certainly, the theft of the Arab Jewish children and their reallocation to European Jews chimed neatly with settler colonialism’s logic of elimination. Such abductions were not unique to Israel. Australia and Canada, for example, seized babies from their surviving native populations in a bid to “civilize” them.

The “re-education” of Israel’s Arab Jews has been largely a success. Netanyahu’s virulently anti-Palestinian Likud party draws heavily on this group’s backing. In fact, it was only because he dares not alienate such supporters that Netanyahu agreed to a fresh examination of the evidence concerning the stolen babies.

But if there is a lesson to be drawn from the government’s partial admission about the abductions, it is not that Netanyahu and Israel’s European elite are now ready to change their ways.

Rather, it should alert Israel’s Arab Jews to the fact that they face the same enemy as the Palestinians: a European Jewish establishment that remains resolutely resistant to the idea of living in peace and respect with either Arabs or the region.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.

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46 Responses

  1. oldgeezer
    August 15, 2016, 12:24 pm

    It doesn’t even come as a surprise. The extent of racism is really quite amazing.

    • Jackdaw
      August 16, 2016, 7:38 am

      No. It doesn’t come as a surprise.
      After all, this tired old nag gets trotted out once a year like clockwork on Mondoweiss.

      *yawn*

      • eljay
        August 16, 2016, 8:46 am

        || Jackdaw: No. It doesn’t come as a surprise.
        After all, this tired old nag gets trotted out once a year like clockwork on Mondoweiss. … ||

        So…when acts of injustice and immorality are committed:
        – against Jews, they can never be trotted out enough;
        – by Jews, they must be kept quiet or downplayed.

        Interesting.

        || … *yawn* ||

        The banality of evil.

      • oldgeezer
        August 16, 2016, 9:38 am

        @jackdaw

        Yeah what’s a few hundred kidnapped babies, eh jack?

        My low opinion of zionists just sank lower. Maybe zionism’s problem isnt’t racism as much as being devoid of humanity.

        The state before all else. Certainly before hundreds of kidnapped babies. A few lives wasted on the alter or supremacy, theft, dispossession, etc. Sickening.

      • Mooser
        August 16, 2016, 1:30 pm

        “I’m done with you and your mindless double standards.
        I’m deleting Mondoweiss altogether.”
        “Jackdaw”
        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jackdaw/?keyword=deleting#sthash.SpqlqUIK.dpuf

        Yawn. I guess the standards must have improved.

  2. eljay
    August 15, 2016, 12:48 pm

    || … The story of the stolen babies, however, offers the shock of the unexpected. These crimes were committed not against Palestinians but other Jews. … ||

    Were the Jews who committed these crimes against the Jewish people being anti-Semitic or self-loathing?

    || … The parents whose babies were abducted had arrived in the new state lured by promises that they would find in Israel a permanent sanctuary from persecution. … ||

    Israel is a “moral beacon”, a “light unto the nations” and a “Western-style democracy”…

    || … The stolen babies were not randomly seized. A very specific group was targeted: Jews who had just immigrated from the Middle East. … ||

    …that’s not quite as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”.

    || … The Arabness of these Jews was viewed as a direct threat to the Jewish state’s survival … Israel set about “de-Arabizing” these Middle Eastern Jews … ||

    “Arabness”? I thought that all Jews were part of the Jewish people / nation / civilization / etc. When some are suggesting that Jews can’t be white, how could any Jews possibly have “Arabness”, never mind enough of it to worry their fellow people / nationals / civilizationists / etc.?

    • Jackdaw
      August 16, 2016, 9:30 am

      No banality of evil, just the annoying fact that today’s Israelis don’t care about this story.
      Only the anti-Zionists are still spinning their wheels trying to ‘divide and conquer’.

      It doesn’t work here.
      Now you’ve gotten the memo.

      • Misterioso
        August 16, 2016, 10:56 am

        Jackdaw

        “Israelis don’t care about this story.”

        No surprise. The truth is ugly, real ugly.

        To wit:

        Whereas Ashkenazi immigrants were provided with ample food, clothing, and adequate shelter while traveling to Israel, Mizrachim were forced to live under the most appalling conditions in transit camps. “The Aden transit camp [for Yemeni Jews] was built for 500 people. The Israeli doctors found 12,000 lying on the sand, without so much as a tent.” (Tom Segev: 1949: The First Israelis, New York, The Free Press, p. 182)

        A physician advised Israel’s Immigration Department that conditions in the transit camps for North African Jews in Marseilles France were deplorable: “The immigrants from North Africa arrive here utterly destitute, and almost without clothing. During the passage to Marseilles, which lasts three days, they receive no food. Conditions on board are very bad…. In two of the camps there is a great shortage of blankets. People sleep in concrete barracks, on army camp beds, without mattresses, and only a single blanket each. As a result of the bad housing conditions and the recent decline in nutrition, twelve children have died in these camps…. There is a shortage of soap and clothing…. I can’t understand why in all the European countries the immigrants are provided with clothes while the North Africans get nothing….” (Quoted by Tom Segev, 1949…, p. 169)

        Once they arrived in Israel the Mizrachim were treated little better than animals. Those from Yemen were shorn of their side locks and they were all sprayed with DDT to “disinfect” and “delouse” them and again crammed into unsanitary overcrowded camps.

        The fair-skinned Ashkenazi immigrants, however, were welcomed with open arms as equals and housed in the homes of dispossessed/expelled Palestinians. (As Soviet immigrants arrived during 1969-70 Prime Minister Golda Meir greeted them at the airport with such statements as: “You are the real Jews. We have been waiting for you for twenty-five years…. You are a superior breed – you will provide us with heroes.”)

        After a short while the Mizrachi immigrants were ordered to leave the camps and earn their keep by working at menial tasks in nearby large Ashkenazi settlements. No wonder Ben-Gurion compared them to the Africans who were brought to America as slaves. (Tom Segev, 1949: …. p. 157)

        Israel’s media could be especially cruel to Mizrachi immigrants. On 22 April 1949, Haaretz published an article by journalist Arye Gelblum in which he described them as “…people whose primitivism is at a peak, whose level of knowledge is one of virtually absolute ignorance, and worse who have little talent for understanding anything intellectual. Generally, they are only slightly better than the general level of the Arabs, Negroes and Berbers in the same regions. In any case, they are at an even lower level than what we knew with regard to the former Arabs of Eretz Yisrael…. These Jews also lack roots in Judaism, as they are totally subordinated to the play of savage and primitive instincts.” (Haaretz, 22 April 1949)

        The most despicable act perpetrated against the Mizrachi immigrants by the Israeli government was to look the other way while children of Yemenite Jews were kidnapped. Hundreds of Yemeni infants who became ill as a result of the dreadful conditions in the transit camps were taken to hospitals by Israel officials and upon recovery, instead of being returned to their families, they were secretly given up for adoption to childless Ashkenazi couples. The parents, who had been denied hospital visitation rights, were then told their children had died. Many Yemenite parents petitioned the police to investigate the fate of their sons and daughters, but they received no reply and the public did not learn of the loathsome affair until the 1980’s.

      • Marnie
        August 16, 2016, 12:08 pm

        “It doesn’t work here.”

        Get this memo:

        You just don’t give a shit about this tragedy and shame on the zionist state you coldly refer to as ‘tired old nag’.
        And your arrogance is just a cover for the shame of the people you so proudly claim to be part of and defend, no matter how grave the offense may be.
        This all won’t last much longer, thanks in large part to attitudes just like yours.

      • Mooser
        August 16, 2016, 1:45 pm

        “Israelis don’t care about this story.”

        Oh well. I guess a travel advisory will be issued to tourists in the Holy Land: ‘Keep a close eye on your kids, and do not bring your pets to Jerusalem’.

      • inbound39
        August 16, 2016, 6:52 pm

        Jackdaw you hit the nail on the head with some unintended honesty on your part. If Zionists did care about what they did and stopped behaving like the criminals they have become then maybe they would not feel so threatened. It is their own actions and behaviour that have created the conflict. It’s high time you manned up and got honest with yourselves instead of bleating and blaming others all the time and trotting out the victim card. You Zionists have deeply ingrained denial and self reflection is your only road to freedom. Being big enough to recognise and acknowledge your wrongdoing against others.

      • Jackdaw
        August 17, 2016, 11:36 am

        In your echo chamber, your sad round robin, the kidnappings happened yesterday, when in fact, they occurred sixty years ago. To wit; today’s Israelis do not care.

        Oh, by the way, this story was exposed in the 1980’s and has been thoroughly examined and reexamined by government commissions.

        To wit; it is now 2016 and no one but young leftists and anti-Zionists care any longer.

        But see you next year when the Mondowiess regurgitates the story…again.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2016, 6:40 pm

        “But see you next year…”

        Yeah, yeah, just like you were “deleting Mondoweiss completely” just a few weeks ago.

        What is that they do to you guys which turns you into permanent adolescents?

      • oldgeezer
        August 19, 2016, 1:58 pm

        @jackdaw

        From the fingers of a very typical zionist…. Israelis don’t care about the fate of hundreds of Hewish babies.

        Wrong ethnic group? No sacrifice, of others children, too great to further the zionist cause and settlement project?

        Zionists set new depths for humanity to plunge into.

    • eljay
      August 17, 2016, 7:31 am

      || Jackdaw: No banality of evil, just the annoying fact that today’s Israelis don’t care about this story. … ||

      I understand: It’s a small, old evil that doesn’t hold a candle to the large, new evils constantly being committed by the “Jewish State”.

      • Jackdaw
        August 19, 2016, 2:56 pm

        If Americans can forget the Tuskegee Experiments, why can’t Israel forget this affair.

        Oh, right. Jews aren’t judged like other people.

        Right. Mondoweiss.

      • oldgeezer
        August 19, 2016, 3:58 pm

        @Jackdaw

        Hardly the same situation given the admission, reparations of the US versus the continued hiding of the truth by GoI.

        Not really the point. The point is I believe you. Israelis just don’t care. Despite all the crocodile tears when it furthers the political agenda, they just don’t care a whit about their fellow Jews or countrymen. Mere pawns and human shields.

        It would be fun to see you say that to one of the parents or children who have found the truth.

      • echinococcus
        August 19, 2016, 7:39 pm

        Who forgot?

      • Jackdaw
        August 20, 2016, 7:13 am

        @old geezer

        Yeah. Hardly the same situation indeed.
        In Tuskegee the government stood idle while hundreds of black prison inmate’s dicks shriveled and fell off, while in Israel, circa 1950, individual doctors and hospital staff sold a few babies.

        But the real difference is that Mondoweiss uses this 66 year old affair ONLY to vilify and smear Israel. Mondoweiss cares not a wit for the victims, but only to score points.

        That’s pretty evil in itself.

      • oldgeezer
        August 20, 2016, 8:58 am

        @jackdaw

        It’s neither a vilification nor a smear as both would imply that it is untrue. It’s not.

        I think we can both agree all countries have, or likely have, dark spots in their history. This happens to be one of those.

        What I really am quite surprised at is your absolute casual indifference to anyone but yourself. It’s quite plain and quite telling. You repeated that indifference in your last post. It’s mind boggling that someone could be so empty of empathy, sympathy or caring.

        I will remember this the next time you cry your fake tears over some incident. I likely won’t bother to mention it but your lack of character is quite stark.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2016, 2:02 pm

        “But the real difference is that Mondoweiss uses this 66 year old affair ONLY…”

        Yeah! Screw what happened 66 years ago! The really important stuff happened in AD66-68!

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2016, 2:08 pm

        “What I really am quite surprised at is your absolute casual indifference to anyone but yourself.”

        “old geezer”, how can you say that? “Jackdaw” has the interests of all humanity at heart! If Torah fails, if Israel fails, the world will cease to exist!!!

        That’s the religious threat Judaism holds over the world! Better do what we say, or it’s all over.

        Right “Jackdaw”? “Without Torah, there is no life”!

  3. pabelmont
    August 15, 2016, 2:22 pm

    I heard this story — these allegations — in 1980s from the folks at Neturei Karta.

    What’s new here, today, seems to be corroboration by Tzachi Hanegbi, minister for national security . Amazing source, really!

  4. Stephen Shenfield
    August 15, 2016, 5:36 pm

    It is not so difficult for Likudniks, heirs to Revisionist Zionism, to expose these things because the people responsible belonged to the old ‘Labor’ Zionist establishment. It may even win them votes among ‘Arab’ Jews.

  5. Boomer
    August 15, 2016, 7:49 pm

    A sad and shocking story, well worth telling, though not (alas) unique.

    PS: a comment about “the logic of settler colonialism” and its practice in the Americas: It’s certainly true that the Europeans intentionally killed a lot of the native peoples, but most of the killing was done for them by the germs they shared with a population with no immunity. That’s an “advantage” the modern day Israeli settlers don’t have.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_history_of_indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas#Depopulation_from_disease

    • larick
      August 16, 2016, 9:44 pm

      This is a very “convenient” myth which allows those identifying with “American” culture to not look at the very deliberate which took place over 400 + years, and of course not to the consequential guilt and humility, god forbid. I recommend reading Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz recent “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States”. There is generous documentation of not only the outstanding instances of deliberate mass murder, including Pres. Jackson’s infamous Trail of Tears of the Cherokee, but also explanation of many of the official and unofficial strategies for mass extermination. Yes there was also ‘inadvertent’ disease killings, as well as very deliberate state directed disease killing. Otherwise, Dr. Dunbar-Ortiz stated directly that there is a very direct parallel between the American genocide with the Israeli one (when I asked her in a public forum.). So, “denial is not the name of a river in Egypt.”…Alas.

  6. Marnie
    August 16, 2016, 12:10 am

    How much more evidence is required to prosecute these war criminals? +972 has been publishing the stories of Yemenite and other “Arab” Jewish babies being stolen from their families for at least 2 years and maybe longer. Just taken, and grieving parents told their baby was dead, no body, no death certificate, nothing. The utter contempt shown to ‘other’ Jews is astounding, which makes the virulent hatred for Palestinians by Sephardic and Mizrahki Jews heartbreaking. Teaching children to hate their own skin.

    JOWAN SAFADI – TO BE AN ARAB – להיות ערבי – YouTube
    Video for jowan safadi▶ 4:19

    • Annie Robbins
      August 16, 2016, 12:46 am

      great lyrics

      Hey you imported Arab,
      Take it from a local Arab
      You were dragged here
      To take my place

      It’s hard to be an Arab
      It’s really hard, ask me
      It’s hard to be an Arab
      How much can one be black
      Under the rule of the rich and white
      In the land of Palestine

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/radical-talent-safadis/#sthash.jIZIKQKk.dpuf

      • YoniFalic
        August 16, 2016, 1:44 pm

        BTW, this is an Hebrew video meant for Israeli Jews and not for Palestinians or Arabs in general. I know it is patronizing for someone of my background to say it, but I find Safadi’s pronunciation of Hebrew to be quaintly charming. He pronounces Hebrew much better than most Jews.

      • Marnie
        August 17, 2016, 1:06 am

        “BTW, this is an Hebrew video meant for Israeli Jews and not for Palestinians or Arabs in general.”

        Uh, okay. Well, thank God its on YouTube! IMHO I find the sound of Hebrew coming from Jowan Safadi beautiful, without the rudeness, vulgarity and abrasiveness when spoken by the likes of netanyahoo, miri regev, bucky bennett, ayelet shaked, liberman, ayalon, the average israeli, etc……………And he’s such a cutie.

        It’s amazing that someone who has been under the thumb of israeli’s, seen so much ugliness and brutality, can speak the language of their oppressor and make it sound civilized. That makes him an exceptional artist.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2016, 5:58 am

        And he’s such a cutie

        ;) and a radical talent. i like a lot of his music.

      • Marnie
        August 17, 2016, 6:14 am

        Enjoy Annie and all –

        This is pretty cool. Especially the introduction. Jowan Safadi gives a history lesson. Brains, talent and beauty, in any language –

        https://www.mixcloud.com/chimurenga/jowan-safadi-live-at-pass-helsinki/

      • silamcuz
        August 17, 2016, 9:06 pm

        Uh, okay. Well, thank God its on YouTube! IMHO I find the sound of Hebrew coming from Jowan Safadi beautiful, without the rudeness, vulgarity and abrasiveness when spoken by the likes of netanyahoo, miri regev, bucky bennett, ayelet shaked, liberman, ayalon, the average israeli, etc……………And he’s such a cutie.

        Well he is an Arab, which is synonymous with grace and beauty. IMO only Arabs have the ability to speak any language, even an infamously ugly one such as English, and make it sound like a soothing melody.

  7. The Hasbara Buster
    August 16, 2016, 1:27 am

    The World Conspiracy against the Jews is so wicked it has now managed to get an Israeli Cabinet minister to tell antisemitic blood libels.

    Clearly this means more apartments for Jews need to be built in the settlements.

  8. Eva Smagacz
    August 16, 2016, 5:43 am

    Well, we had something equally evil here in Europe:

    The Lebensborn is the secret Nazi plan to kidnap children in order to “Germanize” them, creating future generations of soldiers and loyal servants to the Third Reich.
    In Poland alone, from 1940-1945, an estimated 200,000 Polish children living on the German occupied territory in Poland were forcibly taken from their families. An estimated 400,000 children were kidnapped from other parts of Europe including Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia and Yugoslavia.

    Kidnapped children were “Germanized”, meaning they were given a German name, forced to speak German, indoctrinated with Nazi ideology and forced to cut all ties with their family and former life.

    The children were given a new birth certificate, a fake genealogy, and adopted or fostered into German homes. Other children lived in institutions, state boarding schools or military camps. Younger children (ages birth to age 6) were cared for at Lebensborn homes until they could be adopted.

    https://familycourtinjustice.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/nazi-kidnapping-of-children/

  9. Marnie
    August 16, 2016, 6:44 am

    The US has a history wrt Indian adoption, which has a fairly recent history. The earlier history of christian churches taking Indian children to beat the Indian out of them, physically, spiritually and sexually predates the adoptions.

    Historical Perspective – Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
    healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Children/IndianChildWelfareAct

    The 1800’s brought many changes to the American Indian’s way of life. The U.S. government contributed to the changes in several ways. It removed Indian people from their homelands and put them on reservations. It passed laws that forbade Indian people to practice their traditional ways of spirituality. In 1819, the United States government established the Civilization Fund, the first federal policy to directly affect Indian children. It provided grants to private agencies, primarily churches, to establish programs to “civilize the Indian.”

    In a report to Congress in 1867, the commissioner of Indian services declared that the only successful way to deal with the “Indian problem” was to separate Indian children completely from their tribes. They sent missionaries to the reservations to become agents in hopes that the missionaries would be able to educate and Christianize Indian people. The missionaries were not only sent by the U.S. government, but they were also paid by the government.

    The ceremonies of the tribes were looked upon as being pagan and the people themselves looked upon as savages. The parents of Indian children were believed to be unfit. A policy of assimilation began – which removed children from the home and placed them in boarding schools, usually far away from their parents. As a result of these earlier policies and practices, tribes are often distrustful of state child welfare agencies and the Federal Government.

    More pertinent to the tribal response are the negative experiences many tribes have had with decades of federally imposed attempts to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream society. In 1893, compulsory school attendance was mandated for Indian children (Marr, 2002). This education took place in Indian boarding schools. One reason for removing children from their homes was to totally immerse them in the values of mainstream society (Marr, 2002). For Indian children who were students at boarding schools, the curriculum focused on survival skills they would need to live successfully on their own in a white world (Higgins, 2000). The boarding schools were often run by people who hated the children because they were Indian. Many children suffered child abuse in the form of beatings and sexual abuse.

    In 1880, a written policy made it illegal to use any native language in a federal boarding school. The children were forced to cut their hair and forbidden to speak their language. Some children, as young as six years old, committed suicide while in boarding schools by hanging themselves. In 1910, bonuses were used to encourage boarding school workers to take leaves of absence and secure as many students as possible from surrounding reservations. These “kid snatchers” received no guidelines regarding the means they could use. In 1884, the “placing out” system placed numerous Indian children on farms in the East and Midwest in order to learn the “values of work and the benefits of civilization.” Instead of being allowed to go home during the summer months, the students were hired out to non-Indian families utilized as forced labor for local farmers, businessmen, and craftsmen (Landis, 1996).

    Another example of an initiative that was devastating to tribes was the Indian Adoption Project of 1958, co-sponsored by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). The goal of this program was to place homeless Indian youth for adoption by non-Indian families who lived in large cities on the east coast (Earle, 2000). It was articulated in terms of providing “adoptive placement for American Indian children whose parents were deemed unable to provide a ‘suitable’ home for them” (Mannes, 1995, 267). The BIA paid states to remove Indian children from their homes on the basis of neglect. By 1967, 395 Indian children had been adopted through the project. As a result of extensive publicity about the program in the 1960’s, private agencies also focused on the adoption of Indian children by non-Indians. In 1965 alone, 696 tribal youth were adopted through these agencies.

    Little attention was paid by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the states to provide services on reservations that would strengthen and maintain Indian families. As late as 1972, David Fanshel wrote in Far From the Reservation that the practice of removing Indian children from their homes and placing them in non-Indian homes for adoption was a desirable option. Fanshel points out in the same book, however, that the removal of Indian children from their families and communities may well be seen as the “ultimate indignity to endure.” Fanshel’s speculation bore out the truth of the matter.

    A 1976 study by the Association of American Indian Affairs found that 25 to 35 percent of all Indian children were being placed in out-of-home care. Eighty-five percent of those children were being placed in non-Indian homes or institutions. In a response to the overwhelming evidence from Indian communities that the loss of their children meant the destruction of Indian culture, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.

  10. Vera Gottlieb
    August 16, 2016, 10:02 am

    All this holier-than-thou bs…sickening. And dark-skinned Jews being discriminated against for the colour of their skin – and this from people of the same faith. Disgusting.

    • YoniFalic
      August 16, 2016, 11:36 am

      Zionism has little connection to Jewish religion except to justify depredations on non-Jews by slicing and dicing Judaic scripture.

      Zionism is just another expression of Central and East European ethnoracial politics.

      The obsession with Palestine is something new. Before Zionism E Euro Jews had little interest in Palestine, which was mostly a place were old people went to die and to which eccentrics were dispatched.

      There were a good number of Jerusalems among the world Jewish community: Vilna the Jerusalem of Lithuania (or North), Amsterdam the Jerusalem of the West, Saloniki la chica Jerusalem, Zakho the Jerusalem of Assyria, Sarajevo the Jerusalem of the Balkans, Carpentras the Jerusalem of Provence, Djerba the Jerusalem of N. Africa, etc. Palestinians unlike Jews loved and cared for Jerusalem, which hosted several import Islamic schools but no comparable Jewish schools (after 1127) until genocidal racist Zios began their invasion in the 19th century.

      The E Euro obsession with Palestine seems to begin after the Czarist government at Jewish request changed the official term for Jew from жид (Żyd), which had no obvious association with Palestine, to еврей (hebrajski), which was compatible with a sort of secular Hebraism.

      The Czarist government did not care about the ridiculous mythological associations of еврей but had no use for the Polish legal concept of religious estate (сословие). The name change seems to have fit with general Czarist policy.

    • silamcuz
      August 16, 2016, 10:29 pm

      from people of the same faith

      Wrong.

      Dark-skinned Jews are being discriminated against the colour of their skin by people of no faith. Those who have faith in the greater power would not allow their arrogance and pride influence their behavior towards other human. These folks worship themselves.

  11. YoniFalic
    August 16, 2016, 10:36 am

    @Eva Smagacz, Lebensborn and Rabunek Dzieci (Generalplan Ost Germanization) were different programs. Lebensborn was a breeding program in which German women volunteered to bear the children of genetically superior German males.

    The Zionist movement was heavily infused with eugenics and genetic racial theory — perhaps more so and definitely earlier than German Nazis.

    Just google Nordau eugenics.

    Genetic race theory was not a natural fit for German Nazism because many leading German families like the von Schirachs had known Slavic ancestry. Hence the idea took root that racially superior children might have non-German parents and should be removed from these parents to be raised as true Germans.

    Jewish ingroup marriage was and remains a much better fit with genetic race theory. Hence Zios spew all sorts of genetic anthropological nonsense.

    Nevertheless Zio racists like Nordau and close colleagues believed in improving Jews racially, and apparently the removal of possibly racially superior children from genetically inferior parents seems to have started before the arrival of many Afro-Asian Jews, who were simply placed into an already existing program.

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.736574

    • Mooser
      August 16, 2016, 1:42 pm

      “Jewish ingroup marriage was and remains a much better fit with genetic race theory.”

      Well, once in a while some poor guy bleeds out at his bris.

  12. James Michie
    August 16, 2016, 4:48 pm

    An excellent piece, Jonathan Cook! But what is missing is the fact that these “founding fathers” of Zionist Israel were Zionists who felt no pangs of conscience as they began in 1947 to massacre and destroy hundreds of Palestinian villages. This pillage, theft and rape of Palestine continues to this day as brutal, ruthless, racist, genocidal, ethnic cleansing Zionist Israel is bent on taking whatever it wants and in any way possible through countless violations of the human and civil rights of the Palestinians. The Zionists are determined to “own” all of Palestine! So, please Jonathan, let’s properly identify these Zionists for what they really are.

  13. upsondundas
    August 17, 2016, 3:27 am

    I wonder if they forgot that Abraham and wife etc came from Iraq..on a Camel!

  14. Neil Schipper
    August 17, 2016, 4:21 am

    And the number of Yemeni Jews who attempted to return to Yemen?

    The answer to this question should tell us something about the big picture.

    Radical leftists are in the business of deception and distortion.

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