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Thread: Report Claims that Israel Temporarily Sterilized Thousands of African Immigrants

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    Patron The Black Ghost's Avatar
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    Report Claims that Israel Temporarily Sterilized Thousands of African Immigrants

    Ok...so what is this all about?

    Details are still coming in, apparently, but this really seems pretty unethical. It seems to me that Israel is trying to reduce the number of children of non-Jewish immigrants coming into the country. I would guess this practice has been used for a long time on many different groups of immigrants coming into the country. It seems like this is coming at a particularly bad time, especially around elections and with tensions in the region brewing as they are....

    Thoughts?


    Israel Forcibly Injected African Immigrants with Birth Control, Report Claims - Forbes

    Israel Forcibly Injected African Immigrants with Birth Control, Report Claims
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    Israeli Flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    This weekend, a report revealing that African women immigrating to Israel were subjected to mandatory contraceptive injections, effectively amounting to forced (if temporary) sterilization made global headlines.

    Some 130,000 Ethiopians, most of them Jewish, live in Israel. The community experiences higher poverty and unemployment rates than the rest of the country’s Jewish population. In the past decade, the birth rate among Ethiopian-Israelis has declined by at least 20 percent. Advocacy groups now claim this decline is the result of a birth control regimen forced upon Ethiopian immigrant women.

    According to an article in Haaretz, an Israeli news source, one Ethiopian immigrant said that the doctors who injected her claimed that “people who frequently give birth suffer.” While it is possible, if highly unlikely, that doctors genuinely had the women’s health in mind when they forcibly injected them with contraceptives, there is no excuse for depriving women sovereignty over their own reproductive choices.

    Israel has acknowledged the issue (without admitting any wrongdoing) and has vowed institutional changes in healthcare for immigrants. By decree of Israel’s health minister, gynecologists have been ordered “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.” Still, intense scrutiny should be applied by women’s groups and international organizations to make sure these changes are implemented in full. Moreover, more attention must be paid to the plight of vulnerable African immigrants around the world.

    That Israel should allegedly engage in this activity is particularly shocking, considering the practice was widely used by the Germans throughout the Shoah. While the scale and effects of these operations cannot be compared, Israel’s implicit intent to limit ‘burdensome’ (read: undesirable) portions of the population recalls the dark eugenics experiments World War II.

    Immigration, legal and otherwise, is a difficult and invariably sticky issue for developed nations. Israel, like the United States, has struggled to find a way to secure its borders and its population while dealing with a constant stream of immigrants from neighboring countries and, increasingly, the African continent. While admitting the difficult security issues that Israel faces, the international community must loudly and unanimously rebuke the systematic violations of human rights inflicted on women immigrants of African origin.

    From a sociological perspective, this incident shows the strain between Israel’s religious heritage and its modern political agenda. “Behold, the heritage of the Lord is sons, the reward is the fruit of the innards. Like arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the sons of one’s youth. Praiseworthy is the man who has filled his quiver with them,” the Torah proclaims. The involuntary sterilization of African immigrants suggests that the Jewish moral code (inextricably connected with Israel’s domestic legal codes) can be selectively applied to those with ‘desirable’ backgrounds. It is hard, indeed almost impossible to believe that an American Jewish woman immigrating to Israel would be forced to take birth control.
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    You're right. The entire story is not out yet, so I hesitate to pass judgment, but if this does actually turn out to be what it seems to be, then it is a despicable act that has no place in the civilized world. I do hope that whoever was responsible for this program is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    If i were to hazard a guess its a counter move to your country's policy to stem illegal immigration from Eithiopia.

    Allow more to immigrate and the story goes away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    You're right. The entire story is not out yet, so I hesitate to pass judgment, but if this does actually turn out to be what it seems to be, then it is a despicable act that has no place in the civilized world. I do hope that whoever was responsible for this program is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
    I hope so as well.

    The United States and several other western countries had similar practices in the early 20th century, and they had much more support than we would expect. I hope this is simply the result of one misguided person in power, but I suspect it is not. What I fear is that it is simply part of a larger, ongoing process which comes all the way from the top down.
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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Right here in Virginia there was a state-sponsored male sterilization program aimed at men considered criminally inclined and mentally deprived. I think it ended in the early 1970s. Sorry to say it was applied mostly to African Americans. There are still some survivors around.
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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    This article is working off some of the same info, but provides some different facts. If what is reported here is correct it sounds like this has less to do with illegal immirgation than it does with keeping the birthrates of Ethiopian immirgants low. The two striking claims here are that:

    1) Female immigrants have efectively been compelled to take Depo-Provera; and

    2) Something like 57% of Depo-Provera prescriptions go to the Ethiopian community - 2% of the population.

    This issue has clearly been bubbling along under the surface for a while. be interesting to see what comes out now. It don't look good.

    TEL AVIV, 28 January 2013 (IRIN) - The director of the Ministry of Health in Israel, Roni Gamzo, has issued a formal directive instructing that gynaecologists should not inject women with the contraceptive Depo-Provera without their knowledge or consent.

    The directive, issued last week, comes after around 30 Ethiopian Jews who had emigrated to Israel said they had been told that they would not be allowed into the country without receiving the contraceptive drug.

    Within Israel, Ethiopian Jews make up the majority of those given the drug, according to a report published in 2010 by Isha le'Isha, a women’s rights organization; 57 percent of women who had received the drug in Israel are Ethiopian Jews, although they account for less than 2 percent of the overall population.

    “We believe it is a method of reducing the number of births in a community that is black and mostly poor,” Hedva Eyal, the author of the report, told IRIN. “It is indeed the first time that the state actually acknowledged that this procedure of injecting immigrant women with this drug, when they do not know the side effects and are given no other choice, is wrong.”

    The directive was issued less than two weeks after a group of organizations representing the Jewish Ethiopian community, along with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), sent a letter to Gamzo asking that this practice be stopped immediately and that an investigation be started into it both in Israel and in the transit camps in Ethiopia.

    Ministry of Health deputy spokesperson Smadar Shazo told IRIN that while the directive was issued after the letter from the organizations, the ministry had begun investigating the matter a few months ago in an attempt to determine who was behind this policy in both Israel and the transit camps in Ethiopia.

    “We started the research [for the 2010 report] after an article in one of the dailies reported a steep decline in the number of babies born in the Ethiopian community, which is a young, supposedly fertile community,” said Eyal.

    Over 120,000 Jews of Ethiopian descent live in Israel today; 83,000 of them were born in Ethiopia.

    Between 1985 and 1991, more than 30,000 were airlifted in three rescue operations after years of civil war and famine had driven hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians into the capital, Addis Ababa, and refugee camps in Sudan.

    But their integration into Israeli society has not been easy; about 52 percent of Ethiopian-Israeli families live below the poverty line, compared to 16 percent among the general Jewish Israeli population.


    IRIN Middle East | Furore in Israel over birth control drugs for Ethiopian Jews | Israel | Health & Nutrition | Migration | Refugees/IDPs | Water & Sanitation


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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    I asked my sister, who is a physician (not a OB/GYN) about this. She agreed that it looks to be unethical. She also added however, that it is not quite as simple as it seems to be. Ethiopia is very poor country where abortion is illegal and and the mortality rate from illegal abortions is high. She explained that Ethiopian women go to what amounts to free clinics in Ethiopia to acquire birth control means. She also explained that large pharmaceutical companies dump problematic drugs in third-world countries to make a profit they couldn't generate in the west. Depo-Provera is one such drug. When the Ethiopian women arrive in Israel they are already on Depo-Provera and because they are still poor, they go to Israeli charity clinics which also use dumped Depo-Provera. It is an unhealthy cycle in which the third-world poor are victimized by the dumping practices of the large global pharmaceuticals. There is also a language problem because almost none of these Ethiopian women speak Hebrew, Arabic, English, or Russian. At any rate, she is very happy that the Depo-Provera/Falasha birth control cycle has now been exposed and banned in Israel.

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    Minskaya,

    As usual you bring some excellent points to the discussion. Thanks for sharing.
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    I'd be open for this to apply for the tens of millions of illegals as a concession for citizenship. "10 years baby free or go home and immigrate the legal way". Using something safe of course.

    On another rant. The dumping of bad drugs on lesser developed countries should be dealt with.
    Removing a single turd from the cesspool doesn't make any difference.

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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    As usual you bring some excellent points to the discussion. Thanks for sharing.
    In 2004, the US FDA required Pfizer to include a "black box warning" on the label of Depo-Provera. It is the strongest warning that the FDA requires and signifies that medical studies indicate that the drug carries a significant risk of adverse effects.

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    Meshuggenah.

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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weissaul View Post
    Meshuggenah.
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