ONTD Political

Israel admits Ethiopian women were given birth control shots

10:13 pm - 01/26/2013
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 instructed “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.” Gamzu 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.”


This is just horrifying. IDEK what to say.
ginger_maya 27th-Jan-2013 11:44 am (UTC)
I wonder whom they're taking their cues from. Oh, wait. I know. The irony.
mingemonster 27th-Jan-2013 02:21 pm (UTC)
The USA? Sweden? France? Canada?
ginger_maya 27th-Jan-2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
Nazi Germany
mingemonster 27th-Jan-2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
Why do you compare it to a twelve year period in a small part of Europe when this sort of thing happened in most of Europe and North America for a good chunk of the 20th century? You don't need to bring up nazis just because it's Israel.
ginger_maya 27th-Jan-2013 04:18 pm (UTC)
It happened in most of Europe due to the policies of several countries, but Germany most of all. And yes, that is EXACTLY why I brought up the Nazis - because the policies of the Israeli government towards the Palestines are disturbingly similar to what the Nazis did to the Jewish people during WW2 and before that. And now this, even if it's not aimed at the Palestines. Do you realize that part of the Nazis' so-called "Final Solution" was to make as many Jews as they could infertile? They only turned to outright extermination because the "make them infertile" plan was deemed impractical and way too expensive. Do you realize that the Israeli government is running concentration camps right now? The parallels are obvious, absolutely necessary and tragically ironic.
cozmic_oceanz 27th-Jan-2013 05:22 pm (UTC)
ginger_maya 27th-Jan-2013 05:23 pm (UTC)
I agree. It's vomit-worthy.
mephisto5 27th-Jan-2013 05:56 pm (UTC)
Eugenics has been (and amongst some groups remains) popular in pretty much every 'westernised' country (probably elsewhere too, but I don't know enough about those areas to comment). Immediately leaping to compare Israel to a regime that slaughtered 6 million jews is pretty gross and kind of lets every other country (e.g. Sweden, who until very very recently i.e. last year forced trans* people to not only be sterile but also to have all stored genetic material be destroyed in order to legally change their sex) off the hook.

Don't do it, there are plenty of other comparisons that would work- such as the woman in the USA paying women who are addicted to crack to be sterilised. Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is both unecessary and, given the history, ridiculously offensive.
ginger_maya 27th-Jan-2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
Am I really the only one who isn't missing the tragic and bitter irony of the situation? Yes, a lot of countries have programs that amount to eugenics to this day. But the people behind this particular program are heirs of the largest group of people in history that was targeted and victimized by an eugenics program. The fact that they they are engaging in the same, given their history, is what is truly gross here. Out of all governments, the Israeli government should know better. Not that the others shouldn't know better - but I find it most disheartening that people whose ancestors have been victimized in such a horrific, monstrous, barbaric manner...are turning around and doing it to others. That is why the comparison is necessary, especially when it comes to Israel.
dinkydo 27th-Jan-2013 06:51 pm (UTC)
Nope, I'm right there with you. I'm so sick of Israel's hypocrisy--I just didn't know it had so many fucking forms.
omgangiepants 27th-Jan-2013 07:33 pm (UTC)
ginger_maya 27th-Jan-2013 07:34 pm (UTC)
But those who don't need to get some glasses and read some history.
romp 28th-Jan-2013 02:23 am (UTC)
They "should know better" but that's true of all sorts of situations. People don't always learn from the places in their lives where they lack privilege or are oppressed and simply rise above it all. Do you enjoy the irony whenever you see a gay man or a man of colour be sexist?
ginger_maya 28th-Jan-2013 10:08 am (UTC)
Pointing out the irony and enjoying the irony are two fundamentally different things.
lonely_hour 28th-Jan-2013 02:26 am (UTC)
i think there is obviously a connection between western practice of eugenics and white supremacy, but i don't think it would be doing any great favours to go and draw parallels between nazi germany and israel (in fact this may redirect productive discourse), though yes the irony factor is worthy of clawing my face off. Rather we should discuss white supremacy.

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