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Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Africa, Israel, Jews | 35 comments

Israeli Government Admits to Sterilizing Ethiopian Jews

February 21, 2012 According to recent Forbes and Haaretz articles, the Israeli government has been pursuing a long term plan of sterilization of immigrant Ethiopian Jews.

The Depo-Prevara injections were enforced upon women in transit camps in Ethiopia.

One might ask: why? At this point, no absolutely clear answer can be given. There are of course speculations about racial motives; that is, with the Israeli ruling class being mainly of Ashkenazi back ground, while the Ethiopian Jews are not. The outrage eventually led to the Israeli government suspending injections unless the women understood the ramifications. The shots have led to a drop in the Ethiopian Jewish birth-rate of about 20%.

According to the UK Independent:

“The drug in question is thought to be Depo-Provera, which is injected
every three months and is considered to be a highly effective,
long-lasting contraceptive.”

as well as noting:

“Sharona Eliahu Chai, a lawyer for the Association of Civil Rights in
Israel (ACRI), said: “Findings from investigations into the use of Depo
Provera are extremely worrisome, raising concerns of harmful health
policies with racist implications in violation of medical ethics. The
Ministry of Health’s director-general was right to act quickly and put
forth new guidelines.”

 

The Ethiopian Jewish community of course has its past shrouded in mystery. Different theories abound as to its origins. However, despite dispute about their ability to legally come to Israel, it was decided that those Ethiopian Jews who agreed to undergo a conversion to Orthdoox Talmudic Judaism would be allowed entry. The Ethiopian Jewish community has left in large numbers from Ethiopia, especially since the culture was hostile to them (for example, prior to the over-throw of the old imperial system, they could not own property).

 

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  • akinoame

    The headline is outrageously wrong. First of all, the whole thing is not about _sterilization_ at all, but about contraception (I hope everyone knows the difference?). The whole fuss is that women (allegedly) did not receive adequate explanations about side effects and all alternatives.
    Second, where did the government admit that this is a policy? No source is cited, and this is not even mentioned in the article.
    Extremely poor journalism….

    • NFTU

      Fr Enoch’s headlines are almost never wrong. I’ll let him answer.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ernest.kitkit Ernest Kitkit

        The title is simple is accurate. Anyone arguing about this simply has an issue with either the facts or the revelation of those facts. There is nothing to discuss.

    • HmkEnoch

      It is effectively sterilization since they were just told they were
      being given ‘injections’. Are we going to quibble between the temporary
      pharmacological sterilization as opposed to permanent surgical
      sterilization? It’s the same result; and yes, contraceptives that effect
      the chemical structure of the body for months, preventing someone from
      having children, are effective temporary sterilizing techniques.
      According to the UK Independent paper:

      “The drug in question is thought to be Depo-Provera, which is injected
      every three months and is considered to be a highly effective,
      long-lasting contraceptive.”

      as well as noting:

      “Sharona Eliahu Chai, a lawyer for the Association of Civil Rights in
      Israel (ACRI), said: “Findings from investigations into the use of Depo
      Provera are extremely worrisome, raising concerns of harmful health
      policies with racist implications in violation of medical ethics. The
      Ministry of Health’s director-general was right to act quickly and put
      forth new guidelines.”

      So,
      the Israeli Health Ministry director says for all Israeli
      gynaecologists to halt the injections, and this isn’t demonstration of a
      policy of the government? A policy would be a course of action. We
      might as well say that the Communists didn’t have a policy; it was just a
      great number of seemingly ‘coordinated’ incidences of killing millions
      of people.

      • akinoame

        So it is “effectively sterilization” and not a sterilization. And nowhere in your response there is Israeli government “admitting sterilization”.

        • HmkEnoch

          In the same sense that the Communists just committed ‘effective genocide'; and then nowhere admitted they had committed ‘actual genocide’ of peoples.

          • akinoame

            You advocate writing an article “Communists admitted genocide” although they did not admit it. That’s quite an original approach to journalism.

          • NFTU

            Ok, this is getting ridiculous. The government’s admission is the fact of their promulgation of the end of an abortifacient practice that in effect intentionally reduced the Ethiopian Jewish population by 20%.

            Now, we could state it that way though the end result is the same as the title, and most people who aren’t trying to make the Israeli government look good are going to read it that way.

            Unless you’ve got a hard set of facts to indicate the results are different, I have no issue with the title.

            In Christ,
            Deacon Joseph Suaiden
            St Eulalia Orthodox Mission Chapel, Yonkers NY:
            *A Mission of the Orthodox Metropolia in North America*
            *Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles*
            *
            *
            “Let these canonical rules be established by us for you, O ye bishops; and if you continue to observe them, ye shall be saved, and shall have peace; but if you be disobedient, you shall be punished, and have everlasting war one with another, and undergo a penalty suitable to your disobedience.” *–Epilogue to the Apostolic Constitutions
            *

          • akinoame

            First, stopping automatic administration of certain type of contraception is very far from “admitting sterilizing”. Israeli Health Ministry took into account that practice is not optimal, and corrected this. Still Ethiopian (and other) Jews, Arabs, Christians, etc. receive contraception when they ask it, including Depo-Provera (which is approved by FDA and is being used by nearly 9 million women in more than 90 countries). All the Israeli Ministry did was to make sure women know the alternatives better. This is their “admittance”.

            Since various contraception methods (for which you use words “effectively temporary sterilization”) are not prohibited in Israel (as well as in the USA and most other countries), you may say: “Israeli (US, French, etc.) government continues the policy of sterilizing Ethiopian Jews (American Indians, Caucasians, Hispanic, French, and all other ethnicities)”

            The title is also contrary to the very source you cite. Forbes article says: “…without admitting any wrongdoing”, but you choose a title contradicting your source.

          • akinoame

            Your words “intentionally reduced the Ethiopian Jewish population by 20%” is a pure speculation. If take time to read the source report (I did it when it was published), you see that women asked for some form of contraception themselves, i.e. they did not want to have children (at that moment). Population was reduced because birthrate is always reduced in modern free societies just because of social pressure. Number of children is regretfully in contradiction with the well-being of a woman, hence when given a chance women often choose to have less children. That is the reason of population reduction.

            If they had not used Depo-Provera but another method, there still would have been the same reduction in the birth rate. Your conclusion is a pure speculation, and is contradicting the facts as I’ve shown above.

          • HmkEnoch

            Let’s see. The Ethiopian Jews were overwhelmingly given these injections. They make up 1 or 2 percent of the population. But, the vast majority of the people in Israel who were given these rare injections were Ethiopian Jews. That must be coincidence?! No; it’s pure eugenics, which has been promoted by governments and their dependent medical establishments.

            But, I guess many just believe Israel gov and allies can do no wrong; no matter what.

          • akinoame

            Correlation does not imply causality, you should know this. As a well-known example goes, “People who ate prickles in 1880 are now all dead. Hence prickles are poisonous.”
            Yes, there is correlation with ethnicity, but it does not imply causality, As I pointed above, there are other things common for Ethiopian Jews. For example, they did not posses language, and came from the same country with realities of life very different from that of Israel, Europe, USA.
            This factors may be the causes, and not ethnicity. Do you have any proof of the contrary?

          • NFTU

            I gave up wordplay disguised as philosophy when I became Orthodox.

            Last chance for sources, sir/madam, whoever you are– or I close the thread.
            In Christ,
            Deacon Joseph Suaiden

          • akinoame

            Sounds like providing sources is my last chance for salvation :)?
            You are welcome to close the thread whenever you like. I do not have a hint of a purpose to convince you, just to provide you with a perspective. But it cannot be forced, you need to open your mind to it. Or you may choose not to. Anyway, that’s not my business.
            Good luck.

          • NFTU

            The thrust of the articles seems to be (a) Depo-Provera is for the time period largely irreversible and (b) is being forced upon Ethiopian women specifically.

            According to Haaretz, “It’s hard to believe, but in Israel, in 2012, Ethiopian women are forced to receive injections of the Depo-Provera contraceptive…The injections given to Ethiopian women are part and parcel of the overall Israeli attitude toward this wave of immigrants. During the 1980s and 1990s, thousands of Ethiopian Jews spent months or years in transit camps in Ethiopia and Sudan. Hundreds died en route to Israel simply because a country that is supposed to be a safe haven for Jews decided the time wasn’t right, they couldn’t all be absorbed together or they weren’t Jewish enough – who had heard of black Jews?”

            You’re dancing around the issue, which is Israeli government policy towards Ethiopian Jewry, something that is already well known, but never considered to this vile extent.

            Since these were not voluntary but forced and repeated temporary sterilizations (used with the same effect, as the article points out, with young black women in the US in the 60’s), and is corroborated by victims, you can safely surmise the “source report” is government sponsored, and these women were either lied to or had the injections forced upon them– or they’d have no reason to complain to begin with.

            I have nothing left to say. To be honest, I don’t think you do either.
            In Christ,
            Deacon Joseph Suaiden
            St Eulalia Orthodox Mission Chapel, Yonkers NY:
            *A Mission of the Orthodox Metropolia in North America*
            *Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles*
            *
            *
            “Let these canonical rules be established by us for you, O ye bishops; and if you continue to observe them, ye shall be saved, and shall have peace; but if you be disobedient, you shall be punished, and have everlasting war one with another, and undergo a penalty suitable to your disobedience.” *–Epilogue to the Apostolic Constitutions
            *

          • akinoame

            I am not dancing around the issue, I just said your title is not supported by your sources (and even contradicts it). If you care about truth, you would correct it, or so I believe.

            The issue itself is very deep and I indeed did not dive into discussing it. You can see multiple discussions on the web if you are interested, there is no need to repeat them here.

            If you care about truth, I would advise you dive deeper into the sources. The articles in Haaretz, and, especially, in the Forbes are full of fallacies themselves. I just pointed out that this small article make ridiculous distortion of those already distorted articles. It is always the case nowadays that you need to read the first source if you want to consolidate your own opinion, and not the one fed to you by media. But again, I am not going to argue about it, just a little advice in case you are indeed interested.

          • akinoame

            Oups, sorry, if you believe that the source report was sponsored by government (although it criticizes the government), then indeed no need for you to read it. In other words, you are welcome to self-censor your sources of information. This is probably the best way to learn the truth.

          • NFTU

            This argument now basically boils down to “the articles cited are lying, and by accusing me of lying, you are in fact lying”.

            If this “source report” so flatly contradicts what Fr Enoch is saying, why not just produce it? You write “You can see multiple discussions on the web if you are interested, there is no need to repeat them here”. Where are they? I’d be glad to see them and will admit I haven’t. Or will this just become “oh, I know but you don’t, shame on you,” and other conversational terrorism.

            If you’d like to prove us wrong, do so with the facts; by accusing us of covering the truth, but not even so much as linking to this alleged truth, only meandering with “they’re on the internet somewhere”, is something I’ve heard so many times over the years I don’t, as an editor, take it seriously.
            If you don’t have the facts, I see no reason to believe you. If you do, then produce them.

            Last word on my part on the matter.

          • HmkEnoch

            Yes. The source reports.

          • akinoame

            No, I said that the article contradicts its own sources. I claim they are not very accurate themselves, but I would understand you if you put responsibility on them. But no, the article distorted even its own sources, and did it in the title.

            You did not find any discussion? Really? Search google for “ethiopian jews depo provera report”. You find pages and pages of them. Many have very lively discussions.
            Huffington Post usually have active discussions, if you are interested.
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/28/ethiopian-women-israel-birth-control-shots_n_2567016.html
            There are about 2000 comments at the moment.

            Another, more balanced article:
            http://www.irinnews.org/Report/97352/Furore-in-Israel-over-birth-control-drugs-for-Ethiopian-Jews

            This is the report:
            http://www.isha.org.il/upload/file/Depo_Provera%2520ENGLISH.pdf
            http://www.isha.org.il/upload/file/Depo_Provera%2520ENGLISH.pdf

          • HmkEnoch

            Where does the HuffPo comments do anything more than rehash the definition of whether this was ‘really admission’ etc? And the UN article is just the same as ours, except it seems to justify eugenics policies (like all UN matters) against poor folks and blacks. And the pdf report you link to admits itself that Depo-Provera should not be “done according to group {i.e., racial] affiliation.”

          • akinoame

            I just pointed to the vast discussion of the matter itself (as opposed to the title), saying that I am not going to engage in it here (although I finally did).

            PDF report: do not read conclusions, read the reports themselves. See what the women say. In what circumstances. What conclusions can be drawn. May different conclusions be drawn? Did the report authors miss anything?
            Then, I believe, you are on the way to understand what happens. Instead repeating other’s thoughts. Which are just human thoughts, even if repeated millions of times.

          • HmkEnoch

            If you’ve ever been in a law court, then you realize that, when the lawyer asks a witness questions, it can, and often is, done in such a way to make the hostile witness ‘admit’ something without admitting it. I can say to the Israeli Health Minister, “Were these injections given to Ethiopian Jewish women? Were they the ones it was predominantly given too? Was this done in transit camps? Was this an automatic policy of the Ministry? And did it not take a directive of the Ministry to reverse this decision?” They would have to answer “yes” to all those questions. It would be in the minds of the jury to lawfully draw the conclusions that the Health Minister basically admitted the prosecution’s whole case (that they did do this), even if the Health Minister was only phrasing it in such a manner as make it seem positive, and Minister didn’t use the exact words, “I admit.”

          • akinoame

            You are right. And this does not make your title any more correct.
            In such case you say: “The witness did NOT admit, but involvement is considered proven anyway”.

            Regarding the specific substance matter, such conclusion would not be drawn in a court. The judge would ask: “Can we prove beyond all doubt that the reason for these actions was racist? That the aim was to prosecute? Could other, easier, measures be taken in case prosecution was the goal? Why did the government spend a lot of money to bring this people into Israel, just to prosecute them afterwards?” And so on…
            In short, a lot of doubts would be raised in an imaginary court on this matter, and no conviction would take place.

          • HmkEnoch

            I believe this would definitely win in a civil court case where only a preponderance of the evidence is necessary. It might or might not win in a criminal trial because then you have to know beyond a reasonable doubt; you would only know beyond a reasonable doubt (in a court sense) if an actual investigation of the government were allowed with documents being exposed, witness (which we don’t have). . But the point is just that. And, it’s not only me, as has been pointed out, there are genuine and concerned Israeli civil rights groups saying the same things.

          • akinoame

            I believed you missed something else in this case. The Depo-Provera is much easier for administration. Ethiopian Jews came from very different reality, they had huge difficulties communicating with the doctors and nurses, and also huge difficulties just counting time (in particular, taking a contraception pill every day).
            Admittedly, the health professionals took an easier path: they suggested Depo-Provera as an easier contraception method for this category of patients. I do not say and do not think that this is good, and so admitted the Ministry of Health. It is good this is being corrected. However, connection to ethnicity is a far-reaching speculation. In my opinion (see arguments above).

          • NFTU

            While that may or may not be this fellow’s position, I’d like to see his sources or we’ll consider this topic not really open for discussion anymore. (We do this with lots of threads.)

            In Christ,
            Deacon Joseph Suaiden
            St Eulalia Orthodox Mission Chapel, Yonkers NY:
            *A Mission of the Orthodox Metropolia in North America*
            *Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles*
            *
            *
            “Let these canonical rules be established by us for you, O ye bishops; and if you continue to observe them, ye shall be saved, and shall have peace; but if you be disobedient, you shall be punished, and have everlasting war one with another, and undergo a penalty suitable to your disobedience.” *–Epilogue to the Apostolic Constitutions
            *

  • HmkEnoch

    http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-israeli-health-authorities-issue-guidelines-on-controversial-birthcontrol-shots-20130128,0,7037665.story

    To criticize the title is wrong. If the US government kills without trial US citizens and other innocents by drone strikes, and we say, “US Gov. Admits to Killing Innocents by Strikes” and then someone says, “NO. They only said that some people were killed in an operation. They didn’t say those words,” and then I respond, “Yes, even if they don’t say it, they admit it. It’s like saying to a man suffering from an asthma attack, ‘I’m not going to give you this inhaler.’ And the man says, ‘I’ll die if you don’t!!’ and I respond, ‘Conspiracy theorist. I didn’t cause you to have that asthma attack. You need to get your facts straight!'”

    It is standard in arguments to draw direct conclusions from existing evidence and present the conclusion based upon the previous points. For example, when you engage in logical argumentation, it is widely common to make a final summation statement of your opponents position even if the opponent rejects the phraseology. But, the summation would be in essence what is opponents position, even if that opponent didn’t want it phrased in such a manner.

    • akinoame

      Well, if this is your logic, then the title is 100% correct. In my logic, when somebody “admits” something, they should say themselves that this is true. Otherwise it is putting words in other people’s mouth’s. This is a lie in my world. But I understand you see it differently.

      • HmkEnoch

        So, a man who says, “The inhalers was witheld from them during their asthma attacks. It was done consistently and the vast majority of the time to this group that constitutes 1% of the population. It was done at refugee camps to those suffering. All the doctors were subject to the health ministry who advised them of doing this and how to do it. Many died. But, the Health Ministry is not responsible for their deaths. We didn’t cause their asthma attack. In fact, the Ministry has now issued a new directive saying that doctors and nurses should no longer with hold inhalers. Therefore, we do not admit really anything,” is not ‘admitting’ that they were responsible?

        • akinoame

          In this case I would say: “Health Ministry denies to admit its responsibility”.

          In fact, this sounds much worse that if they admitted. This means that they are wrong, insist on it, and probably continue doing the wrong thing.

          If they indeed admit their responsibility, then you can say so in your title, and it is a much better case. They may now correct the misdoings. But in your description they DID NOT admit.

        • akinoame

          Just as a side note, this asthma example is very different from Depo-Provera. Withholding inhalers means killing the patients (unless I am mistaken). Depo-Provera is a legal and approved contraception drug (not only in Israel). It may not be optimal, and its administration should be cautious, but it’s not killing women. It is not giving them the best possible care.

          • HmkEnoch

            The accidents may change of the argument (death, etc), but the substance of admission versus non-admission, and logical deductiveness does not. I change the accidents to ‘death’ to make it more forceful, but, I could have used another example of less extremity; the accidents surround an argument such as this only provide measure of a quantitative spectrum, but, not qualitative (or substantial) change to the basic propositions (A+B=C, whether I make A equal to 1 and B to 2, C would be three, but, logically, the same kind of result would be the same if A is 2 and B is 3, C then being 5. The properties of the problem remain, while the exterior variables (or accidents) can change.)

  • nicholasi

    Re “prior to the over-throw of the old imperial system, they could not own property”:

    This was because the Jews took over Ethiopia, and their Queen Judith had priests and monks and so on rounded up and killed, had churches destroyed, and had christian scriptures and lives of saints etc collected and destroyed.

    After the Jews were overthrown, they colluded with invading Muslims to take back Ethiopia, but failed.

    This Queen Judith is the most despised historical figure amongst Ethiopians, except the Jews, of course, for whom she is their greatest hero/ine.

    After the Jews, via the USSR (puppet Mengistu) and the USA (“Cohen’s Coup”, dividing Eritrea and denying Ethiopia access to the sea) re-conquered Ethiopia, they became talmudized and “fled” as “refugees” to the Jew-state in Palestine.

    The recently deceased “Patriarch” of Ethiopia was one of the heads of the World Council of Churches. He was installed by Jews (via the CFR and other Masonic outfits, who had paid for his Masonic education in the US — his bio states he attended St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary — he dropped out, to join the doctoral program at the Princeton Theological Seminary, which he then dropped out of to return to Ethiopia after the Soviets installed the Communist regime). He had a statue of himself built and installed at a major intersection where the Jew-run faithful prayed to it.

    Since some people here are obsessed with the headline, perhaps it could be changed to: “Anti-Christians Try To Prevent Anti-Christians Breeding”?

    Sterilizations are not necessarily permanent. Vasectomies can be reversed. Making women infertile for three months at a time is indeed rendering them reproductively sterile.

    • HmkEnoch

      Yes, i do recall that Nicholas. There was, as I remember, a time in which you had a Christian kingdom, a Falasha/Jewish-type kingdom, and a Muslim power. Eventually the Ethiopian emperors broke the power of the Falasha or Beta Israel power, and were able to secure control of the area. As a result, as you note, penal laws were imposed upon the Ethiopian Jews, such as the inability to own property.

      Eventually the Ethiopian Emperors only had to contend with Muslims and later Portugese and Italian colonialists. There is, of course, the famous statement when the Egyptian Sultan attempted to extort an incredibly large sum of money from the Ethiopian emperors during the Middle Ages. If the Emperor did not pay, the Sultan would destroy the Coptic churches in Egypt. The Emperor said that if one stone was touched on the churches, then the entire nation would cross the sea, and then fight its way to Mecca, and grind the Kabba into dust.

      Nevertheless in my statements, I was not attempting to say that there was not a very hostile history of the Ethiopian Jewish kingdom against Christians. However, it would seem, after 500 years or so, it would not hurt to have lifted the penal laws against them to at least a small degree (maybe they could own at least 5 acres?) etc.

      Yes, the Ethiopian version of ‘Judaism’ was markedly different than the standard Orthodox Talmudic Rabbinic version (or even the Karaite, etc, as there was no ‘Reform’ or ‘Conservative’ Judaism prior to the Enlightenment period). For example, the Ethiopian Falsha had monk, priests, high priests, etc, they used Ge’ez instead of Hebrew, and an OT Canon that substantially agreed with the Ethiopian Christians; they had their own oral law traditions; in other words, they seemed, in many ways, to be close to the defunct Alexandrian version that was displaced. However, as the Israeli government decided that they could not prove that they were genetically close enough to the majority of Jews, they did not fall under the right of return, unless they underwent conversions to Orthodox Talmudic Rabbinic Judaism.

      I appreciate you for pointing these issues out about the Ethiopian Patriarch.