TEL AVIV (Somalilandpress) — A feminist movement has accused the Israeli government of adopting a racist policy towards the country’s Ethiopian Jews.
Activists believe black women are deliberately being given a controversial contraceptive drug to bring about a drop in the population – a claim the government denies.
Thousands of Ethiopians have immigrated to Israel since the 1980s, but their Jewish heritage has been questioned, while their social status continues to suffer.
For nearly four years, Racheli Mangoli has been running a youth center in one of Israel’s poorer communities. Forty-five Ethiopian families live here, but throughout that entire time, only one Ethiopian baby has been born in this neighborhood, and that has alarmed Racheli.
She says: “I smelt something not good. I know about the discrimination here – when I am going with the children, I feel this even when I am going to the supermarket. One women said to me ‘I don¹t know how you can stand next to people like this. When they give me money – I am going and washing my hands.’”
After some investigation, Racheli discovered that many Ethiopian women, keen to avoid getting pregnant while setting up life in a new country, had been placed on a controversial contraceptive, Depo-Provera, a drug few Israeli women have heard of, let alone use.
One woman was first put on it four years ago, and underwent repeated injections every three months. She says it has left her with such terrible pains in her hands and back that she can no longer work. She insists she was never told about its side effects or offered an alternative. Like many Ethiopians in Israel, she’s afraid she will be deported if she questions the authorities.
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Dr Factor is reluctant to give the contraceptive to his patients. He says it is known to delay fertility for months after women come off it. In some cases it can cause permanent infertility.
“At least 10 per cent develop substantial side-effects – side-effects like irregular bleeding, the period may disappear, they may have heavy periods. And it is impossible to reverse these side-effects, and until it has worked itself out of the system you can’t reverse these. So it’s possible although the contraception works for 3 months at a time, the side-effects may last for two years – three years – four years – five years,” he says.
In 2004, the American Food and Drug Administration warned against the dangers of the drug, but the World Health Organization refused to restrict its use.
Hedva Eyal has tried unsuccessfully to draw attention to the fact that Ethiopian Israelis are given the drug without being warned of the risks. She claims it is her government’s policy and is nothing short of racism.
She told RT: “They don’t want poor or black children and Depo-Provera gave them the opportunity to have control. If she [a patient] keeps taking an injection every three months, she is not going to have children – you know it is a 100 per cent secure from children I think.”
Hedva says the policy is working – the number of black babies in Israel is decreasing, but there are no official statistics to back up her claim. For community workers and Ethiopian women here, statistics are unnecessary – they feel their reality speaks for itself.
The Health Ministry admits it issues the drug, but says it was never its policy only to administer it to Ethiopian women and reduce the number of black babies in the country.
In their defense, Jewish agencies involved in immigration say they offered several types of contraceptives to the Ethiopian women, and that all of them participated voluntarily in family planning.
Dr. Yee-fat Bitton from the Israeli Anti-Discrimination Legal Center “Tmura”, says it’s not a matter point of view, but of the statistics.
“The statistics are, that 60 percent of the women receiving this contraceptive, this controversial one, are Ethiopian Jews,” Bitton told RT. “And you have to understand that Ethiopians in Israel… […] consist of up to only 1 per cent of the population, so the gap here is just impossible to reconcile in any logical manner that would somehow resist the claims of racism.”
Professor Zvi Bentwich, an immunologist and human rights activist from Tel-Aviv, doesn’t think there is any ground to suspect a certain negative official policy towards Ethiopian Jews.
“I’m not against looking and inquiring into the claim. If there is a claim, one should investigate,” Bentwich told RT. “But when asked about official attitudes, official policy, official medical policy, I am very reluctant that that is indeed a policy of racism on that part.”
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Watch the full interview with Yee-fat Bitton and Zvi Bentvich
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Source: RT, 26 February, 2010, 15:35
Hey, Isreali people you are so rabish. Completely recist. Of couse I am happy eith Hitler did on you, becuse I realize that you diserve it. You are stupis enough. Actually, i have also comment on those stupid ethiopians who went there ti fill their stomach, ignoring that thay are not Jews. Just back to your poor homeland and live safly and hungry.
Very racist and sick people – I guess they are doing what Hitler and Nazi Germany did to them on others, but do they release they avenging on the wrong people?
Africa is where you fled to when “white” Europe was cooking you in gas champers. Never trust an Israeli. This is how they will repay you and Somaliland should not have ties with them. They might poison us without our knowledge.
I am Jew by blood, not by religion, I am sad to hear this new, once a Jew was considered unclean race, and isolated from the rest of the world. A Jew was considered dirty once upon a time, many societies were reluctant to exterminate them. Now the same people are practicing what was once practiced on them, what hypocrites. history repeating itself in a bad way in Israel. Why they brought the Ethiopian Jews to Israel, is it to create a segregated society for the white Jew to feel good about themselves or to fulfill the prophecy? Dr. Factor is practicing the same way as the Fox TV factor, blinding himself from reality and practicing against the oats he as taken, working under the shadow of a rogue government. May be this is because Israel has played for a long time role of a victim in every step of the way, and can not see the results of what its victimization of others can cause. Now is the time Israel to stop playing the victim card and see itself in a mirror and say I am hypocrite, I can not continue like this, sooner or later my deeds back fire against me, and then let me do the right thing like any human being. Remember this, this is practiced by Jews in Israel, not by Jew around the world.
Once we told the Jews that the Jews were once chosen people but they were ungrateful people and they rebelled against their Lord who provided them with every thing even with food from Heaven (they urinated on it etc).
If they repaid the Mighty Lord that way how will you expect they will repay for all those who felt sorry for them in the hundreds of years they being abused in Europe and other places? To the millions who sympathized with them over the holocaust. This is how they will repay you, play the victim and unmercifully kill those below them in the food chain.
This is the real Israelis the media failed to report because every time they put the truth out there they are accused of being "anti Semitic" and the world cries "oh how could you say that about the little victims shame on you, take this slap, Israel here is a candy for you we apologize"…all this happens because Europe still feels responsible for what it did to Jews but it will turn blind eye on how Jews and Israelis victimize others. To the West its "whatever makes those Jews happy let them forget all the years we maltreated them let them keep themselves busy with Arabs and others". Europe cant admit what they did to Jews was wrong and they cant stop Israelis now.
Shameful world, you being exposed maybe tomorrow we will see RT being sued for "antisemitism" I say save this videos and articles before the "victim lovers" begin to remove them.
From Somaliland, we cant be fooled.
oh my God, i can't beleive………
why you call the Ethiopia Jews in the first place?
all your deeds are seen by God. you will pay for it.
Who cares infidels hating other infidels. The so-called Ethiopian Jews (Yahuuds) is fake. These are cushitic people who had the Tora as their holly book and the idea that they belong to occupied Palestine is just evil. People should think of the defenseless Palestinian people who lost all of their properties to the invaders who took their land and still has to deal with the daily humiliation they suffer at the hands of the merciless IDF.