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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Israel admits to practicing a eugenics program against Ethiopian Jews

   
Author Topic: Israel admits to practicing a eugenics program against Ethiopian Jews
Sa'eed
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Salon.com
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Rakeesh
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Well I suppose if you were to begin to express concern over women being victimized, it would pretty much have to be in an instance when it made Israel or Jews look bad.
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Sa'eed
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So that's the problem you have with it, is it. It makes Israel and Jews look bad. Not that it's barbarous and evil.
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Destineer
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It doesn't say which agency was responsible for dispensing the drugs, just that it was "Israel." I totally believe their govt is capable of this, but the article lacks specifics.
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Sa'eed
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This is the original article, though it's behind a pay wall:

haaretz.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
So that's the problem you have with it, is it. It makes Israel and Jews look bad. Not that it's barbarous and evil.

That was almost a clever and subtle recasting of what I said into a strawman, but what I actually said was entirely a criticism of you by way of your well known anti-Semitism and misogyny, and the curious way they intersect in this case.
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Destineer
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Can't read the Haaretz piece. Does it say which Israeli govt agency was responsible?
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Itsame
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From http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-gave-birth-control-to-ethiopian-jews-without-their-consent-8468800.html

"Haaretz published an extract from a letter sent by the Ministry of Health to units administering the drug. Doctors were told “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”."

All I could find so far.

Edit: I've only been to Israel once, but from what I gather, racism against Ethiopians is not uncommon there.

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Sa'eed
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
So that's the problem you have with it, is it. It makes Israel and Jews look bad. Not that it's barbarous and evil.

That was almost a clever and subtle recasting of what I said into a strawman, but what I actually said was entirely a criticism of you by way of your well known anti-Semitism and misogyny, and the curious way they intersect in this case.
Okay, I'm a misogynist/anti-semite. Your reaction to this story otherwise is...?
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Destineer
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OK, sounds like it was the Health Ministry distributing the depo provera. That's not too cool.
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Teshi
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I read about this this morning. Assuming it is true even in at least some of the specifics-- even if the doctors were acting alonge in administering the drugs for example--it is horrible.

If it is true in its entirety (e.g. the government, or some aspect of the government was requiring/condoning this), then it's really horrendous. How many failings in personal morals and governmental systems do you have to have before this goes unreported?

I think it is different from governments torturing or having punishing/unsurvivable prison systems, but I'm not sure to what degree. It certainly feels very cold and calculated.

I wonder what the investigative journalist knew going in? (It's hard that we don't have the details). Imagine perhaps expecting some environmental factor and discovering (allegedly) that your country is systematically and secretly suppressing reproduction of 'undesirables' through drugs.

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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
Okay, I'm a misogynist/anti-semite. Your reaction to this story otherwise is...?

Stopped clock is right occasionally.

If the clock has stopped on "Israel has done awful things," it might be rather more than the metaphorical twice a day.

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Kwea
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So far it's an accusation. No proof, and under investigation. That statement for their health department isn't even close to an admission of guilt, though. Not that I expect you to actually care about any sort of burden of proof when it comes to advancing your agenda.


If it is true, that doesn't make YOU any less of a douche though. Just sayin'...

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Kwea
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I don't know why you are still allowed to post here. You don't add anything to the community, you admit you are an anti-Semite and misogynist.

Even if you stay, you should be banned for posting on these topics, IMO.

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Stephan
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Horrible if true. I sincerely hope it is a misunderstanding. I am relieved to see they don't seem to have the problem of taking it every 3 months.

Frankly I have seen other news come out of Israel that upset me worse than this over the past year, it is weird the topics Sa-eed chooses.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:

"Haaretz published an extract from a letter sent by the Ministry of Health to units administering the drug. Doctors were told “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”."

I must be missing something. It seems like this quote persuaded Destineer of something. But... How?

How is it evidence of malfeasance, exactly? It seems very explicitly to be the opposite.

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Itsame
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:

"Haaretz published an extract from a letter sent by the Ministry of Health to units administering the drug. Doctors were told “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”."

I must be missing something. It seems like this quote persuaded Destineer of something. But... How?

How is it evidence of malfeasance, exactly? It seems very explicitly to be the opposite.

I think the idea is that such an order requires knowledge and authority. While it's possible that the ministry just discovered this practice and immediately shut it down, the massive coordination makes that unlikely.

I'm also going to say something that's been on my mind: this is extremely ironic.

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Dan_Frank
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So, maybe I should back up. The objectionable part is the coercion, right?

Not simply offering birth control shots to people, but doing that without their understanding/consent.

So, if the smoking gun we have is this letter...

Isn't the letter just as consistent with a scenario in which the Ministry Of Health received complaints or reports of some kind indicating some people were being given the shot without understanding what it was, and so then sent this to ensure that didn't happen anymore?

I'm not getting how the letter is proof of a conspiracy.

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
So, maybe I should back up. The objectionable part is the coercion, right?

Not simply offering birth control shots to people, but doing that without their understanding/consent.

So, if the smoking gun we have is this letter...

Isn't the letter just as consistent with a scenario in which the Ministry Of Health received complaints or reports of some kind indicating some people were being given the shot without understanding what it was, and so then sent this to ensure that didn't happen anymore?

I'm not getting how the letter is proof of a conspiracy.

I agree. It is more likely a misunderstanding. The shot needs to be given every 3 months to stay effective. A conspiracy would involve them continuing to receive the shots.
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Itsame
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It's not proof. But the letter combined with a significant percentage being coerced combined with the question of where the people administering the drugs got them combined with this: "Hedva Eyal, head of the Women and Technologies Project for Israeli feminist organization Isha L’Isha, had submitted a report six years ago to the Israeli government showing a disproportionate number of birth control shots — 60 percent — were being given to Ethiopian immigrants." makes it quite reasonable to believe that there was, in fact, a conspiracy.
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Itsame
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
I agree. It is more likely a misunderstanding. The shot needs to be given every 3 months to stay effective. A conspiracy would involve them continuing to receive the shots.

"One of the Ethiopian women who was interviewed is quoted as saying: “They [medical staff] told us they are inoculations. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.” It is alleged that some of the women were forced or coerced to take the drug while in transit camps in Ethiopia."
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
It's not proof. But the letter combined with a significant percentage being coerced

Where did it say how many people were coerced? Maybe I missed that.

quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
combined with the question of where the people administering the drugs got them

I'm confused by this. How is this a question? Is there some reason that simply having and administering these drugs is dastardly? I don't get it. I thought the issue is whether or not they were administered without the understanding and consent of the women.

quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
combined with this: "Hedva Eyal, head of the Women and Technologies Project for Israeli feminist organization Isha L’Isha, had submitted a report six years ago to the Israeli government showing a disproportionate number of birth control shots — 60 percent — were being given to Ethiopian immigrants."

Why? There are lots of possible explanations for that data. Maybe a disproportionate number of Ethiopian immigrants wanted birth control shots. This doesn't offer any explanation for why the conspiracy theory interpretation is particularly plausible.

quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
makes it quite reasonable to believe that there was, in fact, a conspiracy.

The only data point you gave that might do this, as far as I can tell, is if significant numbers of women are coming forward and saying they were forced. You alluded to this being the case. Is it?
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Dan_Frank
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And to be clear, I don't think "It is alleged that some of the women were forced or coerced to take the drug while in transit camps in Ethiopia" is a positive answer to my last question above. There are way too many mealy-mouthed weasel-words in that sentence.
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Destineer
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I'm not sure accusations against govt entities should be held to the same rigorous standard of proof as accusations against individuals. Part of their duty should be keeping careful enough records to exculpate themselves if necessary. That said, most likely there was no conspiracy, but rather an atmosphere of tacit institutional approval for poor treatment of the Ethiopians by individual health workers.

quote:
Haaretz wrote in December that 35 Ethiopian women who immigrated to Israel eight years ago claimed on the show "Vacuum" that, as they understood, they would not be allowed to move to Israel unless they agreed to the Depo-Provera shots.

"We said we won't have the shot," recounted one of the women, according to Haaretz. "They told us, if you don't you won't go to Israel. And also you won't be allowed into the Joint (American Joint Distribution Committee) office, you won't get aid or medical care. We were afraid ... We didn't have a choice. Without them and their aid we couldn't leave there. So we accepted the injection. It was only with their permission that we were allowed to leave."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/28/ethiopian-women-israel-birth-control-shots_n_2567016.html
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Tittles
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Come on, it's Israel.

Are any of you actually surprised that this sort of thing is being done there? They shut off wells to Palestinian villages to drive them out, so that Chosen people can move in.

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Kwea
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Well, there IS the 50% decline in their birth rate. I'd say it warrants further investigation, for sure. But proof?


Hardly.

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Rakeesh
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Proof? That's a tough word. But it's about at the point where I'd be surprised if there wasn't something very substantive at least to these claims.

I'd be prepared to be unsurprised at many things like this from any government as deeply concerned with immigration and demographic pressures as Israel is, incidentally. Which isn't mitigation for Israel but rather an indictment for humanity in general.

Anyway, as for 50% decline in birth rate if that is what is on the books it's got to be just about impossible for that to have anything other than an artificial cause.

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Dan_Frank
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What do you mean by artificial, Rakeesh?
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Parkour
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What a great thread. What a great forum.
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Kwea
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He probably means a human caused decline, as charged.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
He probably means a human caused decline, as charged.

Right. So, the problem I have with this is... because humans can make choices, when you look at a declining birth rate among a group of humans almost every conceivable cause is "artificial" or "human caused." We have a huge amount of control over our birth rate, and that control is even more pronounced when you look at more developed, technologically advanced societies.

And yet only one of the myriad potential causes is the one being charged (That the reduction is caused specifically by Israelis coercing Ethiopians.)

If, e.g. many of the Ethiopians did understand what depo provera is and chose to receive it, that would still be an artificial/human caused reduction in birth rate.

I'm not specifically saying this is the case. I don't know. I'm just observing that the fact "birth rates have declined 50%" is consistent both with the idea that this conspiracy is true, and consistent with the idea that this conspiracy is false.

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Itsame
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Dan, I agree that all the evidence is consistent with there not being a conspiracy. No proof has been provided. But I have a serious question for you: do you actually think that you have better reason to believe that there is not a conspiracy than that there is one (or are you agnostic about the matter)?
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Rakeesh
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Man, Dan, I think your love-of-human-choice blinders are really steering you away from other more likely likelihoods

Absolutely, it's possible that there in an artificial, human-choice element driving that change in birth rate (should it prove accurate, which doesn't seem unlikely), but for that to be true these particular Jewish women would have either had to engage in some activity which sharply drops the rate of pregnancy as a group, and said activity is both exclusive to them and still unknown...or there is something nefarious being done by a government agency of a nation which is enormously concerned with demographic pressures in the short and long term, for which even at this point there is the beginnings of troubling evidence.

It's too soon to tell which has happened (though smart money seems to be on at least...insistent birth control policies for these immigrants), but to point out that there are two explanations and suggest they're both equally likely is absurd.

Is there any reason at all to consider it likely that they, entirely voluntarily, agreed to this BC and then after they were in Israel announced that it had been pressured?

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
Dan, I agree that all the evidence is consistent with there not being a conspiracy. No proof has been provided. But I have a serious question for you: do you actually think that you have better reason to believe that there is not a conspiracy than that there is one (or are you agnostic about the matter)?

I mostly agree with Rivka's take on it.

That is, I don't think there was a conspiracy, or a specific coordinated concerted effort on the part of the Israeli government or the policymakers at the Israeli Ministry of Health.

But I think it's very plausible that there's a cultural bias at play for many of the Israeli medical staff that were administering this drug. And in sufficient numbers of their supervisors that the issue was largely ignored instead of addressed.

This bias could easily have kept anyone from taking action until it had become a major, publicized issue and the higher-ups became aware of it.

I also have no trouble believing many Ethiopian women did understand and were happy to receive the drug. Birth control is a fantastic technology that we take for granted in the developed parts of the world.

I think my attitude is consistent with the isolated claims of coercion, the dropped birth rate, and the publicized letter from the Ministry of Health. It also doesn't require any widespread nefarious conspiracy or collusion. Just people with prejudices, which exist in abundance.

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Rakeesh
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Doesn't require collusion? A substantial number of government workers in the same area, the same field, all acting in accordance with their prejudices instead of either the law or their own official policies?

I don't posit a meeting with high backed chairs with red cushions in a cavern at midnight with vipers hissing as the centerpiece, but at what point does a whole bunch of isolated prejudice become in effect policy, even if it's never explicitly intended or announced?

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I mostly agree with Rivka's take on it.

???
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Dan_Frank
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Yes, what's up?
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dkw
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Rivka didn't post her opinion on Hatrack. So it might have been a bit confusing saying that you agree with her in this thread.
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Dan_Frank
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Oh! Yeah, my mistake. Oops!
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Kwea
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By artificial I mean non-choices from the individuals involved, and I think that all nitpicking aside it was fairly evident what I meant. Statistically speaking, populations don't usually experience a 50% drop in the birth rate my their own choices, not in the time frames we are talking about here.


I guess.....imposed...might work as a replacement word if you really want one. As in not their choices but decisions either forced or imposed on them by other people, either by deception, lack of consent on the patients part, or by outright force.

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Alexbrit
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This is the important question to be answered.
Does it say which Israeli govt agency was responsible? any having some knowledge to share will be warm welcomed.

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