Israel Admits to Sterilizing Ethiopian Jews

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 13:01 p.m. EDT, 29 April 2010
Updated: 15:45 p.m. EDT, 30 January 2013

ISRAEL – Nearly 3-years ago we wrote about the forced sterilization of Ethiopian Jews. At that time we received vociferous denial, charges of being a conspiracy theorist, and from other corners we were accused of being anti-Semitic.

Last Sunday, according to Euronews and other outlets, Haaretz newspaper published a letter by “Israel’s health ministry who admitted managing a program to inject female Ethiopian Jewish immigrants with a birth control drug in an effort to reduce their birthrate and control the immigrant population.

Ron Gamzu, the director general of the country’s health ministry responded to comments made by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and ordered several organisations treating Ethiopian women to stop administering birth control injections. In the past, the Israeli government has denied giving contraceptive drugs to cut the birth rate among immigrants,” despite the evidence and testimony of Israelis medical personnel to the contrary.”

From a western American perspective it seems incredulous that the Ethiopian women neither questioned their medical treatment nor read the “fine print” on the medication they were prescribed.  However, if Hebrew is not your first language, or if you come from a society or culture that defers to authority, then this is not so difficult to fathom.

It was not so long ago in the United States that Southern doctors, with malice aforethought, deceived an illiterate black population during The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment who were infected with Syphilis and under the guise of receiving treatment for the condition, were merely given a placebo.

What made this incident particularly egregious was that “investigators recruited 399 impoverished African-American sharecroppers with syphilis for research related to the natural progression of the untreated disease, in hopes of justifying treatment programs for blacks.

The 40-year study was controversial for reasons related to ethical standards, primarily because researchers failed to treat patients appropriately after the 1940s validation of penicillin as an effective cure for the disease.” (Source: Wikipedia)

I encourage readers to listen to the news story above, discuss at length, and arrive at their own conclusion.  There are two organizations in Israel that are devoted to rectifying the plight of Ethiopian Jewry:

These organizations are on the ground and in the trenches and can provide additional information to facilitate a fair and balanced assessment of the treatment of Ethiopian Jews in Israel.

Combating Racism Against Africans and people of color remains a global problem and we must seek out every opportunity to address and eradicate this scourge.

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About Ayanna Nahmias

Ayanna Nahmias was interviewed on Radio Netherlands Worldwide program titled 'The State We’re In,' about her life in Africa and her determination to transcend her past. She started the Nahmias Cipher Report to provide information to readers about life in emerging economies, and to provide alternative insight into the challenges faced by women and children living in these countries. The blog features stories from around the world to inspire other people to persevere and triumph in the face of great adversity. She blogs about current events in emerging economies, international politics, human rights abuses, women’s rights and child advocacy.

View all posts by Ayanna Nahmias

7 Comments on “Israel Admits to Sterilizing Ethiopian Jews”

  1. fleury Says:

    I am not the least surprised..


  2. Rohan 7 Things Says:

    Wow, yes great reporting! Your blog looks like a great source of news, proper journalism for a change :)

    Thanks for sharing!



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