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After Years of Denying it, Israel Finally Admits to Sterilizing Black Ethiopian Jewish Immigrants Without their Knowledge

Running to several years of denying the allegation, Israel finally admitted in 2013 that it had been secretly injecting undesirable immigrant Ethiopian Jews with birth control drugs to involuntarily sterilize them:

The [Israeli] government had previously denied the practice but the Israeli Health Ministry’s director-general has now ordered gynecologists to stop administering the drugs. According a report in Haaretz, suspicions were firstraised by an investigative journalist, Gal Gabbay, who interviewed more than 30 women from Ethiopia in an attempt to discover why birth rates in the community had fallen dramatically.

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.

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.

Nearly 100,000 Ethiopian Jews have moved to Israel under the Law of Return since the 1980s, but their Jewishness has been questioned by some rabbis. Last year, the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the health portfolio, warned that illegal immigrants from Africa “threaten our existence as a Jewish and democratic state”.

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”. Read more

 

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After Years of Denying it, Israel Finally Admits to Sterilizing Black Ethiopian Jewish Immigrants Without their Knowledge