Holiday with spies: come for the windsurfin, stay for the refugee rescue
April 22, 2018 11:12 AM   Subscribe

What an incredible story. I want to see this movie.
posted by biggreenplant at 2:13 PM on April 22, 2018

Strange, given this.
posted by mwhybark at 5:46 PM on April 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah it's worth noting that the Ethiopian Jews extracted and emigrated to Israel were promptly sterilized.
posted by kafziel at 5:50 PM on April 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

It's a great story, but the BBC covered it before and reportedly made a documentary about it. The original story was revealed no later than 2007, because that's when Gad Shimon's book came out.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:08 PM on April 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

kafziel - omg well that puts the story in a different light for me. thanks for adding that postscript.
posted by biggreenplant at 6:20 PM on April 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

and Joe thanks too for adding info that there is a book by Gad already
posted by biggreenplant at 6:21 PM on April 22, 2018

Ethiopian Jews extracted and emigrated to Israel were promptly sterilized.

That isn't actually true. There was a big controversy at the time and the accusation was repeatedly watered down from "sterilisation" to "given Depo-Provera without informed consent" to "encouraged to take Depo Provera". Depo-Provera injections last for about three months; there's no way they could be fairly described as "sterilisation".

Alison Kaplan Sommer in Ha'aretz refuted this allegation within days of the Independent's article: Ethiopian Women and Birth Control: When a Scoop Becomes a Smear [archived version]. As usual, though, a lie can run halfway around the world before the truth has its boots on.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:37 PM on April 22, 2018 [5 favorites]

There's a kernel of truth to that story, but the idea that Israel has been systematically sterilising Ethiopian Jewish immigrants on a massive scale appears to be complete bullshit. If there was any evidence of a large scale sterilisation program you'd think it would be pretty obvious in the demographic figures & once the story broke journalists would have been all over it.

What actually seems to have happened is that women in transit to Israel from Africa were strongly encouraged to take Depo-Provera shots (presumably in a well-intentioned attempt by the Israeli authorities to limit pregnancies during the potentially arduous transit to Israel) & that the purpose of the shots was not always communicated effectively, leading to some women continuing to receive the shots after they arrived in Israel. The whole thing appears to have been un unintentional fuck-up & definitely a failure of medical ethics, but no more than that. (I'd also be perfectly willing to believe that some doctors continued to give the shots for racist reasons, but there doesn't seem to have been any kind of institutional conspiracy going on.)
posted by pharm at 2:20 AM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

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