Ethiopian Protest Turns Violent


Ynet reports:

Hundreds of Ethiopian Jews and their supporters marched Monday in protest of what they claim is humiliating and racist treatment. The march, which set out from the Jerusalem Convention Center and ended in front of the prime minister’s office, addressed an incident in which Ethiopian donated blood had been thrown out of a Magen David Adom blood drive.

Many youths, professors, and students came to protest, along with religious leaders. During the rally in front of the prime minister’s office, a policeman on horseback hit one protestor in his head.
Blood Drive Affair
Ethiopians outraged over blood disposal / Meital Yasur-Beit Or
Ethiopian communities respond with rage at Channel 2 report that revealed blood donated by Ethiopians is frozen and disposed of. ‘There’s no difference between my blood and the blood of someone else’ says chairman of Ethiopian students union. Mada: ‘These procedures are handed down by the Health Ministry, and are accepted all over the world’

Pnina Tameno (25), spokesperson for the anti-racism headquarters who is completing a law degree, told Ynet that "the blood drive affair is the straw that broke the community’s restraint. We’re patient people by choice, but that doesn’t mean we’re weak."

"Since we immigrated to Israel, ther has been no progress. Tell me if it’s reasonable that we’re Jews just like any other Jews, but we have a special Ethiopian rabbi and there are two more rabbis that are for the whole country," added.

Tameno saw with her own eyes the young man injured by the policeman’s club: "We’re against violence and we said so to the protestors, but for no reason, a policeman came along on horseback and hit one of the protestors with his club, cutting his head open."

"The protestor was simply holding a sign. After the man fell down, the horse trampled him. What’s even worse is that, despite the fact that so many policemen came to the rally, there wasn’t even one ambulance and we had to wait ten minutes for one to arrive."

"Somehow, we were portrayed as violent, although they were the ones who facilitated the violence."…

This is the second time MDA has been caught dumping Ethiopian blood. There were protests then and there are again now.

MDA doesn’t want to take Ethiopian blood? Fine. Don’t take it. But do not take the blood under false pretenses and then discard it like trash. (Discarding blood in this fashion is a clear violation of halakha, as well.)

Perhaps you should make this rather simple fact known to MDA. You can do so here.



Filed under Famine, Israel

12 responses to “Ethiopian Protest Turns Violent

  1. Angry

    Israel NEVER stops discremination against Ethiopians…I hope Ethiopians will have a better place to live other than bloody RACIST ISrael

  2. Anonymous

    that article conveniently left out the health ministry’s response; “A spokeswoman for the Health Ministry said that all blood donors who have been in countries such as Ethiopia, where AIDS is endemic, cannot donate blood. She added that the decision to discard the blood was not racist, but medical.” You gotta give both sides of the story.

  3. Really? Then why actively COLLECT the blood in the first place? Most of these donors have lived in Israel since they were small children. If they didn’t come with HIV or AIDS, chances a re very small they’ll have either now.

  4. Neo-Conservaguy

    The Red Cross also collects blood in the U.S.A. and then separates out donors who have been to the same problematic regions. I agree the symbolism is unfortunate, but the medical reasons are sound.

  5. C-G

    The American Red Cross provides a binder full of information for prospective donors prior to donating blood. There are several pages which explicitly detail any kind of travel which would disqualify a potential donor.

    If you sign off that you have not been to any of the areas of the world which would disqualify you (and Africa is one of them- but you also can’t give blood if you spent a cumulative total of 3 months in the United Kingdom during certain periods of time…), you’ll be asked again in a personal medical history interview.

    You have at least two chances to excuse yourself. They will only collect blood if you’ve made it through the initial screening. Otherwise, why would they waste their time and potentially expose themselves to pathogens while drawing the blood?

  6. C-G

    From a 1996 article about this same issue:

    “MDA’s Dr Ben-David admitted that four years ago he reapproved his predecessor’s decision in the late 1980s to destroy the Ethiopian immigrants’ blood donations. “They are a very sensitive community, and pride is a central factor. Most of the immigrant donors are Israeli soldiers who volunteer to give blood along with their units. We couldn’t take their blood because of the high risk, but we thought that telling Ethiopians to go home without donating would single them out and embarrass them.”

    This article mentions that all new arrivals were tested for HIV infection, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, malaria, and other diseases, and that the rate of HIV infection among Ethiopians was much higher than among the general population.

    It seems as though this policy was based on sound reasoning, but turned into a PR nightmare because of the way it was implemented.

  7. Zayin Gadol

    We had a blood drive at my job once (in the States of course) and they refused to take my donation because I have been in Asia. I think they rejected all the Filipino and the Thai people as well.

    One of the questions is: “Have you ever paid for sexual services? “ Of course I did, that’s the only way I get it. Not necessarily money but bartering such as taking out the garbage , picking up the laundry etc.

  8. shmuel

    Then that’s true for all of us married guys, too. I guess I can’t give anymore. Chaval.

  9. THIS SHIT AGAIN?!?!?!?

    Why can’t they TEST the blood for HIV first BEFORE throwing it away?!?!?

    Eizo freakin’ Medina. Sometimes Israelis are SO ass-backwards.

  10. I think the idea is not to take the risk at all, which is standard protocol here and in Western Europe. But the problem is many of these donors have been in Israel for 15 to 22 years. Most were tiny children on arrival. As I noted above, if they did not come w/HIV or AIDS, the odds of them having it now are quite slim. In effect, the governemt is saying one black is just like another, no matter when they came. That is wrong. And it smacks of racism, no matter how well-intentioned.

  11. Asif

    I think that for all what the Ethiopian Israelis have gone through;
    1. Ethipian Kessim and Rabbis need to be paid equal, if not more than the other rabbis (the Friedmanns,the Shapiros etc.)
    2. They should not pay taxes like the Haredim,
    3. Not serve in the army unless they want to, like Arabs
    4. MKs have to applologize for their neglect of the community’s problems

  12. Neo-Conservaguy

    “3. Not serve in the army unless they want to, like Arabs”

    That would be exactly the opposite of what there should do and have done. They have served (and died) with honor. Serving in the military shows they are a part of the same fabric of society as other Jews. In the U.S.A., the military was one of the first institutions to “force” some initial attempts at racial equality upon Americans from all over the country that served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

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