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Israel refuses blood donation from Ethiopian-born lawmaker
Published Thursday 12/12/2013 (updated) 16/12/2013 09:33
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The refusal of Israel's equivalent of the Red Cross, Magen David
Adom, to accept blood from an Ethiopian Jewish lawmaker
sparked demands for a review of guidelines seen as deeply
discriminatory.(AFP/File Jack Guez)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- The refusal of Israel's equivalent of the Red Cross to accept blood from an Ethiopian Jewish lawmaker sparked demands on Wednesday for a review of guidelines seen as deeply discriminatory.

The rejection of the blood from Pnina Tamano-Shata by an official of Magen David Adom came at a donor drive outside parliament and was caught on video footage which was widely aired by Israeli television channels.

"Under health ministry directives, we are unable to accept blood from donors of Ethiopian Jewish origin," the health official is heard to say as he spurns the donation.

Ministry guidelines do not in fact bar donations from all of Israel's more than 120,000 Ethiopian Jews, only to those 80,000 among them who were born in Africa and migrated to Israel, most of them in two massive airlifts in 1984 and 1991.

The pretext long given is that it is a measure to prevent the AIDS virus getting into the blood bank and being spread through transfusions.

But critics say the blanket ban has no medical basis and masks persistent racism among other Israeli Jews towards the black Ethiopian minority.

Tamano-Shata is a member of parliament for the centrist Yesh Atid party, part of Israel's governing coalition.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rang her to express his "admiration" for her offer to give blood and to promise a review of the ministry guidelines.

Tamano-Shata herself hit out at an "affront to an entire community on the basis of the color of their skin".

"I'm 32, I arrived in Israel at the age of three, did my military service and have two children. There's no reason to treat me in this way," she told Channel 10 television.

She recalled that 16 years ago, the revelation that health authorities were secretly throwing away blood donations from Ethiopian Jews had sparked a massive protest in Jerusalem.

"I myself took part in that demonstration but nothing has changed since then," she said.

Top Magen David Adom officials later agreed they could take Tamano-Shata's blood, but only to freeze it, not to put it into the national blood bank, the Ynet news website reported.
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1 ) Dee / SA
12/12/2013 12:37
These Ethiopians are not Jewish but Christians who passed themselves as Jews and Israel accepted them to add a little colour but Jewish they are NOT

2 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
12/12/2013 12:38
If it was: Iran refuses blood donation from Iranian born Jew.... Waaaa antisemitism!!!!

3 ) Justice & Only Justice / Palestine
12/12/2013 13:27
It's a normal behavior for Zionist-Jews.

4 ) Robert / US
12/12/2013 15:22
This is true Antisemitism, what do you think Brian, Johnny, Malone, southpark... care to give your karzar (convert)shtick, come on give it your best shot...

5 ) Absurd / Canada
12/12/2013 15:39
Canada rejected my blood because I traveled to France during the Mad Cow disease outbreak. So what? The tests for the detection of diseases like AIDS are not 100% reliable. There has been cases of blood contamination by hepatitis. A blood agency has to take maximum cautions. This has nothing to do with race or origin.

6 ) laurence / bordaux
12/12/2013 15:45
israel is racist staet

7 ) Carson / Canada
12/12/2013 21:07
Haha I love it ! A story like this comes out, of course with the only intention of vilifying Israel, and pro - Palestinians eat it up !

8 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/12/2013 21:59
Lol. Israel. There's so much to love.

9 ) southparkbear / usa
12/12/2013 22:30
#5, you can expect reason nor logic from people who are born to hate

10 ) Eva / Switzerland
13/12/2013 00:12
Makes me want to puke. Seriously. The American south in the 50s, Apartheid, Genocide, chemical weapons... and what else! Let's liberate Palestine NOW - Gaza first, the rest will follow. #NaqabVictory

11 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/12/2013 02:31
To Dee #1: 'These Ethiopians are not Jewish but Christians who passed themselves as Jews and Israel accepted them to add a little colour but Jewish they are NOT' Be that as it may -- the kicker is that Israel practically recruited these people. To invite them in and then ostracize them is ridiculous in that singularly vile way Israel is such a master of.

12 ) ian / australia
13/12/2013 02:33
"I'm 32, I arrived in Israel at the age of three, did my military service and have two children. There's no reason to treat me in this way..." I suspect some Rabbinical ruling lurking in the background. I'm assuming Yahweh didn't mention blood transfusions on Sinai but there's plenty of other stuff in the Oral Law which could be interpreted as an injunction to keep the blood separate and pure, in this case, literally. But it's decidedly creepy: blood donated then thrown out, or excluded from

13 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/12/2013 02:33
To Carson #7: ' A story like this comes out, of course with the only intention of vilifying Israel, and pro - Palestinians eat it up !' Your real problem is that Israel is so eminently vilifiable. It's like shooting ducks in a barrel.

14 ) ian / australia
13/12/2013 02:33
(contd.) the national pool, segregated, frozen, presumably for Ethiopian use only. It's so kosher, so metaphorical, so ISRAEL...it's hard not to discern the murky hand of the Rabbis behind the medical modernity. (That, or they're accusing her bluntly of sleeping around with AIDS infected African men and that her blood, though testing healthy, isn't "safe" enough for use in "white" Jews...though fine for blacks.)

15 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/12/2013 02:34
To Absurd #5: 'This has nothing to do with race or origin.' That's why their blood is rejected on the grounds that they are from Ethiopia.

16 ) ian / australia
13/12/2013 02:36
#1 "These Ethiopians are not Jewish but Christians who passed themselves as Jews and Israel accepted them to add a little colour but Jewish they are NOT" Nonsense, Dee. They're as Jewish as anyone. Easily as Jewish as the Poles and Russians who dominate Israel. The only concrete definition of being Jewish is saying you're are.

17 ) ian / australia
13/12/2013 13:18
#1 "These Ethiopians are not Jewish but Christians who passed themselves as Jews and Israel accepted them to add a little colour but Jewish they are NOT" And why the objection to African Jews? It's perfectly logical that Jehovah worshipping Judahites may have made their way south into Africa, intermingled with Africans, and gradually got blacker. Jewishness is matrilineal which means exempt from the laws of biology. Characteristics like pigmentation and hair type change with miscegenation

18 ) ian / australia
13/12/2013 13:22
(contd.) but Jewishness endures as an undilutable essence. Of course, it endures as a "status", like primogeniture, but then the propaganda, the sleight of hand, kicks in and the inherited "status" morphs into membership of a "people", a "chosen" race...with an entitlement to the ancient racial home, to "return" from the corners of the earth to live in it, and to dispossess the people living there now.

19 ) Taaz / Germany
13/12/2013 13:42
Blood contain diseases, and health services should protect those who receive blood donation. Those who were born in or stayed in many places in Africa are at risk of carrying dangerous diseases in their blood. The same rules that are in Israel on that issue are identical to most European countries.

20 ) Rev Arthur Bartlet / Wales
13/12/2013 22:53
A couple of years ago a French friend suggested we gave blood. She was accepted but not me because I came from a country that had in the past Mad Cows Disease. I am appealing this decision in the Court of Human Rights Strasbourg at my expense. Verdict expected in 2016 I feel shattered. But its not the only the damm Jews who can be akward

21 ) Colin Wright / USA
14/12/2013 22:11
To Absrud #5: 'Canada rejected my blood because I traveled to France during the Mad Cow disease outbreak...' I'm reasonably confident the real problem is that Ethiopians are black. Israel is, after all, a quintessentially racist state. As their Minister of the Interior said, 'Israel is for the white man.'

22 ) ian / australia
15/12/2013 05:14
#5, #19, #20 I agree. States can't be too vigilant safeguarding the health of the blood bank. There are endless categories of people whose blood is justifiably not wanted. Sexual risk-takers of all stripes. People with new tats. Or recently unwell. IV drug users. Anyone exposed to BSE or AIDS through travel, birth or lifestyle. Without going into details, my blood wouldn't be wanted. (It'd be thrown out like an Ethiopian's.) So which category did Pnina Tamano-Shata come under that her blood

23 ) ian / australia
15/12/2013 05:15
(contd.) was accepted only under protest and then with the proviso that it NOT be added to the national bank but kept separate, frozen for, er, "specialised" use only?

24 ) ian / australia
15/12/2013 05:23
#20 "I am appealing this decision in the Court of Human Rights Strasbourg at my expense. Verdict expected in 2016..." I'd save my money and accept the Welsh medical decision on Mad Cow, Rev (if that's where you were donating). Contaminating the national blood pool is not a human right. I'd go with the science. (And if there was a valid scientific argument for refusing MK Tamano-Shata's blood I'd go with that too, and so should she.)

25 ) @ Laur-6, Colin-8, Eva-10, etc / Truth
15/12/2013 17:35
What a bunch of RACISTS YOU ARE. Israel's blood bank has rules, just like those in your state, and in place to protect civilians from deadly diseases !! In Canada (#5), the USA (I donate & know.), and probably every other, ** ALL BLOOD BANKS HAVE RULES AGAINST accepting donations from people that lived in ** RISKY PLACES ** (UK during the Mad-Cow epidemic, African states with AIDS epidemics), ** AND RISKY LIFE-STYLES ** (sex with prostitutes, needle-drug use, etc.)

26 ) Henri / France > Israel
15/12/2013 18:55
This hoax has been removed from all SERIOUS information sites. (With no word of excuse for misinformation). Remains only on Ma'an news Agency !!

27 ) Robert / US
15/12/2013 19:14
Racism at its best.. chosen to hate, how pathetic and antisemitic

28 ) ian / australia
15/12/2013 21:57
#25 "Israel's blood bank has rules..." Yes, it does. And a good thing to. So which one credibly applied to MK Tamano-Shata (who arrived in Israel at 3-years-old) that her blood donation was rejected then begrudgingly accepted with the proviso that it be kept separate from the national bank, presumably for some kind of qualified use?

29 ) Wadi / US
18/12/2013 15:59
I was in the US Navy, and stationed in Holy Loch, Scotland for 10 years. Becasus of that I cannot give blood in the US. It does not bother me.
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