Times of London

Times of London revives anti-Israel smear over Ethiopian blood donations


The Nov. 4th edition of Times of London includes a review by David Aaronovitch of a new exhibit at the Jewish Museum in London titled Blood: Uniting and Dividing.  Aaronovitch explains that the exhibit explores the subject of blood through the lens of Jewish religion, culture, history and antisemitism.

lies

Though the review mostly deals with the exhibit’s focus on the way in which blood has been used to demonize and vilify Jews, Aaronovitch also notes the following:

To its credit the exhibition also reminds visitors that in the 1990s the Israeli blood donation services took blood from Ethiopian immigrants, then routinely discarded it for no other good reason apparently than the race of the donors

However, as my colleague Hadar Sela has demonstrated, the definitive report by former Israeli president Yitzhak Navon, in 1996, into that very incident found that the disposal of Ethiopian blood donations during that time was not motivated by race. Rather, it was merely a failure by the blood services (MDA) to update an earlier (medically sound) directive from 1984 which related to the fear of spreading Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Navon report concluded that “at the time the health services were worried by findings connected to the prevalence of diseases such as Malaria, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis among the Ethiopian immigrants from ‘Operation Moses’.”

The Commission ultimately concluded that Israeli public health officials acted out of purely professional motivation, “without any trace of racism” toward Ethiopian immigrants.

Sela (who worked for decades as a community nurse) also reminded readers that the risk of the transmission of HIV through donated blood was first recognized in the early 80s and standardized testing of blood donations for HIV (and Hepatitis) began around 1992.  Israeli authorities, Sela argued, were motivated by the need to address the very real international problem concerning infectious disease transmission through blood transfusions. To this day, you can’t be a blood donor in Israel (regardless of your skin color) if you’ve lived in a country in which Malaria is endemic until three years have passed by since leaving that country – as well as for a whole list of other reasons.

Of course, it should be noted that other countries, such as the US, have similar prohibitions on donating blood if you were born or have ever lived in some African countries which have a high rate of HIV infection.

Bottom line: there appears to be no evidence to support Aaronovitch’s claim that, in the 90s, Ethiopian blood was discarded due merely to “the race of the donors”.

22 replies »

  1. So this low-IQ scribbler has become the latest shill for the haters, and the Times – the newest member of the UK’s antisemitic media club. Very sad.

    • What a dummy doesn’t he know that if between 1980 and 1996 you were in the United Kingdom for more than a combined total of six months, then you can’t donate blood in Israel. I suppose that’s racially motivated too!

    • “Don’t mind me Adam I am just trying to help raise the standard of your BTL stuff”

      If you really want to raise the standard ‘stephenb’ then go away, sit in a hot bath and open your veins.
      That will not only raise the standard of the ‘BTL stuff’, but it will also raise the standard of the gene pool available for the next generations of humanity.

  2. Don’t know why you are being so horrible to me. Since I have been banned from Harrys Place for the nth time by some retarded yank cross dresser calling himself Jean, you guys are, for the moment, my only playmates. So just be nice to me ok ?

    Anyway, in the meantime, you might find this more interesting than me.

    http://wp.me/p5W2a1-cy

  3. Though David Aaronovitch’s sincerity regarding his opposition to academic BDs cannot be doubted, like others from his ideological background – and his views have evolved – he retains enough prejudices about Israel not be able to show scepticism in the face of all too many false accusations except for the most extreme. Like others in his ideological camp he accepts unquestioningly the good faith of the people who work for Amnesty International and is quite possible still a bit of a UNO – phile, despite the corruption of virtually all the UN agencies.

    The above post should be updated.

    Is Aaronovitch correct about the Jewish Museum exhibit – “the exhibition also reminds visitors that in the 1990s the Israeli blood donation services took blood from Ethiopian immigrants, then routinely discarded it for no other good reason apparently than the race of the donors”?

    If so, representations should be made.

    • “he accepts unquestioningly the good faith of the people who work for Amnesty International” – given the evidence of the last 20 or so years, anyone who accepts unquestioningly the good faith of the people who work for Amnesty International certainly exhibits low IQ.

  4. “Dear Jonathan,

    Many thanks for your query.

    Thanks for raising this. This is definitely not the case at all. The caption in the exhibition very clearly explains that the Israeli Blood service discarded the blood in relation to the fear of HIV/AIDs contamination. The news footage on display explores the debate in Israel. If you have any further questions feel free to be in touch.

    Best wishes,

    Jo

    Joanne Rosenthal
    Curator, Exhibitions and Projects
    Direct: 020 7284 7360
    Office: 020 7284 7384 ”

    So Aaronovitch – or an Editor – is being economical with the truth ….

    • People who don’t know that there are requirements for blood donations– like having not visited Africa and, yes, England during its Mad Cow crisis– obviously haven’t donated their blood at any time in the past 20 years.

      I suggest that those who wish to bash Israel for throwing away African migrants’ blood donations do something with their lives, like donate blood, rather than declare they are doing something with their miserable lives by raising their blood pressures.

      Beam me up, Scottie! There’s no intelligence life on this planet!

      • People who don’t know that there are requirements for blood donations have not been paying attention for the past 29 years. The HIV crisis became widely known in late 1986.
        Or, of course, they are low-IQ idiots.

  5. It is interesting to note that UK born people are also not permitted to donate blood in Israel because of the CJB problem in the UK many years ago!!