Ethiopian women have told RT that Israeli medics forced them to take the controversial Depo-Provera birth control vaccination without explaining the severe side effects of the drug, which can leave a woman unable to become pregnant for up to two years.
The birth control vaccination was reportedly a requirement for the women to immigrate to Israel: “They told me if you don’t take the shot, we won’t give you a ticket, so I took the shot, but I didn’t know that it would prevent pregnancies. I didn’t know,” one woman told RT correspondent Paula Slier.
The gruesome side effects of Depo-Provera are so severe that the drug is not recommended for most patients.
“We are talking about a contraception that has heavy medical and mental effects – period irregularities, vaginal bleeding, osteoporosis, alongside mental side effects like depression, mood swings, rage and more,” said Sharon Eliyahu-Chai of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
At least six organizations – such as Tebeka, an Ethiopian legal aid group – now aim to take the matter to court over alleged human rights violations.
Last month, the Israeli Health Ministry’s director general ordered gynecologists to cease administration of the drugs, bowing to public pressure after accusations that they had been forcing the birth control injections on Ethiopian women without their consent.
Israeli officials have denied that the birth control program was part of a plan to reduce the Ethiopian birthrate. The scandal has worn on, with the organizations involved all pinning blame on one another.
For more, watch Paula Slier’s report from Israel.
- Israelis admit pushing long-term contraceptives on Ethiopian women (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Israel has rebuffed a UN call to adhere to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and open itself to international inspectors, calling the suggestion a “meaningless mechanical vote” of a body that “lost all its credibility regarding Israel.”
In a 174-6 vote, the United Nations General Assembly demanded in a non-binding call that Tel Aviv join the NPT “without further delay,” in an effort to create a legally binding nuclear-free Middle East.
Washington, Israel’s strongest ally, surprised no one by voting against the resolution – but did approve two paragraphs that were voted on separately, which called for universal adherence to the NPT and for all non-signatory governments to join.
The UN body “has lost all its credibility regarding Israel with these types of routine votes that are ensured passage by an automatic majority and which single out Israel,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying.
The Assembly’s call on Israel comes days after a large majority of its members voted to grant Palestine statehood state status and just weeks after the an escalation of violence between Gazans and Israel’s occupation forces. Palmor stressed, however, that since the NPT vote takes place annually, the Palestinian victory is not connected.
Israel is not a signatory to the 1970 Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, the main objective of which is to is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology. Despite near-universal acknowledgement that Tel Aviv maintains a powerful nuclear arsenal, Israeli officials promote a position claiming their government will “not be the first country to introduce weapons into the Middle East.”
The Middle East’s only democracy possesses as many as 400 nuclear warheads, along with various ways to deliver them. It is also one of four countries known to have nuclear weapons that are not recognized as Nuclear Weapons States by the NPT. The others are India, North Korea and Pakistan.
Israel follows a policy known as “nuclear opacity,” which it sees as a deterrent against its neighbors.
The timing of the Israeli dismissal of the call for transparency comes less than two weeks after Washington’s withdrawal from December’s nuclear-free Middle East conference, to be held in Finland and sponsored by Russia, the UK and the US.
State Department officials said the international effort is being postponed because of “a deep conceptual gap [that] persists in the region on approaches towards regional security and arms control arrangements,” and because “states in the region have not reached agreement on acceptable conditions” for the meeting, quotes the IPS.
But many blamed Israel’s refusal to accept the terms as the real reason for postponing the regional nuclear drive.
“The truth is that the Israeli regime is the only party which rejected to conditions for a conference,” Iranian diplomat Khodadad Seifi told the General Assembly on Monday, as he called for “strong pressure on that regime to participate in the conference without any preconditions.”
The meeting is now expected to be held early next year.
There are currently five nuclear-weapon-free zones in the world, according to the UN: Latin America and the Caribbean, the South Pacific, South-East Asia, Central Asia, and Africa.
- NAM slams nuclear meeting cancellation, urges Israel to join NPT (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- World tells Israel to open up its nukes (morningstaronline.co.uk)