This seems underreported

So I will link to it here:

Israel has admitted for the first time that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent.

The government had previously denied the practice but the Israeli Health Ministry’s director-general has now ordered gynaecologists to stop administering the drugs. According a report in Haaretz, suspicions were first raised by an investigative journalist, Gal Gabbay, who interviewed more than 30 women from Ethiopia in an attempt to discover why birth rates in the community had fallen dramatically.

I’ve read through a number of alternative accounts and this seems to be true.  If you feel this is in error, however, please do give me another source to check out.


Felix Salmon will not be pleased:

Looks like another group of conspiracy theorist were proven right. Just as those who said the Gulf of Tonkin was a lie meant to justify war to a gullible people, were called conspiracy nuts for a couple decades.

Here's a lengthy 2009 study of the Depo Provera-Ethiopian immigrant issue by an Israeli feminist organization:

It doesn't sound radically different from the situation in the U.S. where inner city black teens are widely encouraged to get Depo Provera injections, although the Israeli Ethiopian immigrants are far more likely to be illiterate and/or under the thumb of a husband with medieval views on fertility.

Here's a 2010 study of disparate impact in Depo-Provera use in the U.S.:



In the 1960s and 1970s there were widespread reports of sterilization abuse directed at women of color in the United States. While such cases involved coercive or deceptive surgical sterilizations, in the 1990s, new contraceptive technologies such as Norplant and Depo-Provera (that temporarily sterilize women) were approved for the U.S. market by the Food and Drug Administration. Reproductive healthcare activists and women of color have charged that such contraceptives were targeted at women of color in an attempt to limit their reproductive freedoms and control the population sizes of people of color. In this study, I offer the concept of sterilization racism to explain the pattern and prevalence of ―racial‖ and ethnic disparities in Depo-Provera use among a sample of non-sterile U.S. women age 18 to 44. The data files used
for the statistical analyses come from the Centers for Disease Control‘s 2002 and 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. After adjustment for potential confounders, I find that African American and American Indian women are more likely to use Depo-Provera than European American women.

Gabe -- The Tonkin Gulf resolution was not based on a lie -- at least if you believe Leslie Gelb's The Irony of Vietnam: The System Worked. Also the Sen. Gravel edition of the Pentagon Papers.
There were actually believed to have been two attacks. About the first, there is no question that it happened.
It is unclear if the second attack happened, but LBJ believed it happened when he submitted the Resolution to the Senate.
I think the moral is: Be very careful before swallowing conspiracy theories. Conspirators are rarely smart enough to pull conspiracies off.
This reminds me of Keynes's answer to a woman who complained that the bankers were conspiring. He replied that he wished the bankers would conspire.

'but LBJ believed it happened when he submitted the Resolution to the Senate.'

So, someone in a position to cause a war was led to believe that a war had started due to a lie?

How do you define conspiracy? Or to put it a bit differently, could it be the intent of the lies that makes the difference between deceit and conspiracy?

Some quotes -

'But Johnson ordered U.S. bombers to "retaliate" for a North Vietnamese torpedo attack that never happened.

Prior to the U.S. air strikes, top officials in Washington had reason to doubt that any Aug. 4 attack by North Vietnam had occurred. Cables from the U.S. task force commander in the Tonkin Gulf, Captain John J. Herrick, referred to "freak weather effects," "almost total darkness" and an "overeager sonarman" who "was hearing ship's own propeller beat."

One of the Navy pilots flying overhead that night was squadron commander James Stockdale, who gained fame later as a POW and then Ross Perot's vice presidential candidate. "I had the best seat in the house to watch that event," recalled Stockdale a few years ago, "and our destroyers were just shooting at phantom targets — there were no PT boats there.... There was nothing there but black water and American fire power."

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson commented: "For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there."'

I've quoted quotes, but the link is obviously one that feels America's war in Vietnam was a massive waste based on lies. Something that seems to have become commonplace in American war making, at this point.

You are attempting to define away the lies Ian. You must feel so safe knowing your government loves and protects you so much.

Steve Sailer

Do you find Israel an interesting country?
Do think it deserves careful study?

For the life of me I can't imagine why our media have been reluctant to report this.

I can't even imagine imagining why US media would be reluctant to report this. I don't even know what I just typed.

I'm stumped, too.

I'm totally stumped, too.

What are you guys talking about? It's being widely discussed... online.

Yeah, what are Rick Sanchez and Not Gregg Easterbrook talking about anyway? It's almost as if some commenters are making comic references to events that other commenters don't understand.

While on the topic, in related news:

Rupert Murdoch has apologised for a Sunday Times cartoon depicting the Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu building a wall using blood-red mortar, an image Jewish leaders said was reminiscent of antisemitic propaganda.

The cartoon, published on Holocaust Memorial Day, shows Netanyahu wielding a long, sharp trowel and depicts agonised Palestinians bricked into the wall's structure. It was meant as a comment on recent elections in which Netanyahu's party narrowly won the most seats in the Israeli parliamentary elections.

Hide it online in a hiding place where no one ever goes
Put it in your akurum with your cupcakes
It's a little secret, just the Israelis' affair
Most of all, you've got to hide it from the networks

Using your imagination is anti-semitic.

Because Israel is "always the good guy." And the media looks away when Israel does stuff that the Nazis used to do.

Unless you're being sarcastic.

If true, this is...awkward? disturbing? Not sure what, but something not good.

Ethnic cleansing.

That's the one.

The USA did the same thing (sterilization of mentally ill people) as recently as 50 years ago ("The most significant era of eugenic sterilization was between 1907 and 1963, when over 64,000 individuals were forcibly sterilized under eugenic legislation in the United States"). And I think the stem case for the famous Sup. Ct Justice Holmes quote "Three Generations of Imbeciles is Enough" was from the Commonwealth of Virginia... I'm not a lawyer but let me Google this...yes, see: So, if you use the 'rule of thumb' that Israel is a developing country not yet on the frontier, as is the USA, this 'under reporting' makes sense. When will people stop comparing these countries to the USA? It's not the same folks. Israel for example still assassinates enemies using hit squads, rather than using money to buy them off like their more sophisticated CIA friends, or sending in a drone. The frontier on the Production Possibilities curve (not an economist either).

Ray, are you claiming that Ethiopians are all imbeciles, or somehow equivalent to imbeciles?!

The better comparison is to the sterilization by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the 70s. As in this case, they maintained plausible deniability about whether it was surreptitious or forced.

It was highly useful to Israel from a public relations standpoint in the 1980s to import a tribe of Ethiopians who claimed to be Jews. This helped counter the UN General Assembly's charge that Zionism is racism. This move was particularly gratifying to liberal and neoconservative American Jews as proof that Louis Farrakhan's public and Jesse Jackson's private statements about Jewish attitudes toward blacks were wrong.

Unfortunately, the Ethiopians have not assimilated particularly well in Israel. Hence, there has been little enthusiasm in Israel for importing other African tribes, such as the Lemba, that also claim Jewish descent.

At present, the Israeli government and public is adamantly averse to additional immigration from black Africa. The Israeli government's term for "undocumented worker" is "illegal infiltrator." The government is completing anti-immigrant fences around the borders. Last year there was even a violent pogrom against black immigrants in one Israeli neighborhood.

Yes. Yes I am. That's exactly what a reasonable person would conclude after reading my missive. Thanks for being reasonable and do patronize Ethiopian food next time you are in DC or Addis Ababa, eaten with the hands, like an imbecile.

Ray, your response strikes me as sarcastic, but what are we to make of your contention that a US effort to sterilize imbeciles is "the same thing" as Israeli efforts to sterilize Ethiopians?

"if you use the ‘rule of thumb’ that Israel is a developing country..."

Israel was founded by the best educated ethnic group in the world, it now has one of the most high tech economies in the world, real estate prices in Tel Aviv are at least as high as in Los Angeles, it's a leader in fertility technology, and so forth.

I think it's more reasonable to consider 21st Century Israel a light unto the nations. Israel's policies deserve close study by the citizens of less sophisticated countries, such as America.

Steve, call me unimaginative, but I don't think this is the best post to lobby for putting Israel on the international 'best practice' list. You have a right to your demographic ideals, but I assume (hope) you'd agree that the alleged methods in this case are utterly unacceptable. It is sad to recall how many times forced sterilizations have been used in the past, but that doesn't make it any less wrong.

Claudia says: "I assume (hope) you’d agree that the alleged methods in this case are utterly unacceptable"

Of course I disapprove of misleading patients, which is the point.

The lesson of Tyler's headline "This seems underreported" is that the American mainstream media is seldom in a hurry to make clear to naive Americans that Jewish attitudes toward minorities, immigration, eugenics, and so forth tend to differ radically depending upon whether Jews are a minority or the majority in a country.

In contrast, the American Jewish media (e.g., The Forward), the Israeli media (e.g., Ha'aretz), and foreign media (e.g., The Independent in the U.K., the source of Tyler quote) are much more informative sources. If you read the New York Times carefully, you will learn much as well, but, in general, in the American mainstream press, the central lesson is seldom spelled out.

New York Times columnist Stanley Fish approvingly stated the dominant paradigm in the conventional American press here:

Steve, you don't need to read the NY Times or some interl newspaper to realize that the minority and majority version of a group will act differently. Americans are not that naive. Of course, self preservation takes many forms and will depend on being few or many. I have to admit I find it incredible that a people who suffered immensely under eugenics within living memory would engage in such alleged behaviors. The lesson I drew from the title of the post was different, more like asking why no light was being shone on this accusation of genocide (here directed at the unborn). It would not be the first time interl suffering got limited media coverage in the US.

Steve, if you look back to what you "said" it was that Americans are naive about the difference between Jews in the majority and in the minority. That's's true for all peoples. Am I knowledgable about Israel having grown up in a Midwestern rural town with no Jews? No not really. But. I know enough to know Israel is different. I am sure it's a fascinating country to study as is every other country on the planet. And yes that's why I have a hard time buying the racial supremacy, purity stuff.

I like the "as recently as..." offhand qualifier.

Claudia says:

"Americans are not that naive. ... I have to admit I find it incredible that a people who suffered immensely under eugenics within living memory would engage in such alleged behaviors."

Assuming you are an America, I'd say you represent anecdotal evidence that Americans are that naive about Israel. It's a fascinating country, and it deserves careful, sympathetic study. The best thing of all about Israel is that you are allowed to discuss publicly important policy issues that are only allowed to be discussed in terms of Emma Lazarus-kitsch in America.


Who's preventing you from discussing your "publicly important policy issues" in the US? We probably have the widest freedom of speech in the world.

Sailer is not looking for freedom of speech to be "allowed to discuss" his ideas. He's looking for a society where no-one is allowed to form a negative opinion of him, or take negative action against him, based on those ideas.

More likely, he thinks he should be a well-paid New York Times columnist saying all the stuff he currently says on random internet sites.

Millian and J,

I'm sorry but you're gonna have to do better than that. I'm not sure ultimately what exactly Sailer's vision is, but it's completely beside the point.

His arguments should be considered on their merits.

A century ago, eugenics was a widely-discussed topic among leading liberals. In the 19th century, most educated people held views that modern Americans would find abhorrent on the subject.

Or would they? As dearieme comments: "Everyone believes in eugenics, on the sly." Whenever someone chooses to have a child with another position, there's a eugenic calculation, conscious or not.

I have conditioned myself (as I think many have) to compartmentalize the issue, kinda like evolution. If people wanna believe in creation, it's no skin off my nose, and I see no advantage to rubbing evolution in their faces. Similarly here, I don't wanna be an outcast in polite conversation, so I generally hold my peace on subjects of race (and sex, and e.g. puppy euthanasia), or go out of my way to find and emphasize other explanations.

(BTW- I consider this comment board to be a welcome respite from the constraints of polite conversation.)

But, unlike evolution or puppy euthanasia, the racial and sexual taboos in this country bump up against policy issues all the time. I think at bottom this is what Sailer's on about. This conversation is not going away.

Yeah, we don't get it. What could possibly happen to your career if your mention the wrong thing?

It seems to me from reading the article that "Israel" has directed doctors NOT to do this, in light of an investigation by Israelis that some women have reported receiving injections without disclosure.

From the article you linked to:

"Haaretz published an extract from a letter sent by the Ministry of Health to units administering the drug. Doctors were told “not to renew prescriptions for Depo Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment”."

So it looks like the Ministry of Health is trying to stop this if it's occuring.

The term is 'plausible deniability.'

Right, Robert, they got caught, they were embarrassed, and so now they are stopping. What don't you understand about this?

I think you are right Robert. Activist group to government "You are doing X, stop it". Government to employees "Don't do X". Activist group "The government admitted to doing X".

I would really like to see the facts. In the U.S., this would be well documented in the patient's file.. "Discussed birth control. Explained options. Patient chose depra prevara".

There seem to be two separate but related issues:

A. Ethiopian Jewish women weren't allowed into Israel unless they agreed to an injection of the 3-month contraceptive Depo-Provera. From Haaretz in 2012:

"Women who immigrated from Ethiopia eight years ago say they were told they would not be allowed into Israel unless they agreed to be injected with the long-acting birth control drug Depo Provera, according to an investigative report aired Saturday on the Israel Educational Television program "Vacuum."

B. After they arrived, Israel appears to have had a policy of trying to depress the high fertility of Ethiopian immigrant women by getting them, one way or another, to continue taking the injections.

In general, Israel has a variety of methods it uses to influence the numbers of different kinds of people within its boundaries. For example, Israel succeeded in driving down Muslim fertility and driving up Jewish fertility between 2000 and 2010, much to the surprise of outside pundits.

I'm confused by the neutral tone of your comment. Are you applauding their "variety of methods"?

"I’m confused by the neutral tone of your comment."

I want to know what the facts of the matter are. I think other people might want to know, too.

"Are you applauding their “variety of methods”?"

Like all good SWPLs, I favor Awareness. I am in favor of my fellow American citizens being aware of the policies that Israelis find to be in their national interest. Knowledge is good.

Individual doctors don't like Ethiopian babies so they independently settle on the same method, somehow syncronized with immigration authorities. Not plausible.

All over the world, it's common for doctors prescribing contraception for third world women to come ot favor some methods over others, with Depo-Provera high on the list to prescribe to women who are illiterate or irresponsible or, especially, who want to hide their contraceptive use from their husbands or families.

Leftist and black conspiracy theorists have long thought of Depo-Provera as part of a White Man's Plot to keep black fertility down, and they may have a point, up to a degree.

In December, an Israeli news show recorded an Israeli nurse telling an Ethiopian immigrant that the injections are given

“primarily to Ethiopian women because they forget, they don’t understand, and it’s hard to explain to them, so it’s best that they receive a shot once every three months… basically they don’t understand anything.”

This sounds like the same explanation I heard from a social worker for why doctors in American slums like to prescribe injection contraceptives instead of daily oral contraceptives or barrier methods.

Is it racist and evil for Israeli doctors or government officials to notice that Ethiopian immigrant women tend to be poorly educated if not wholly illiterate, under the thumb of patriarchalist husbands who oppose birth control, and, in the absence of injection contraceptives, highly fertile?

Well, increasingly, noticing patterns in modern America is considered racist, although Israel has been more off limits. But, it's hardly surprising that the ban on noticing patterns might spread to Israel as well.

Robert said : "So it looks like the Ministry of Health is trying to stop this if it’s occurring."

Interesting choice of words.

Seems like the Israelites are believers of eugenics. Demonstrated preference... interesting.

Everyone believes in eugenics, on the sly.

I may be wrong; maybe it's dysgenics everyone believes in.

Everyone believes in eugenics on the sly - a very clever, and even witty line, but - as I think the commenter might have implied - a criticism of "everybody". Abraham and Sarah believed in eugenics (Genesis, chapter 16, wherein a fertile handmaid named Hagar was preferred to the lawful but apparently sterile wife to give birth to Abraham's son Ishmael - leading to some temporary good times for Hagar and her son - yet later on leading to extreme alarm and confusion); But God quickly set Abraham straight (Genesis chapter 17 and onwards, God gave a lawful, i.e. non-eugenic child, to Abraham and his real wife - and in the bargain Abraham, having converted to a non-eugenic world view, got a rather successful posterity - you can look it up). Abraham, in his corrected old age, did not believe in eugenics. I am nowhere near as smart as Abraham (a few sigmas off, for the HBD crowd) but I, like about a couple hundred million of our contemporaries, don't believe in eugenics either.

And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. Genesis 24, 1-4

This is hardly a Jewish peculiarity, of course, but it may be a lesson the Canaanites didn't follow.

Israel is, at present, probably the world leader in eugenics, although the Chinese are working hard to overtake them.

What does that mean? Aren't the only high-fertility Israelis the Hasidem?

From the New York Times, July 17, 2011:

Israel is the world capital of in vitro fertilization and the hospital, which performs about 7,000 of the procedures each year, is one of the busiest fertilization clinics in the world.

Unlike countries where couples can go broke trying to conceive with the assistance of costly medical technology, Israel provides free, unlimited IVF procedures for up to two “take-home babies” until a woman is 45. The policy has made Israelis the highest per capita users of the procedure in the world.

“It’s amazing when you think about it,” marveled Keren, 35, who asked to be identified only by her first name. She was seated in a waiting room at Assuta’s in vitro fertilization clinic, a beige canister of her husband’s frozen sperm at her feet. The sperm had been delivered from another hospital where she had her first IVF attempt three years ago, resulting in the birth of her daughter.

“I want at least three kids, and if we had to pay so much money I’m not sure we would be able to do this,” she said.

Although the procedures account for one of the country’s largest public health expenditures, the policy has drawn little debate or criticism, one of the few issues nearly all sectors of the typically fractious Israeli society seem to agree upon. There is even a growing pool of single religious women using in vitro fertilization, their efforts sanctioned by rabbis.

“The unique thing about Israel is that it’s a high-tech culture on the one hand and a very traditional one on the other,” said Sigal Gooldin, a Hebrew University medical sociologist who has studied IVF regulation in Israel. “It’s not just because of the fear of losing children in high-risk military activity, it’s because family is an extremely important social institution in Israel and what makes a family is the children.

“Anyone who lives here is expected to have children,” she added. “In casual conversation you will be asked how many children you have and if you say one, people will ask why only one, and if you say two, why only two?”

Israelis already have a high fertility rate: an average of 2.9 children per family. Beyond the biblical imperative to be fruitful, some Israeli Jews remain concerned with replenishing their numbers in the wake of the Holocaust.

Demographics here are also political. Israel has historically focused on promoting Jewish birthrates to retain a Jewish majority and more recently as a counterweight to higher fertility rates of Palestinians in the occupied territories. Arab citizens of Israel, however, have the same rights to state-paid fertility treatments as their Jewish counterparts.

A survey published by the journal Human Reproduction Update in 2002 showed that 1,657 in vitro fertilization procedures per million people per year were performed in Israel, compared with 899 in Iceland, the country with the second highest rate, and 126 in the United States, which trailed far behind European countries.

Experts say Israel’s rate still far outstrips the rest of the world. Four percent of Israeli children today are the products of in vitro fertilization, compared with about 1 percent estimated in the United States.

Maybe the Japanese should provide free, unlimited IVF procedures.

IVF is not "eugenics", though.

Can you show us any actual eugenics?

(It especially hurts eugenics claims when they say "Arab citizens of Israel, however, have the same rights to state-paid fertility treatments as their Jewish counterparts."... at least racial eugenics claims.)

"IVF is not “eugenics”, though."

Sorry, the New York Times article makes clear that Israel's policy of free IVF is for "promoting Jewish birthrates to retain a Jewish majority and more recently as a counterweight to higher fertility rates of Palestinians in the occupied territories."

Who do you think uses IVF more: Muslim women, who tend to marry young, or Jewish women, who tend to delay childbirth? If Muslims using it more, do you really think the Israeli taxpayers would keep on supporting it?

IVF is not “eugenics”, though.

It is if usage is positively correlated with SES, and I can't imagine that it's not.

The limit of two free IVF babies at up to age 45 is clearly intended to most benefit secular Jewish women who delay reproducing due to education or career, not ultra-Orthodox Jewish women, Muslims, or Ethiopians.

A general pattern I've noticed is that the people who run things in Israel are not idiots, and generally have thought hard about which policies to implement.

So what is the birthrate of Israeli non-Hasidic Jews? Are you saying they try real hard at eugenics but aren't doing that great? Are you saying they don't care that the proportion of Hasidic Jews in the population is doubling in something like 15 years and that Hasidic Jews have startlingly low levels of education and achievement?

"So what is the birthrate of Israeli non-Hasidic Jews?"

Read on.

By the way, the FDA's approval of Depo-Provera in 1992 appears to have had a sizable impact driving down African-American birthrates. I have not read much regret in the press that African-American fertility is no longer as high as it was in 1991.

I have not heard of this drug being administered without consent. Citation?

I vaguely remember reading a book and a bunch of newspaper articles on this in the late 90's. From that, I think it was reported in the press at the time.

From Wikipedia:

"Black teenagers in the US using birth control use Depo-Provera at a far higher rate than white teenagers. One activist, Dorothy Roberts, claims this is because black teenagers are disproportionately targeted for the least safe contraceptives.[68]"

You seem to be having a hard time understanding the importance of consent. Can you distinguish between hyper sexualized media that perhaps increases consentual sex and rape?

No, he understands it. He just doesn't think black people are capable or worthy of consent.

The legal issue is disparate impact. Some civil rights activists believe that African American women tend to be pressured by their doctors into agreeing to Depo Provera injections at a higher rate than white women. There are huge differences in knowledge and prestige between doctors and patients. My impression from talking to health care professionals in the U.A. and reading the research on the subject is that long term contraceptive injections are pushed harder by health care professionals on poor blacks than on affluent whites.


There's a huge jump from "Some civil rights activists believe" and "My impression" to the actual facts.

You are using anecdotes and rumors to poison the discussion. Can you cite any respectable studies demonstrating coercion?

Both the American and Israeli studies I cite above demonstrate disparate impact by race in prescriptions for Depo Provera and provide some anecdotal evidence for disparate treatment by race.

I don't, however, know how much disparate treatment there is. The article quoted by Tyler strikes me as somewhat tendentious in the usual anti-Israel Euro-fashion.

There is no doubt a broad bias among doctors in favor of prescribing long-lasting and covert contraception to poor women from cultures where their menfolk tend to be indifferent or hostile to barrier or daily methods of contraception. Nor would I be surprised if many doctors who deal with the black poor in both America and Israel would like to see them succeed at reducing their fertility. Whether Israel has a written or unwritten policy of trying to get its black poor to reduce their fertility is yet another question, but anyone generally familiar with Israel's hardheaded approach to demographic issues would hardly be surprised if that were true.

This is in response to Sailer
"Nor would I be surprised if many doctors who deal with the black poor in both America and Israel would like to see them succeed at reducing their fertility"

This is a hypothesis not a fact. Until you test the hypothesis, airing it as fact is ridiculous.

Quigley complains:

"This is in response to Sailer “Nor would I be surprised if many doctors who deal with the black poor in both America and Israel would like to see them succeed at reducing their fertility”

"This is a hypothesis not a fact. Until you test the hypothesis, airing it as fact is ridiculous."

Yes, what could possibly sound less hypothetical than a sentence that begins: "“Nor would I be surprised if ..."

Note that contra the headline and first sentence, the article does not actually quote any admission by the Israeli government. The only quote is taken from the letter advising not to renew prescriptions if there is a question about consent. I have no idea whether the allegation of a secret birth control program is true, but I can think of an innocent explanation: the women want and consent to the shots, but their husbands do not, so upon discovery the women feel pressured to say that they were duped. There's not enough information in this story to tell what's going on.

Right, the British article Tyler quotes is tendentiously written.

However, the Depo Provera controversy has been going on in Israel since 2008. It should only be shocking to those who haven't thought hard about Israel.

"but I can think of an innocent explanation: the women want and consent to the shots, but their husbands do not, so upon discovery the women feel pressured to say that they were duped"

There are advantages to women in invisible forms of contraception like the IUD and Depo-Provera injections in patriarchal cultures where their husbands want to maximize the number of offspring. Some Israelis, for example, complain that in Israel's early years, Ashkenazi doctors would prescribe IUDs for Sephardic women to drive down the Sephardic birthrate toward Ashkenazi levels without their husbands knowing.

In general, Israel is a very interesting and informative country, one that rewards careful study.

I can think of several innocent explanations for many events. Maybe the nefarious Polish really did invade German territory in 1945.

I'm merely suggesting that one not rush to a conclusion based on one badly written article in the Independent. I don't think Occam's razor leads to "secret eugenics program that the media refuses to report even though the Israeli government has admitted it" as the likeliest explanation.

The notion that Jews are highly opposed to eugenics seems curious. For example, one of the most successful current eugenics programs is Dor Yeshorim, a DNA testing service to block arranged marriages between orthodox Jews at high risk for having children with Tay-Sachs disease. It was started by a New York rabbi who lose four children to that terrible genetic disease.

Similarly, any genome entrepreneur interested in pushing the envelope on approaches to eugenic engineering will be interested in setting up shop in Tel Aviv due to its lack of an anti-eugenics regulatory climate. The Israeli government and culture broadly favors the development of new methods that could improve the quantity and quality of Jews born in Israel as part of its War of the Cradle against the Palestinians.

This is not eugenics as the gene can still be propagated.
This is the avoidance of the phenotype.

Learn science.
Test hypotheses, don't state them as fact.
Come back when you do.

The Jewish People Planning Institute is a quasi-governmental Israeli think tank that takes issues of Jewish and Israeli population quantity and quality very seriously. It's always headed by an American diplomat (first Dennis Ross, now Stuart Eizenstat, both members of the Obama Administration) but the number two man is the former head of Israeli military intelligence. They published a fascinating, well-researched, analytically-sophisticated book three years ago called "2030: Alternative Futures for the Jewish People" that many readers of Marginal Revolution might find interesting. My review of the book was, apparently, the only one published in the non-Jewish press in America:

The government of Israel implements a wide variety of immigration and fertility and other programs intended to achieve the quantity and quality of population that the Israeli state wants.

It’s also important to note that these myriad steps seem to be working.

The number of births to Muslim mothers in Israel stagnated between 2000 and 2010, growing only from 35,740 to 36,252. In contrast, the number of children born to Jewish mothers grew from 91,936 in 2000 to 120,673 in 2010, a growth rate of 31 percent.

The "total fertility rate" of Muslim women in Israel is said to have fallen from 4.57 per woman per lifetime in 2000 to 3.73 in 2010. In contrast, the TFR for Jews grew from 2.67 in 2000 to 2.96 in 2010. This is a very high figure for a fairly well-educated population, the highest in the world for any developed country. In comparison, the much-celebrated TFR among whites in predominantly Mormon Utah was 2.45 in 2002.

Some of this Jewish fertility is less useful to the state. The ultra-fertile ultra-Orthodox were long exempt from conscription and tend to absorb a lot of welfare to pay for all those Jewish children. On the other hand, Asian Times pundit Spengler (who is former Lyndon Larouche aide David P. Goldman), claims that mainstreams Jews in Israel average a healthy 2.6 children each.

John Glad, a retired professor of Russian History at the U. of Maryland, published a highly informative book in 2011 called "Jewish Eugenics," which documents in great detail the attitudes of Jewish leaders and intellectuals toward eugenics, both in the Diaspora and in Israel, from the late 19th Century to the early 21st Century.

Steve, you are amazing!

Steve, thanks for the links. They confirm that the Israeli cabinet will patiently sit through exactly the same think tank strategic bullshit that western governments are happy to lap up. That chart of possible futures is priceless, almost as crazy as that US military briefing on the historical development of islam (in an unlabelled line graph).

I look forward to your documentation of examples of American or other Western governments sitting patiently through presentations of how to increase the total fertility rate of white Americans, and of whites around the world, by 0.5 babies per white woman.

Also, the current government of Israel is hardly patient with the Jewish People Planning Institute, considering them squishy-soft liberals of the center-left affiliated with the Obama Administration. I suspect that the actual discussions about demographic issues that go on in Netanyahu cabinet meetings would singe the eyebrows of all nice Americans.

But as a way for naive Americans to dip their toes in Israeli / Jewish demographic discourse, I advise downloading "2030:"

Sorry, I didnt mean to imply that they listen to the same flavour of bullshit, just the same level of bullshit.

Sorry, Nick, but you are missing the point: The Jewish People Planning Institute's book "2030" goes unreviewed in the American prestige press because it would give Americans unwelcome insights into Israel, but what Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman say when they talk Jewish demographics in Israeli cabinet meetings no doubt makes "2030" sound like they're breaking into a spontaneous chorus of "We Are the World."

It's not as if other governments don't manipulate population policies for their own benefit. For example, the Democratic Party of the United States has successfully been using immigration policy to increase the number of Democratic voters. In contrast, the Republican Party has been using the same policies to drive down wages for workers in order to please large donors to the GOP.

The big differences between Israel and America is that in Israel it is assumed to be a good thing that the government, the media, and the culture is on the side of the majority, and, second, Israelis are allowed to discuss population policy in public.

Steve, manipulating population composition through immigration policies, or to encourage/discourage growth as a whole is acceptable, manipulating it through policies designed to alternately encourage/discourage children among different segments is distasteful, manipulating it by giving people birth control without their knowledge or consent is absolutely reprehensible.

These families were denied the chance to have children of their own on the basis of their ethnicity, just try to imagine how you'd feel if your own country found your race so distasteful that it tried to prevent you from reproducing.

If this story is true Israel has done something absolutely horrid, the only thing in the west that is even remotely comparable is the sterilization programs for the mentally ill from the 20s and 30s.

"the only thing in the west that is even remotely comparable is the sterilization programs for the mentally ill from the 20s and 30s."

I'm sorry but, you're naive. In defense of Israel, many countries try, in various ways, to discourage reproduction of some inhabitants. The government of Israel, for example, forbids sexual relations between temporary workers in Israel and Israeli women. Canada does something similar with Mexican temporary workers. The Washington Post reported on Canada's system for temporary workers from Mexico:

"Once in Canada, the workers live like monks, sleeping in trailers or barracks, under contractual agreements that forbid them from drinking alcohol and having female visitors, or even socializing with other Mexican workers from different farms."

Canada wants the Mexicans' production, not their reproduction.

With temporary worker plans and other immigration proposals in the news today, there's much that Americans can learn from studying the policies of countries like Israel and Canada.

No, no, no. There is a huge difference between agreeing to a code of conduct to get your temp worker visa and getting secret injections of anti-Viagra. (I just realized there is no male Depo-Provera, hmm.) Again this all seems like a cautionary tale, not a success story...regardless of your success metric.

One correction...a quick google search confirmed Depo-Provers works on men too. The things I learn here. But my argument still stands.

Actually, from reading Israeli accounts in 2012, it appears that taking Depo-Provera shots have been a requirement for Ethiopian Jews to be allowed to immigrate to Israel. The Canadian rule is that Mexican temporary workers aren't allowed to have sex with women. In both cases, the goal is to reduce the fertility of minorities.

None of the linked articles here make it sound consensual in the Israeli Ethiopian case. It's an allegation, but I think that was clearly the premise of the post. Until that is cleared up, I think it is in poor taste and affront to the victims to trumpet the related Israeli demographic policy programs. But see I think freedom from coercion is important enough that I don't mind reading your words to the contrary.

One critical difference between Mexican migrant labourers in Canada and Ethiopian Jewish immigrants in Israel is that the latter were recruited to be citizens of their new country, living with their families in their new country. Having their fertility be singled out is--well. Presumably they were Jewish enough for the population statistics but not enough for actual life.

"Presumably they were Jewish enough for the population statistics but not enough for actual life."

That's an interesting question. It's not completely clear from the news reports, but the women interviewed do not appear to be mostly from the 1984-1991 "Falasha Airlift" era. Instead, they appear to be primarily part of a trickle of recent immigrants. Is it ethical to ask foreigners to restrict their fertility to the hosto country's level in return for being allowed into the country?

Debating this Israeli tendency sounds like it's highly relevant with all the talk in America about amnesty and guest workers. After all, the 1986 amnesty set off a huge Hispanic baby bubble in the US, driving foreign-born Latinas' Total Fertility Rates from 3.2 in 1987 to 4.4 in 1991, before finally subsiding back to the 1987 baseline by 2000, at vast cost to California taxpayers The Public Policy Institute of California has been writing about this crucial piece of recent history for years, but, for some reason, it never seems to get mentioned in discussions of immigration policy:

It's so much more informative to quote Emma Lazarus!

The only thing relevant about that analogy is the fact that if that's the best you can come up with than you have nothing to compare it to.

1. The Canadian policy wrt Mexican labourers isn't based on race, it's based on stopping temporary workers from turning into illegal immigrants.

2. The Mexican labourers are completely informed of the restrictions and have agreed to them.

3. No one is being given birth control.

And it's kind of late to bring out the unsubstantiated claim "from reading Israeli accounts in 2012, it appears that taking Depo-Provera shots have been a requirement for Ethiopian Jews to be allowed to immigrate to Israel" seeing as how the central issue is informed consent and the article suggests in several ways that there was neither (why would you be investigating low birthrates among a population you knew was taking birth control?). That being said even if it was the case I'd say it's still very controversial from the eugenics angle.

You are claiming that Israel discriminates based on ancestry? I've never heard such a thing!

Steve, I'm not saying this is exceptionally out of character for Israel, I'm saying it's a horrific practice they should be heavily criticized for. You seem to be claiming this policy isn't a moral outrage, but you aren't really justifying that position. The fact Israel has done some very distasteful things with regards to race and ancestry in the past doesn't excuse them from doing something even more outrageous now.

"You seem to be claiming this policy isn’t a moral outrage,"

I'm actually trying to first figure out what the policy actually is. Many of the claims made by reporter in the tendentious piece quoted by Tyler aren't fully supported by the evidence cited in the article.

Second, you have a situation in which illiterate peasant women are prodded by charismatic television reporters (with an agenda) to recount conversations with doctors and officials from a decade ago.

Third, I'm pointing out that whatever happened is reminiscent of multiple controversies over Depo-Provera and Norplant stretching back to the late 1960s. Injection contraceptives have _always_ been controversial because they were originally promoted as ideal for the poor, the uneducated, the mentally handicapped, the victims of Third World patriarchy,and so forth. Black activists have long feared, for example, that the U.S. government would require welfare mothers to get on Depo-Provera or Norplant as a condition of continuing to receive welfare. There was a huge controversy about 20 years ago when the main Philadelphia newspaper editorialized in favor of requiring Norplant in return for welfare.

In general, the level of policy discourse in Israel about demographics is more sophisticated than in America, where unilateral intellectual disarmament has been declared, so it well serves us to examine carefully what Israelis think and do about such fundamental issues.

The Canadian example seems to be more focused on incentivising workers to return to Mexico. Female visitors are prevented from visiting the work area, but workers are not banned from leaving. Forestalling prostitution, rather than eugenics, is the more plausible motivator.

Steve Sailer approves of sterilizing black people without their consent. Imagine that.

No, like most people, I approve of the approval of the Depo-Provera shot and the promotion of it. I applaud the decision by black women post-1991 to concentrate their limited nurturing resources on fewer children.


If you are a Black Ethopian Catholic, Your Church Challenges Your Government Making Contraceptives Avalable to You,


If you are a Black Ethopian Jew, Your Government Gives You Contraceptives Without Your Consent.

What if you are A Black Etheopian with Dual US/Israel Citizenship in a Mixed Jewish Catholic Marriage?

What if

you're a lawyer who comments in haiku

and fancies himself an expert in everything but

doesn't even realize

that Ethiopians are Orthodox.


There must only be ONE Etheopian Catholic for the statement to be true.

Bile, you might want to check your assumptions regarding the Orthodox:

Re: Position of the Greek Orthodox re birth control:

"The official position of the Greek Orthodox Church was set forth in an encyclical written in 1937, which recommended abstinence as the only legal method of avoiding conception. The position of the Christian Orthodox Church on abortion and contraception is fundamentally identical to that of the Roman Catholic Church."

The Ethiopians are not Orthodox in the sense of Greek Orthodox. They are an Oriental Church, specifically a Monophysite Church (although they don't like the term). That is, they reject the dual nature of Christ as the Son of God and as a Man. That means they split from European Christianity in 451. Unlike the Greeks who were relatively late, splitting with the Catholics in 1054.

Jews: Promoting ethnic purity at home & mass immigration and multiculturalism in goy countries. What a surprise.

The larger point is that Jews act unabashedly to promote their national interest whether in diaspora or in their homeland. Multiculturalism is good policy if you're a market-dominant minority that needs to diffuse majority hostility. Back in Israel, Jews know that people make nations, and multiculturalism is cultural and demographic suicide for the ruling majority. For a variety of reasons, this is not something the NYT and NPR care to discuss much.

The nation of Israel has been promoting its unique genetics for 5,000 years and they are a proud, accomplished group. Maybe the rest of us should take some notes and gain some appreciation of diversity by realizing how it arises in the first place. Jews want a sustainable nation-state where they can be, well, Jews. There are ways to accomplish this short of bulldozing other people's property and lying to the Ethiopians you invited, and turnabout is fair play.

The recent Radiolab episode about Project Prevention had a pretty interesting discussion of this topic. It's not about government-run sterilization, but rather a woman running an organization that offers drug addicts $300 to get temporary (IUD) or long-term birth control. She started it after becoming the foster mother for the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh babies of an addict, and realizing there was no mechanism for the state agencies that accepted these children to recommend birth control. Obviously she has gotten a lot of critics from people who argue that her methods come close to coercion, and many bring up the US' unfortunate history of sterilization. It's a fascinating if somewhat sentimental piece, and the comments are fascinating because almost all accuse the show's producers of bias, but they can't decide which side they're biased against.

One interesting thing about the issue is that, somewhat unexpectedly, it cuts across typical political divides: on the one hand, some liberals see this in racial terms, arguing that this is a covert way to limit the number of black babies, while others find the argument, "Think of the potentially wonderful babies that could have been born!" to be reminiscent of anti-abortion arguments. Religious conservatives, meanwhile, may approve of having fewer out of wedlock, drug-addicted babies but disapprove of the need to use birth control to get there. Personally I think this individual project seems to be a positive thing, but I'm uncomfortable with the further steps proposed by Harris: mandatory sterilization for addicts who have given up addicted babies for foster care. Governments should virtually never be trusted to take away a person's right to live or to procreate.

It wouldn't need to be mandatory. Look what she accomplishes with $300; it is only a question of money.Think how many people would be voluntarily sterilized (take long-term birth control until their fertility was gone) for as little as $1000 or $5000. Consider that many/most college educated women do not understand that fertility falls off the cliff past age 30.

I interviewed this philanthropist about Project Prevention back in 2002:

This is being widely misreported and misinterpreted. Please read the following blog post, with independent reporting:

That blog post does nothing other than cite denials by the agencies and people involved in this scandal. The climax of the post:

"The idea that the Joint, the Jewish Agency and the Health Ministry are all lying might work for anti-Israel conspiracy theorists, but it is hardly credible."

It is of course completely believable that government agencies involved in a major public scandal would lie to cover up their actions. In fact, one could say it is expected.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is not an Israeli governmental organization.

My post has a lot more than just that point, but perhaps you knew that.

Here we go again. The champions of self hatred and blame Israel first. A detailed account of the facts:

In any case, even if the fabled account was true, it seems cases of forced sterilization, and not precisely temporary, can be unfortunately found in the recent history of other Western democracies, including the US. The strength of a democracy is not measured in the absence of dramatic failures, but the freedom of information to denounce them, the independence of courts to investigate them and the accountability of governments to correct them. And in all that, the State of Israel can give many other Western powers and their arrogant pretended moral superiority a few lessons.

It's a continuation of the culture war between Israel's "White Tribe" -- liberal Ashkenazis -- versus Israel's "Black Tribe" -- Sephardic, Orthodox, nationalist, Russian -- with actual black people as tokens of the White Tribe's moral superiority over the Black Tribes.

It's kind of like how the Duke Rape Hoax or Trayvon Martin was part of a struggle for moral status between liberal whites, who chose to side with the blacks involved, and conservative whites.

The evidence from around the world is the Depo-Provera was invented with the intention of being a pretty good contraceptive for women from the bottom of society, whether illiterate, poor at following routines, or under the thumb of male medievalists. That describes the Ethiopian blacks in Israel pretty well, but, of course, it's racist to notice that pattern.

Here's an academic description from Israel of how "Israelis" use the the term "White Tribe" and "Black Tribe" to describe political and ethnic rifts among white Israelis:

The rightwing black tribe intends to win through its voters greater fertility, kind of like how Democrats intend to permanently wipe out Republicans through Hispanic immigration and Hispanic fertility.

As I say, Israel is a very interesting country and deserves careful study. But, it's hard for Americans used to mental pablum to grasp that Israelis deal with fundamental issues such as the quantity and quality of population in much more straightforward ways than we do.

Quoting Sailer:
"The evidence from around the world is the Depo-Provera was invented with the intention of being a pretty good contraceptive for women from the bottom of society, whether illiterate, poor at following routines, or under the thumb of male medievalists."

Upjohn was in the business of making money. Nothing else. If you've every been involved with pharma, you'd understand this. This is another preposterous statement that sets out a hypothesis (acrimonious and misguide one at that) as fact. Please find some evidence supporting this assertion--FACTS MAN, find some--or retract it.

It's Marketing 101: finding a niche.

Existing contraceptives, such as The Pill, were strong in some market niches (e.g., educated white women). New injection contraceptives were targeted at other niches, such as women who aren't as reliable.

"women who aren’t as reliable."
"That describes the Ethiopian blacks in Israel pretty well"

So you have proof that Upjohn's development strategy was based on this?

So you know that the "reliability gene" and "skin color gene" and/or "the Ethiopian gene" co-segregate?

Show me DATA. Not some supposition just as weak as yours.

I don't always agree with Steve but it wouldn't be very surprising if he was correct. The pill is a very effective contraceptive but only when the user follows all the instructions. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the first-year failure rate of the pill with "perfect use" is 0.3%; among real-world users, the actual first-year failure rate is 9%.

At the same time, this CDC report shows that pill usage increases with female education -- 35% of college-educated women who use contraceptives use the pill compared to only 10% of high school-dropout female contraceptive users. The trends reverse for female sterilization and 3-month injectables which are much more popular among high school-dropouts.

Why is this? I don't know if there is any source for failure rate of contraceptive by female education but we know from other sources that highly educated women have fewer children and are also more likely to be older when they first have a child compared to less educated women. That suggests there is a strong link between education and correct contraceptive usage. This won't come as news to people who study condom usage and sexually transmitted diseases as exactly the same patterns show up there. The public health field is very much concerned with how to "nudge" people with lower levels of education into safe sex and consistent contraceptive usage.

One word-Google. Does anyone here use it? There is a mountain of literature regarding medication adherence, most of it bad because it is a hard thing to measure. The best studies seem to show any effect of race/class etc but their biases confound deeper interpretation.

Furthermore, there is a HUGE leap from even those assumptions to the great point he's trying to make: that there was a eugenic aim in the development and prescribing of injectable, sustained contraception in the U.S. in the 1990's.

I'm a physician who cared for uninsured populations for most of my career. I also do clinical and basic research. My anecdotal evidence is hugely more convincing than the suppositions of people who can't/won't get data at their fingertips.

You have a number of choices, so you and your doctor should devise a treatment plan, starting with the least invasive options first. Your impulse may be to head straight for the most advanced and expensive treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), thinking you'll get pregnant faster

Good, very good post


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