Oy Vey!

The Depo-Provera Shot Heard ’round the World

March 19, 2013

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The Depo-Provera Shot Heard ’round the World

President Obama pointedly requested Yityish Aynaw’s presence at this week’s banquet in his honor in Jerusalem.

Will his eagerness to meet the first Ethiopian-born Miss Israel retire all those nasty “Is Barack secretly gay?” rumors? Good God, I hope not. I never want Chicago blogger Kevin DuJan—the Erich von Däniken of Boystown—to stop investigating Obama’s “bathhouse days,” unpacking the “gay jokes” supposedly hidden in Drudge Report headlines, and writing photo captions such as, “There have never been two straight males in the history of the world who have sat on the couch together like this.”

Anyhow, who isn’t looking forward to pictures of the First Lady trying to look gracious around Miss Aynaw, whose regal femininity seems effortless?

Unlike Mrs. Obama, by all accounts Miss Israel has never been ashamed of her country, even though some folks think she should be.

“Did Israeli Doctors Force Contraception on Ethiopian Immigrants?” TIME asked, echoing tons of headlines from other news outlets, although most didn’t bother with the question mark.

Behold: Liberals who’ve spent the last half-century pushing Africans to use birth control are suddenly outraged by Israelis allegedly pushing Africans to use birth control.

“Getting your news about Israel from Haaretz is like getting your ideas about life in the tropics from Gilligan’s Island.”

Also? It may not be true.

That the story originated in Haaretz should’ve been the first clue. Getting your news about Israel from Haaretz is like getting your ideas about life in the tropics from Gilligan’s Island.

Earlier this year, the paper reported that Ethiopian immigrants to Israel were being told they’d only be allowed into the country if they received Depo-Provera injections, whether or not they understood why.

Cries of “racism” and “hypocrisy” and “genocide” arose from the usual quarters.

Then last week, Haaretz was obliged to run a correction. The “government official” who had “for the first time acknowledged the practice” actually hadn’t. In fact, the head of the Health Ministry had directed doctors not to give the shots to any women (not only Ethiopians) unless they understood that they were receiving birth control.

So it’s pretty much the opposite of what the original report claimed.

Haaretz‘s correction isn’t getting one squiddilion of the coverage that first story received.

Neither is this week’s revelation that a BBC stringer’s infant son had been killed, not by the IDF as he’d insisted, but by Hamas—who use children as human targets anyhow. (I reject the imprecise term “human shields.”)

Many “shocking” tales of Israeli “apartheid” are manufactured outright. Why oppressed peoples and their allies so often feel compelled to exaggerate their victimhood is a question I’ll leave to psychologists. I guess the short, realpolitik answer is: Because it works.


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