During Mandela's Burial Israel Refused Black Lawmaker Blood Donation
The Negro problem has worsened
Yitzhak Rabin, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, late May 1968.
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"Wait," I kept saying to myself after the Israeli most serious newspaper chose the occasion to thoroughly review the relations between Israel and South Africa during the Apartheid regime. I thank Haaretz for providing the shocking subtitle of this article.
"Go ahead!" I exclaimed after that while the funeral was still on, Israel refused to accept a blood donation of one of its lawmakers because she is black. Saddam Hussein fought the Mother of All Battles; Netanyahu was part of the Grandmother of All Gaffes.
On December 11, 2013, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled his previously announced participation at the memorial due to the high cost of travel and security. Not wanting to play second violin to a great gaffe, President Shimon Peres cancelled his participation due to a sudden flu. Drink some lukewarm tea, Mr. Peres. Don't speak, we understand.
As mentioned in the past,+ Netanyahu doesn't really care about taxpayers' money. On April 17, 2013, he attended Margaret Thatcher's funeral in London. He demanded from the State to invest $127,000 in four walls and a door installed around a double bed, as well as 22 business class seats fitted on a plane chartered from El Al, Israel's national airline. The aircraft cost about $300,000 to use, before the custom fittings. This was just for a flight of about five-and-a-half hours. Couldn't he use the same arrangement again for Mandela's funeral? After all, the distances are similar.
Instead, he sent a low-level delegation which included Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, the abovementioned MK Pnina Tamano-Shatta, and four other members of the Knesset. They travelled in a chartered plane.
Let me finish this section with spicy words published by Haaretz in the day after the first stage of the world's largest gaffe, "Israel's prime minister proves he is not the smug, petty, vindictive, waffling, in-your-face insulting man he seems. He's something worse."
Rabin's Negro Problem
"While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said" is a text repeated several times in the first chapter of Job. It became a popular Hebrew idiom denoting a string of calamities; it perfectly describes Israel's actions surrounding Mandela's funeral.
"The Negro problem has worsened" said Israeli Ambassador to Washington Yitzhak Rabin in a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in late May 1968.
I wouldn't have found the quote without the help of Haaretz, which on December 10 decided to start with this quote an article entitled "The secrets behind Israel's strategic alliance with apartheid South Africa." In an attempt to further embarrass Rabin, which was later assassinated while being Prime Minister by a Shin Beth secret police trained person, the newspaper added "This was no slip of the tongue: Within a minute Rabin repeated 'the Negro problem' three times." The article also mentioned President Peres.
"This holds for Shimon Peres as well. Today, as Israel's president, he eulogizes Nelson Mandela, but in that distant time — the 'past accounts' Peres so loathes — as defense minister after the Yom Kippur War he played a central role in Israel's clandestine relations with [Apartheid] South Africa.
"Rabin and Peres were not alone in maintaining ties with Pretoria. When South Africa's official archives were opened, first to diligent researchers before publication in books and databases, they disclosed the web of clandestine contacts between every Israeli defense minister and chief of staff and their South African counterparts. In that era of alliance between isolated states, relations were built on blood, race and money. Security was what mattered — and money, lots of money, at least for one side — and to hell with segregation."
While Mandela's funeral was still advancing, the Israeli newspaper ended its rather positive review of Israel's connections with the Apartheid regime quoting from a 1981 letter from IDF Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan to South Africa's Minister of Defense Magnus Malan, "We are not perturbed by all the 'righteous souls' that all the crocodiles in South African rivers could not provide with enough tears to wipe out their hypocrisy."
Eitan is dead, but the disguised racism of his country is well and alive.
Blacks' Blood is Banned
The last item in this saga of a gaffe was harder to find. In shame, Israeli media made an excellent job of publishing it in places hard to find. I found it described in the New York Times, with a careful use of semantics that sterilized its meaning. They even hid the name of the Member of the Knesset involved.
I wouldn't have followed the story, or even checked the Hebrew media for it, without the event looking suspicious. The American newspaper didn't mention the name Pnina Tamano-Shata because she had a long story of struggling against the banning of blacks' blood by the State of Israel; they wanted to hid the 1996 affair. The New York Times was doing what is usually called damage control for the sake of Israel.
Minutes later, I found the data hidden by the Hebrew media. On December 11, a team from Red Magen David arrived at the Knesset in order to collect blood donations. Knowing what will happen, MK Tamano-Shata arrived with media and photographers. The medical team refused to take her blood because she is African. They were prepared too; they showed her the official directives issued by the Israeli Ministry of Health, prohibiting them to accept blood from black people. In Israel, black's blood is banned.
The event was acknowledged by the Minister of Health.
In 1984, at the age of 3, MK Tamano-Shata arrived at Israel through Operation Moses. A lawyer and journalist, she was active in recent years on this issue that still hurts her. She was good enough to serve in the army, but she is not good enough for donating blood. Nobody claims that she carries diseases. She is just too dark for the taste of President Shimon Peres. She and her people are harshly discriminated against by the Israeli society (see They don't have a dream anymore).
I can imagine my only Zionist reader requesting from all his friends to send me hate emails along the lines "You are a fool! That is done to protect Israelis from AIDS."
These Crypto-Nazi Israeli doctors didn't realize that the violated women will learn to speak Hebrew. Afterwards, they began shouting. Last December, the Israeli Educational Television broadcast research by Gal Gabai in a program called "Vacuum," which exposed 35 testimonies of Ethiopian women who were violated in such a fashion by Israeli doctors. "They threatened not to allow us into Israel," Amawish Elena—one of the victims—described the first time she was poisoned by an Israeli doctor in Ethiopia.
The forced sterilization, performed despite the women crying against it,* was carried out in Ethiopia while they were waiting for their trip to Israel. It was done because they didn't meet Israeli ideas of proper people as defined by "Dor Yeshorim" (roughly "Straightening Generation"), an Israeli eugenics program, which seeks to destroy embryos that do not fit the Zionist dream.$
Eugenics is a false science, despite being endorsed also by scientific giants like Nazi Germany and the USA. This is not only because many of its assumptions are culturally biased. They are also scientifically flawed. Deaf people may not meet one's ideals of human perfection; yet Ludwig van Beethoven was deaf. "He is not good!" Gizmo would have said before injecting one of the greatest composers of all times with deadly poison.
"Pnina Tamano-Shata is not good," Israel said. "I don't want my sons to get blacks' blood, The Negro problem has worsened," Israel's Ministry of Health said in 2013 during Mandela's funeral.
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