by Sally Ross
Two nights ago, the University of Warwick Faculty arranged a public talk organized by a group called Warwick for Justice in Palestine that accused Israel of eugenics.
As with most medical or technological innovations, Israel is a global powerhouse in fertility treatment.
“Every Israeli citizen, regardless of race, religion or color, receives equal treatment. If you are Muslim and in need of IVF then no citizenship in the world, guarantees you the sort of world-class treatment that being an Israeli does.” Says David Collier, who’s blog records the event.
The event entitled Anticolonial Resistance is Fertile: Sperm Smuggling and Birth Strikes in Palestine, was advertised as follows:
The state of Israel is known for its pro-natalist stance concerning the usage, regulation and subsidizing of assisted reproductive technologies, including IVF, egg donation, surrogacy and PGD in order to guarantee the highly valued right of genetic parenthood for its citizenry. Yet, critical scholars have rightly argued that Israel’s pronatalism is a selective one, primarily aimed to serve the reproductive rights of its Jewish population at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population. This lecture aims to unsettle Israel’s stratified “reproductive-demographic nexus” from a settler colonial and bio-capitalist perspective. Rather than understanding Israel’s fertility policies in terms of rights, choice, peace and reconciliation, it will propose a reproductive strategy framework that takes power, struggle and resistance in/through the reproductive spheres as conceptual and political points of departure. By looking into two particular instances of reproductive sabotage (a sperm smuggling by Palestinian political prisoners and the birth strike promoted by the Gays against Surrogacy collective we will explore how practices of assisted reproduction can materialize as an equally stratified site of resistance and empowerment in Palestinians…
In the talk given by Dr Siggie Vertommen, a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London, Israel was falsely accused of practicing eugenics but Jews themselves were barred from attending, and so could not defend against yet another anti-Semitic canard.
Israel is well known for its pro-natalist stance which is duly proclaimed in the event flyer, but the flyer goes on to say that ‘critical scholars have rightly argued that Israel’s pronatalism is a selective one, primarily to serve the reproductive rights of its Jewish population at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population‘. It argues that ‘rather than understanding Israel’s fertility policies in terms of rights, choice, peace and reconciliation’, she will present it by proposing “a reproductive strategy framework that takes power, struggle and resistance in/through the reproductive spheres as conceptual and political points of departure. By looking into two particular instances of reproductive sabotage” she will present it in a ‘reproductive sabotage framework‘– or in other words she is talking – eugenics.
Vertommen’s argument is that Israel is seeking to enhance the Jewish population through eugenics, but at the same time proposes her own eugenic solutions through Palestinian ‘reproductive sabotage’.
Collier and two other Jews tried to attend the meeting, supposedly a public event, were barred from entry.
It wasn't the Jews who claimed they would conquer the world through their wombs. These creatures are beyond parody.
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