Ethiopian-Israeli lawmaker’s rejection as blood donor has Knesset seeing red

December 11, 2013
ALeqJERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli lawmakers called for an examination of Magen David Adom blood donation policies after an Ethiopia-born Knesset member was rejected as a donor.
Pnina Tamano-Shata of the Yesh Atid party tried to donate during a special blood drive Wednesday at the Knesset but was told she could not because she had “the special kind of Jewish-Ethiopian blood,” according to Ynet, which first broke the story.
Tamano-Shata was told subsequently that she could donate but the blood would be frozen and never used.
“I am good enough to serve the state and in the Knesset,” Tamano-Shata told Ynet. “But for some reason to give blood I am not good enough. This is insulting.”
The Knesset’s Labor, Welfare and Health Committee will meet in emergency session on Monday to discuss the issue.
Tamano-Shata has lived in Israel since she was 3 years old and served in the Israel Defense Forces. As a youth she protested the MDA practice of discarding Ethiopian blood donations, according to Ynet.
Eilat Shinar, MDA’s director of blood services, told Ynet that “the regulations of the Ministry of Health do not allow the use of a blood infusion from someone who was born or lived for more than a year in an HIV-prevalent country since 1977, including countries in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean islands.”
In the wake of Wednesday’s incident, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein banned further MDA blood drives at the parliament.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Tamano-Shata and said he would call for an investigation into the Health Ministry directives.

“There can be no differentiation between one blood and the other in the State of Israel,” Israeli President Shimon Peres told Ynet.
Health Minister Yael German told Ynet, “I find it absurd that in Israel of 2013, people of Ethiopian descent that came to Israel over 25 years ago can still not donate blood.”
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  1. It doesn’t really get any better … human stupidity continues to amaze me. Of all people in the world, you think the Jews are the ones who would understand what it means to be treated differently and that they won’t do the same to others. Please don’t take me wrong and I am in no way trying to compare the suffering of millions of innocent Jews in the hand of the small minded Nazis and their egomaniac followers. It just pains me to keep hearing this kind of news about the racist tendencies of some elements of the Israeli population towards Ethiopians in particular and black people in general.
    For a country that brags being the MOST ADVANCED & CIVILIZED in that part of the world, it is simply laughable to hear the excuses they gave to cover up their racist action. I was 110% against sending thousands of Ethiopian Felashas to a conflict ridden, foreign environment only because Israel happen to be at this moment richer than their homeland Ethiopia. All the segregation and humiliation that Ethiopians are currently facing in Israel is expected and our people weren’t supposed to be taken there. To put it bluntly, those who planed and executed this human tragedy know deep in their heart that they did it to use the children and grand children of these poor people as expendable soldiers in Israel’s never ending confrontation with the Palestinians and Arabs. I am a proud Ethiopian and successful by any measure and it drives me to the edge to hear this kind of brazen racism against my fellow Ethiopians who reside in a place called Israel. My message to all Ethiopians is that we have to remain in Africa, use our God given brain to develop our own continent and live there with dignity.
    It is also comical to see the white media singing all week about how great Mandela the black man was, and read this kind of racism subjected at black people before he is even buried. Shame on you Israelis.

  2. Yetwaredu Amaroch Agerachew aygebum endye yetekur Israelawi demo kemeche new mojwoch Manenetachew yeshetu,Temeles wede Lasta chuba hula werdeteja.kezi belay werdetale werada lasta

  3. This is the Israel you crying for it! All Africans do not forget when Israel put black refuges where Hamas missile lands.

  4. Well another demonstrations are needed specially DC area the way you deed it for Saudi Arabia but this time it will be hard for Ethiopian being against Jewish,?,, i hope ESAT will make more fire on this chose

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