(Re)producing the Israeli (European) body: Zionism, Anti-Black Racism and the Depo-Provera Affair

Feminist Review 128 (1):96-113 (2021)
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Abstract

This article examines the Depo-Provera Affair—where Israeli doctors administered the contraceptive Depo-Provera to newly immigrated Ethiopian Jewish women—to argue that the Israeli settler colonial project depends on these forms of gendered anti-Black violence, through the management of Black African bodies. In 2013, then Israeli Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman admitted that they had administered Depo-Provera to Ethiopian immigrant women without their consent, after reproductive and civil rights activists in Israel called for an investigation after a drop in the birthrate among Ethiopian women: close to 50 per cent within the previous decade. The demarcation of Blackness as a political tool necessary to advance Israeli modernity and the situating of Black bodies as antithetical to the state of Israel are not contradictory but rather illuminate Israel’s deployment of anti-Blackness through the racial and reproductive violence necessary to become part of the superior, European West.

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