Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Chosen People Have To Be Perfect"

If providing human rights to LGBT Israelis is 'pinkwashing', what is it when they provide excellent prenatal care to expectant mothers? "Blue-and-pinkwashing"? "Babywashing"?

I really cannot add much to this excellent dissection of an article that appeared in a Dutch paper, written by Yochanan Visser, and crossposted to CIFWatch, in which Israel's prenatal health program is cast as a sinister eugenics project:

Last week the Dutch Christian daily ‘Trouw’ reached a new low when it published a vicious article about prenatal care in Israel entitled: “The chosen people have to be perfect”.

The writer, Ilse van Heusden, gave birth to a healthy baby boy while temporarily living in Israel.

She succeeded in portraying the prenatal care in Israel as a government instigated ‘military operation’ aimed at the production of babies as perfect as possible.

Apart from distortions and lies the article contained many accusations and insinuations which are reminiscent of classic anti-Semitic rants.

Read the whole thing. This is a new classic in the subgenre of anti-Israel writing called, "I was in Israel, and nothing much happened, but I could feel it was all icky and fascist in my bones". (If anyone can come up with a shorter name for the genre, that would be much appreciated.) She is asked to do a lot of tests. She doesn't want to, but does anyway. The healthcare system is different from the one in the Netherlands, and she doesn't like the way they do things. She is asked to do the tests, even though she's healthy, and not Ashkenazi. She asserts, with no proof given, that the state 'demands' children. (They do seem to expend a lot of energy on hers, however, who isn't 'chosen', nor will he be an Israeli citizen.) She has a strange (and I think, fictional) encounter with another mommy, who tells her that the 'chosen people' must be physically perfect. (If I read the Dutch correctly.) Finally, her son is born healthy, with an undersized toe which she sees as some sort of personal triumph over Israeli medicine. (Really. He can take off his sock at BDS meetings for the rest of his life, and show how he defeated the Zionazi OB/GYNs.)

The overall effect is of a series of perfectly ordinary events, being dramatized through scary music and horror-movie lighting. Israel (like dozens of other countries), offers a small (smaller than the Netherlands') subsidy to families with children. (SCREAMING!) Israeli doctors are kind of test-happy. (MORE SCREAMING!!!) Israelis like children. (HYSTERICAL NONSTOP SCREAMING!!!)

This article is the perfect fusion of anti-Semitism and navel-gazing. Four stars.

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