Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Israel Provides Free IVF to All its Citizens

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The New York Times has featured an article on Israel's remarkable in vitro fertilization program (IVF), whereby all Israeli citizens - Jews and Arabs - are entitled to free and unlimited IVF for up to ‘two take-home babies'. The article also appears on the Age Website.

The New York Times writes:

"Though the procedures account for one of the country's largest public health expenditures, the policy has drawn little debate or criticism, one of the few issues nearly all sectors of the typically fractious Israeli society seem to agree upon."

"Demographics are also political. Israel has historically focused on promoting Jewish birth rates to retain a Jewish majority and more recently as a counterweight to higher fertility rates of Palestinians in the occupied territories. Palestinian citizens of Israel, however, have the same rights to state-paid fertility treatments as their Jewish counterparts."

Programs such as this highlight how offensive and unfair it is when Israel is charged with false accusations of being ‘apartheid' or committing ‘ethnic cleansing'. These critics no doubt would be surprised to learn that Israel is actually helping Arabs have babies through IVF free of charge.

Jeffery Goldberg also commented on this in the Atlantic, he wrote:

"Israel is a country that is often accused by extremists of engaging in genocidal policies. But if Israel is engaged in genocide, it is doing a very poor job of it: For one thing, it could stop paying for Arabs to have more babies."



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