Politics, medical knowledge and development: from Israel to Ethiopia and Eritrea (and back)


  • Prof Haim Yacobi

    University College London

Project summary

We will focus on the medical relations between Israel, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Israel was a principal developer of Ethiopia's public health sector while Ethiopian Jewish immigrants and Eritrean asylum seekers arriving in Israel became a dominant factor in Israel's political arena, mainly through questions about their medical condition. 

We will explore the historical and political connections between the effort to establish medical projects aimed at introducing Israel to Africa and medical policies that regarded Africans as a population with the potential to risk the public's health upon their arrival to Israel. 

We aim to understand how medical knowledge can become an interchangeable instrument of development aid, a strainer mechanism to sift through diasporic communities and sustain a border system that legitimises detention and potential incarceration of unwanted populations.