An Israeli blood drive rejected a donation by the only Parliament member of Ethiopian origin on the grounds that she had “special blood,” Israeli news outlet Ynet reported on Wednesday.
Knesset member Pnina Tamano-Shata presented herself on Wednesday to a mobile blood donation center managed by Magen David Adom, the national emergency medical service provider.
But according to Ynet, her donation was refused by blood bank staff, who said she had “the special kind of Jewish-Ethiopian blood.”
Tamano-Shata was later told that she could give blood, but that it would not be frozen like other donations. “I’m good enough to serve the country in the Knesset, but for some reason, to donate blood, I’m not good enough,” she said.
It was later reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached out to Tamano-Shata and called for an investigation into the incident.
Ethiopian Jews have been historically discriminated against since their arrival in Israel, with some putting into question their status as Jews.
African immigrants to Israel, many of whom from Sudan and Eritrea, have faced an increased crackdown by authorities. On Tuesday, the Knesset approved a law which allows clandestine immigrants from Africa to be imprisoned for up to a year without trial.
It was the latest in a series of discriminatory measures targeting Africans entering Occupied Palestine, which the apartheid-inspired Israeli government says poses a threat to Israel’s “Jewish character.”