Israeli extraction : an ethnographic study of egg donation and national imaginaries
This thesis derives from ethnographic research undertaken in sites of Israeli NF and egg
donation between January and September 2002. The thesis begins with an examination of
some features of the general context of Israeli ova donation through an analysis of a set of
stories about the theft of ova and an egg shortage crisis, which emerged in the year prior
to my fieldwork in Israel (2001). It then moves to an examination of NF and egg
donation at a state run clinic in Jerusalem. From there I trace some new practices of
transnational ova donation in three sites and sets of practices: an IVF clinic in Tel Aviv;
donor trait selection at this Tel Aviv clinic; and an Israeli egg donation and extraction
clinic in Romania. I trace some key features of these sites and practices.
Through this analysis, I explore some of the ways in which discursive practices of Israeli .
extraction, exchange, and implantation are important sites in the making of gender,
religious, race and kinship relations, and are thereby implicated in the making of the
Israeli nation. The study frames egg donation practices as 'national imaginaries', which
are resonant with, and implicated in, the politics of (re)producing the state of Israel as
Jewish and Euro-American, One element of this which is identified here has been the
shift towards privatisation of health care. I document some of the features and
consequences of this privatisation in the sphere of Israeli IVF and transnational ova
trafficking. Conducted during a period in which political and military negotiations of
Israeli borders were intense, this research examines another, but related, site of border
struggles .- medically assisted reproduction.