Yesterday I was relieved to read an update from an old college drinking buddy announcing that he was safe and well after the earthquake in Nepal where he has been volunteering. Regrettably we haven’t stayed in touch, but we are linked to one another over social media and so I was aware that he was in Nepal, and knowing he was there meant he was very much in my thoughts and prayers – as are all the thousands affected by this disaster. This was the small, but personally significant, piece of good news from this terrible disaster. Later in the day I read that the government of Israel had airlifted the newborn surrogate babies of Israeli couples out of the country but left their mothers behind. It took a moment for this news to ring deep down in my gut, but it did. The Nepalese birth mothers of these children were not valuable enough to rescue, but the precious infant commodities were. How disgusting! Not only this, wealthy people in a rich developed nation are sourcing mothers for their children in the heart of the developing world. Where is the humanity in this?

I’m not going to say that this is just Israel’s behaviour, because I don’t know that, but what I do know is that this trade is criminally imbalanced. At first the women used are completely instrumentalised; they are cheap wombs for rich families. Then one has to consider the disparity in the legal relationship between the mothers and the owners of the children. What recourse to law or justice does a poor Nepalese woman have against a wealthy couple far away in Tal Aviv or any wealthy, western city? She has none whatsoever, and to top this all off we can safely say that the use of her body will be very cheap to say the least. I am incapable of seeing this as less than some sort of fiendish and vindictive act of barbaric violence against the very poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. There can be no ethical or moral defence of this. It is just vile and despicable. Israel airlifting the owners and their babies home smacks of a kidnapping, ensuring that the most valuable material of the wreckage that is now Kathmandu is salvaged. Human beings behave like this!

Ùr-Fhàsaidh is a Christian social justice blogger and the author of his own random public journal – the Tuppence Worth blog. If the Christian faith is to have a place in the public discussion it must first ensure that it is a source of liberation for those who are oppressed. Faith of any kind means precious little if it is not about and for people. Follow on Facebook and Twitter:


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