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Friday, June 16, 2006

Swiss foreign minister says deal to admit MDA to Red Cross is 'in trouble'

Swiss foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey is saying this evening that the deal to admit Israel's Magen David Adom to the Red Cross is 'in trouble.'

"There is a problem with the way the accord between the Israeli and Palestinian aid societies is being put into effect on the ground," according to Calmy-Rey.

The 'problems on the ground' she cited included Palestinian ambulances passing checkpoints and registering the ambulances. Translation - Given that the 'Palestinians' have used ambulances to transport suicide bombers and explosives, Israel is still insisting on stopping and registering 'Palestinian ambulances' at checkpoints.

Switzerland monitors implementation of the pact clinched in November, under which Magen David Adom (MDA) recognized the Palestinian Red Crescent as the sole emergency service to operate in the occupied territories. As far as I know, however, Magen David Adom still operates for Jews in Judea and Samaria (and Gaza until this past August).

This in turn helped the movement's adoption of an additional diamond shaped red crystal - into which the Star of David used by the MDA can be placed - by 192 signatory states to the 1949 Geneva Convention. After all, the Red Magen David could not possibly be a symbol by itself, could it?

Next week, the same states will be joined by 183 national Red Cross and Red Crescent - but not Red Magen David - societies to decide whether to amend the statutes to allow the new emblem and admit the aid groups after decades of wrangling. It requires a two-thirds majority. Even if the vote passes, Red Crescents will be okay, but Red Magen Davids will only be okay inside diamonds.

Switzerland will report its findings to the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, being held in Geneva from June 20-21.

The talks are expected to hear protests by Arab delegations accusing Israel of breaching the pact, diplomatic sources said.


At 3:40 AM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

After Israel has already made so many concessions, and that ridiculous crystal would be the symbol rather than the red Magen David, what are the benefits that Israel would gain in being a member of the IRC? Red crescent good? red star bad?


That is an insult.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger phydeaux3 said...



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