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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Time for Israel to leave the International Red Cross

One of my kids told me this week that one of her friends who volunteers for 'Mada' (Magen David Adom) told her that the group was removing all the logos from its ambulances. That seemed a bit exaggerated, but there apparently is something to it. 'Mada' has been removing the red Magen David (Star of David), pictured at top left, from the ambulances that operate across the 1949 armistice lines, and replacing them with 'logos' like the one pictured below.
Ambulances operating beyond the Green Line were asked to undergo supposedly routine maintenance checks, but emerged without their logo.

Instead, a white six-pointed star outline framing the Rod of Asclepius symbol of medicine was featured against a red circular background, surrounded by inscriptions proclaiming the vehicle as municipal. Formal affiliation with MDA was erased.
'Formal affiliation'? More like any affiliation. Get a load of this (Hat Tip for Photo: MR (Daughter #3, Child #5).

Reminds you of those countryless passports and White House records, doesn't it?

Some of you might recall that Israel first applied to be admitted to the International Red Cross in 1949 and it took until 2006 for us to get admitted. The reason it took so long was because Magen David Adom refused to adopt the Red Cross or the Red Crescent as its symbol (for obvious reasons). The Red Cross, which was founded by a Christian Zionist, has a nasty history when it comes to Jews and the Jewish state. Aside from its absurd refusal to admit Magen David Adom for more than 50 years, it sat on the sidelines during the Holocaust, until they issued a passport to Adolf Eichmann allowing him to escape to Argentina when the war ended. The Red Cross has also arranged housing for terrorists in Gaza and helped Hezbullah terrorists escape from the IDF in Lebanon. In the more than five years that Gilad Shalit has been held prisoner in Gaza, the Red Cross has filed one request to see him, and that was just a few weeks ago.

So why does Israel want to belong to this organization? That's a good question.
By removing its symbol and visible evidence of connection with beyond-Green-Line rescue services, MDA seemed to cave in to pressure. It also appeared to acquiesce to the contention that 1949’s armistice lines are Israel’s recognized boundaries and that anything beyond is Palestine.

Embarrassed by the commotion, MDA explained away the logo-switch subterfuge as a decision to remove its traditional emblem from all community-owned ambulances, although invariably these are jointly operated with MDA.

To deflect domestic criticism, MDA subsequently promised to switch logos on all local authority-owned ambulances, regardless of which side of the Green Line they’re from. Inside-Green-Line vehicles may even be face-lifted first.

But such bureaucratic acrobatics don’t change the fact that MDA bends over backward to please the Red Cross by altering the status quo. Whether this will affect some ambulances also within the Green Line is immaterial. The MDA is complying in some measure with Red Cross demands in accordance with the humiliating compromise concocted almost six years ago.


If ever an organization existed that didn’t merit Israeli concessions, it’s the Red Cross. It notoriously remained aloof to Jewish bloodletting throughout the Holocaust.

ICRC Archives director George Willemin delivered World War II documents to Yad Vashem in 1997 and declared: “The ICRC admits that it kept silent.... This is the heart of its moral failure.”

Our officialdom’s meek submission to the disgraceful logo-substitution and the alacrity to broker deals at any cost isn’t pragmatism. Compromise without honor isn’t necessarily prudent.

We’d be better off without whatever benefits Red Cross association provides rather than maintaining membership under shameful conditions. We had managed quite nicely outside the Red Cross. We can carry on as well without it. There’s no ignominy in not belonging to an organization that accords full membership to such benefactors of humanity as North Korea, Iran, Syria and Sudan.
Groucho Marx famously said "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." It's time for Israel to tell the Red Cross, thanks, but no thanks.

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At 6:06 AM, Blogger NormanF said...


The MDA leadership needs to resign! So much for showing Jewish pride before the world.

What could go wrong indeed


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