Yup, it’s time for the Red Cross to show us all how biased they can be. Muslims can have their Red Crescent, Christians can have their Red Cross. For some strange reason, although Israel has its own Magen David Adom (Red Star of David) organization, it has been disallowed from being part of the international Red Cross. After decades of trying to get into the movement and being refused (for bullshit bureaucratic reasons, although they claim the reasons are legitimate) and even while Muslim nations were able to support and introduce their own Red Crescent into the movement, Israel was denied entry of its organization into the MDA. This meant that funds, for example, that were available to others, were unavailable to Israel. It also meant that when Israel wanted to be part of a humanitarian aid effort, it was often denied the same rights as other groups, a matter of national honor.

Finally, after decades, it appears that the US was able to pressure the international MDA to find a compromise. The compromise? Well, the Red Cross remains as a symbol, the Red Crescent remains as a symbol, but the Magen David will only be shown in Israel. Outside of Israel, there will be a new diamond shaped box and when Israel wants to assist, they may insert a small magen david into the diamond.

Well, this week the proposal is up for a vote and, surprise of surprises, one of the Arab or Muslim members of the international Red Cross has put up some sort of roadblock that is forcing the movement to shelve the voting temporarily. Personally, I am glad they are doing this and hope they kill the possibility of allowing Israel into the movement. After all, why should Israel and Jews accept this inferior status where somehow the symbol which represents us is devalued? Let them put their cross and crescent inside the diamond. If they refuse, let the star of David be well represented and stop treating it as a pariah. If they can’t, isn’t it better to keep out of the Red Cross movement but maintain our pride rather than be supplicants at a table where we are clearly unwanted? Are our doctors, nurses, paramedics and desire to help any less worthy than theirs?

You can see the story and a photo of the diamond at Jerusalem Post.

Update: The motion passed and the MDA is now officially part of the international Red Cross.

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  • “…isn’t it better to keep out of the Red Cross movement but maintain our pride rather than be supplicants at a table where we are clearly unwanted?”


    I think all would agree that the whole deal has been and continues to be a slap in the face to, however at some point isn’t saving lives more important than quabble about symbols. If MDA can get substatial added funding, etc. isn’t that more inportant?

  • That’s a fair viewpoint and one that the MDA has agreed with.

    I think it’s selling out a point of pride. At a time when a soccer player can’t pull out an Israeli flag in an international forum without being lambasted, and at a time when propaganda tactics like the boycotts we’re seeing and the attempts to make Israel a pariah state are taking root, it’s time to show some strength and backbone.

    It is the shame of the Red Cross that the MDA hasn’t ever been a part of it. It is not Israel’s shame. Why should Israel give in now? If it was just a symbol, Israel and the MDA would have been in there already. It’s not worth it to sell out over this issue. In my opinion.

  • Of course non-Jews think we”re an unimportant religion. Since there are only 15.3 million of us, compared to 2 billion Christians and 1.2 billion Moslems, let”s face it we are insignificant. However, we have some good ideas, and we should promote them. I say let their be a free market in religion and let the best man or woman win. I think that we have an excellent shot of reaching a Jewish population of 600 million in the next 50 years if we pull together, stop our internecine fighting and each of us be the best moral human being we can possibly be, and especially promote Judaism in the 3rd world.

  • Middle,

    I’ve been meaning to thank you for your recent comments, in which you suggested I was being too hasty in my dismissal of the possibility of reconciliation between the Orthodox and Conservative. You were right. Notwithstanding the seemingly pervasive rejectionism among the Orthodox, it’s clear that there are individuals among them – even if they are few in number at the moment – who are equally distressed by this state of affairs. As long as that’s the case, dismissing reconciliation as a lost cause seems misguided and self-defeating.

    As to the issue at hand, I agree with your assessment. There is, indeed, is such a thing as national honor, notwithstanding the frequency with which it tends – like patriotism – to be exploited by the Right as an excuse for chauvinism and xenophobia. It seems to me that this is very much such a matter of national honor.

    As for Dave’s comments, they reflect a misconception which isn’t all that relevant to the topic, but which seems oddly prevalent in recent Jewlicious discussions. Specifically, Dave claims that we “have an excellent shot of reaching a Jewish population of 600 million within the next 50 years” if we promote Judaism effectively in the Third World. Beyond the fact that this projection is only plausible if we convert rabbits to Judaism, not people, the whole emphasis on sheer numbers smacks of a crude racial determinism, in which the merit of a particular doctrine or theology is commensurate with the sheer number of those who espouse it. Why? How does the number of those who embrace a viewpoint in any way demonstrate its relative merit? I would submit that it doesn’t. Moreover, this question applies with precisely the same urgency to the above-referenced Orthodox/Conservative dispute.

  • Will the Rabbinate accept converted rabbits?

    I’m not sure who is predicting these large numbers of new Jews, all I know is that we have 7 or 8 posters and so far the next generation is not too well represented. Before we go off to Africa to convert anybody (as if), perhaps we should stick closer to home. GET MARRIED AND HAVE A BABY OR TWO, PEOPLE!

  • I have to say i think that’s sort of missing the point. It doesn’t matter if there was one Jew on the planet, that is still one person who has something to contribute so i think the snub by the MDA is a load of crap. If we are to use the logic of numbers that would mean that discrimination on other points is acceptable- after all if there are more people who hold a certain view that must make it right. So to fight discrimination we should increase the number of minorities on the planet?

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