Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Anti-Semitism at the International Red Cross

From Little Green Footballs:

GENEVA - Member countries of the international Red Cross movement met on Monday to investigate whether they can revive an effort to give Israel full status five years after the last attempt failed because of Arab-Israeli tension. [Of course, this “Arab-Israeli tension” doesn’t preclude the ICRC from dealing with Arab ambulances, even when they’ve been shown to be used for transporting terrorists and weapons in Palestinian areas. —ed.]

The disagreement centers around whether a red Star of David can join the emblems of the red cross and red crescent to identify ambulances, medical workers and others on humanitarian missions.

Israel, which cooperates with the movement, has been denied full membership over the emblem issue for 57 years.

The latest proposal envisions what its proponents call a red crystal — a square standing on one corner, with a blank white interior and a thick red border. Magen David Adom, or MDA, the Israeli society, would be allowed to put its Red Star of David in the center but the Israeli military would not be able to use the combined symbol in an armed conflict to protect its medics.

Once the diplomatic conference agrees to an additional symbol and two member countries ratify it, all members of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement would be free to chose one of the three symbols.

The red cross emblem was first adopted in 1863, when Swiss humanitarians founded the movement to care for war victims. It simply reverses the colors of the neutral Swiss flag, without any religious intent.

But Muslims, reminded of the crusader’s cross from centuries earlier, refused to use the emblem. Instead, the Ottoman empire was already using the red crescent to protect its medical workers in the 19th century.

The red crescent, along with the Red Lion and Sun of Iran, was enshrined with the red cross in the Geneva conventions of 1929.

The American Red Cross has come in for a fair share of criticism lately, but they are the only branch of the Red Cross to stand up against this craven nonsense:

The American Red Cross has been campaigning for full Israeli membership for years. It has withheld six years’ of payment owed to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies — totaling approximately $34 million — since May 2000 to protest the MDA’s not being admitted.

Pastorius comment: And, in case you think it's only about appeasing the Islamic Jihadis, then here's some info. A few years back, Cornelio Summaruga, who was at the time, the head of the International Red Cross was asked why they had not included Israel as a participating country. His answer?

If we include the Star of David, we might as well include the swastika.

I can't provide links today, because of the problem I'm having with my computer, but that quote is true. You can reference in a Krauthammer article from April of 2002. Google it.

Incidentally Bernadine Healy, who was at the time, the head of the American Red Cross, is the one who reported what Mr. Summaruga had said. She is a hero. She also got herself into trouble with the IRC on another occasion when she criticized the IRC for taking America's 9/11 donations and using them in other countries.

In the end, the fact that she spoke up, intimidated the IRC into doing the right thing. But, if I am not mistaken, she ended up losing her job first.

Bernadine, you are a hero.