ADL Hails Acceptance of Israel's MDA as Full Member of the International Red Cross
New York, NY, June 22, 2006 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the long overdue acceptance of Israel's emergency medical service, Magen David Adom, as a full member in the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). MDA was kept out of the ICRC on the basis that it would not use the accepted symbols – the Red Cross or the Red Crescent.
"With Magen David Adom's full acceptance into the International Red Cross, this long and at times painful process has finally and definitively come to a favorable conclusion," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Since 1949, Israel has been denied membership in this important humanitarian body and, until now, little effort was made to resolve this unfair exclusion."
The final decision on Israel's acceptance took place at the 29th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva. The motion was brought to a vote on June 21 after Arab and Muslim countries rejected all of the compromise proposals aimed at reaching a consensus.
The decision follows a December 2005 diplomatic conference of the 191 signatories to the Geneva Conventions, which approved a "Third Additional Protocol" establishing a new "neutral emblem" – the "Red Crystal" – which Israel can display with its Red Star of David in international operations, thereby enabling it to join the international body.
In Israel, MDA will continue to use the Red Star of David exclusively as it has always done.
"We extend our sincerest appreciation to the American Red Cross for its steadfast advocacy and diplomacy on behalf of MDA," said Mr. Foxman. "The American Red Cross has acted with integrity and vision, and this must be recognized by the American Jewish community."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.