Red Cross Admits Israel into Organization, Adopts Optional Emblem

June 22, 2006

Source: The Boston Globe

Wire Service: AP

On June 22, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "The Red Cross admitted Israel to the worldwide humanitarian organization today, ending decades of exclusion linked to the Jewish state's refusal to accept the traditional cross symbol. The approval was given after a two-day International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The Red Cross federation admitted Israel's Magen David Adom society simultaneously with the Palestine Red Crescent. An optional new emblem was adopted so Israel could retain its red star of David instead of having to adopt the red cross or crescent used by the 184 other societies. 'This has been going on for 58 long years. It's time,' said Bonnie McElveen Hunter, chairman of the American Red Cross, which had been campaigning for years for the Israeli society's admission... The decision completed a complicated process that included the creation of the optional, third emblem -- a blank, red-bordered square standing on one corner -- that could stand alone or frame the Israeli society's red star. The emblem -- dubbed the 'red crystal' -- was approved over Muslim objections in a hard-fought diplomatic conference in December... Israel's military will be able to use the new emblem, the crystal, by itself on a white flag to protect medics and humanitarian staff."