Op-Ed: Red Magen David Crossed The Line
David Ha'ivriFollow @haivri on Twitter.The writer, his wife Mollie and their 8 children live in Kfar Tapuach, Shomron, Israel. He is a well known speaker and a social media master, provides public relations and strategic planning for philanthropists, public figures and investors.
Misleading statements on Magen David Adom (MDA) affiliate websites are meant to divert public attention from the incontrovertible fact that on the 28th of November, 2005, its chief executive signed an international agreement with a branch of the PLO in which it recognized the pre 1967 lines as an international border and the area east of that line as "occupied Palestinian territory".
MDA is a semi official organization in Israel, its mission is non-political and is meant to provide emergency medical aid to all Israelis and visitors, regardless of their faith, race or political affiliation.
MDA, as a non-political NGO, had no business signing an international treaty with an arm of the PLO, and had no business agreeing to the PLO claim that all area east of the Green Line is Occupied Palestinian territory. No other official or semi official outfit in Israel has been so bold as to overstep the Israeli government's official position and to double as the country's Foreign Ministry.
MDA, in its efforts to please all, has succeeded in pleasing none. The above mentioned treaty was kept hidden from Israel's public for nearly six years, and was only discovered as a result of MDA stripping ambulances in Judea and Samaria of their official markings about a year ago, just ahead of the inspection of the International Red Cross.
Monitors sent regularly since the signing of the agreement had reported that MDA was not fully implementing their obligation to cease all activity outside of the recognized "international borders" (i.e. continuing to operate in Judea and Samaria).
Israelis are upset with MDA for signing an agreement which it had no mandate or permission to sign, and for implementing parts of it. International Red Cross is upset with MDA for not fully implementing the treaty it signed.
These positions can be seen in statements by The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent an a document titled: Explanatory note to the Memorandum of Understanding and the Agreement on Operational Arrangements http://rcrcconference.org/en/mou-mda-prcs.html:
"Under the MoU, both National Societies (NS) have agreed that they will work in conformity with the legal framework applicable to the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in 1967, including the IVth Geneva Convention. The two NS also recognized that PRCS is the authorized National Society in the Palestinian territory."
"The MoU foresees that the MDA will have no chapter outside the internationally recognized borders of the State of Israel. Furthermore, operational activities of one society within the jurisdiction of the other society will be conducted in accordance with the consent provision of Resolution 11 of the 1921 International Conference.
"The Monitor also mentioned an agreement reached between the two NS according to which responsibility for EMS operations in Israeli settlements located within Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel since 1967 would be transferred by MDA to other entities. Despite the fact that a fair number of contracts of transfer of the ambulances have been already signed with these authorities, the Monitor had to acknowledge that the appearance had, as of 2007, not changed and that the ambulances were still bearing full MDA markings."
Since the discovery in Israel several months ago of this signed agreement, the Shomron Residents' Committee has led a campaign demanding that MDA fully revoke their part in this agreement and acknowledge that they had stepped out of line by signing it in the first place.
Arutz Sheva publicized the entire story widely and attached the agreement to MDA's response (click here for the complete story and here for MDA's response and the document) after receiving letters from MDA supporters that another version of the agreement had been sent to them.
This agreement is seen as a very damaging precedent by an Israeli agency giving official standing to international claims that are contrary to the State of Israel's official policy.
It should be noted that the government's Levy Committee Report on the Status of Judea and Samaria has recently put an end to attempts to justify the claims of "occupation" on an international level.