Daily Israel Report

MDA Volunteers Bring Back Star of David to Ambulances

Magen David Adom volunteers in Judea and Samaria re-paint local ambulances with the trademark red Star of David.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/16/2011, 5:15 AM

Magen David Adom volunteers in Judea and Samaria have taken action against the first aid organization’s recent decision to remove its trademark red Star of David symbol from ambulances used in Israeli towns east of the 1949 armistice line, Arutz Sheva has learned.

The move to take down the symbols, which Arutz Sheva first reported about in August, was part of an agreement between Magen David Adom and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which has previously taken exception to use of the Star.

A compromise was later reached between the Yesha Council and Magen David Adom, according to which the Stars of David would first be taken off ambulances in other parts of the country and only then in Judea and Samaria.

Arutz Sheva learned on Saturday that after Magen David Adom took off the symbols from ambulances Judea and Samaria, the Magen David Adom Volunteers’ Committee had the symbols re-painted on the ambulances.

After the decision to remove the symbols had been announced, many volunteers said they would stop volunteering until the Stars of David are brought back.

The grassroots Samaria Residents’ Council has also spoken out against the decision, and in a letter to the residents of Samaria wrote, “As part of the agreement, which is outrageous in and of itself, and due to the fact that Magen David Adom has undertaken not to act in Judea and Samaria under its symbol, it changed all the signage on ambulances in the Shomron Regional Council and removed any signs of the Star of David.”

The Council noted that in preparation for a visit by the Red Cross to the area, which is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, Magen David Adom is working vigorously to continue to replace the symbols on ambulances in Judea and Samaria.

“The requirement to remove the red Star of David is like being required to remove the flag of Israel,” Benny Katzover, who chairs the Samaria Residents’ Council, said. “It is inconceivable that we will lend a hand to this effort. I call on any Zionist wherever possible to rebel against Magen David Adom’s surrender to the International Red Cross.”