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Council Heads Call for Knesset Meeting on MDA Emblem

Judea and Samaria council heads request a Knesset discussion on Magen David Adom's agreement with the Inernational Red Cross.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 11/25/2011, 10:19 PM

Magen David Adom ambulance
Magen David Adom ambulance
michmas.org

The heads of the Shomron, Binyamin and Gush Etzion Regional Councils have sent a letter to Coalition Chairman MK Zeev Elkin (Likud) asking him to hold an emergency meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

The reason for the request is the recent exposure of the “Memorandum of Understanding between Magen David Adom in Israel and Palestine Red Crescent Society.”

The memorandum, which was signed in 2005 and a copy of which reached Arutz Sheva recently, includes having Israel called an “occupier” and agrees that “internationally recognized borders” are the line of demarcation for Red Crescent chapters rather than those of Red Magen David.

The memorandum revealed that despite vehement denials by Magen David Adom, the organization indeed promised the International Red Cross that it would not operate in Judea and Samaria. This is because the memorandum states that “internationally recognized borders” are the line of demarcation for Red Crescent chapters rather than those of Magen David Adom.

The agreement also scraps Israel’s red Star of David, which is on all of its ambulances, and replaces it with a red crystal.

The story came to light about three months ago, when community leaders in Judea and Samaria reported that Magen David Adom had said it would remove its trademark red Star of David symbol from ambulances used in Israeli towns east of the 1949 armistice line.

A compromise was later reached, 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.

Magen David Adom volunteers in Judea and Samaria later took action against the decision to remove the red Stars of David and had the symbols re-painted on the ambulances in Judea and Samaria.

The three council heads – Gershon Mesika of the Samaria Regional Council, Avi Ro’eh of the Binyamin Regional Council and Yair Wolf of the Gush Etzion Regional Council – have asked MK Elkin to investigate the matter and look into whether the agreement between Magen David Adom and the International Red Cross is in violation of the recently passed ‘Boycott Bill’, which prevents companies from participating in government bids if they take part in a boycott of a business in Israel.

“This is a serious matter and the agreement is an embarrassment to the State of Israel,” Mesika said on Friday. “More than anything it is a disgrace to the MDA organization which is supposed to be a national rescue organization but is trying to be a state security organization. This agreement is not acceptable and is also against the law. A national rescue organization cannot sign agreements with foreign organizations and give up areas which belong to the State of Israel. MDA must decide if it wants to be a national rescue organization or not. The communities of Judea and Samaria are not second-class, and the 400,000 Jewish residents there are not worth any less than other residents of Israel.”

Magen David Adom recently responded to Arutz Sheva’s exposure of the Memorandum of Understanding, and clarified that the organization “works regularly and without any change in all parts of Judea and Samaria with the organization’s symbol as it was up to now.”

For the full text of Magen David Adom’s clarification, click here.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)