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The articles in this issue have been divided upinto the following categories







A new Red Cross emblem was accepted at an international conference Thursday over Syrian objections, paving the way for Israel to join the humanitarian movement after nearly six decades of exclusion.
The 192 signatories of the Geneva Conventions approved the new “red crystal” emblem by vote after last-ditch negotiations between Israel and Syria over Damascus’ demands for humanitarian access to Syrian citizens in the Golan Heights broke down.
The new emblem — a red square standing on one corner, with a blank white interior and a thick red border — was aimed at resolving the dispute with Israel but also could be used by any national society that feared the red cross used by most countries and the red crescent preferred by Muslim nations would not be respected by combatants.
Israel’s Magen David Adom rescue service has used a red Star of David to identify its ambulances and medical workers.
Magen David Adom, or Red Shield of David, could place a red star in the center of the crystal for humanitarian missions at home or abroad if a host country allowed it.
Magen David Adom will not operate under the cross or crescent. A request for recognition of its red Star of David emblem was rejected in 1949 and Arab countries have since blocked attempts to find an alternative symbol.

A number of Muslim countries again tried to block Israel’s path into the Red Cross movement early Thursday morning, voting against the proposal after three days of negotiations in Geneva.
The American Red Cross has been campaigning for years to end Magen David Adom’s exclusion.
“Not only does it create a neutral emblem devoid of cultural, political and religious connotation,” Devorah Goldburg, spokeswoman for the U.S. society, told The Associated Press. “It paves the way for Magen David Adom to become a full voting member of the international Red Cross movement.”
Goldburg also noted that the U.S. society had withheld more than $35 million in dues to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies since 2000 in an effort to win the Israeli society’s acceptance.
The U.S. government also welcomed the decision. “This will enable the Israeli national society, the Magen David Adom, to join we hope soon next year into the international Red Cross Red Crescent movement,” said John B. Bellinger III, head of the U.S. delegation.
A hurdle to Arab support was believed to have been cleared last week when Magen David and the Palestine Red Crescent struck a deal allowing each other’s paramedics to operate unmolested.
Mohammad Abu-Koash, Palestinian ambassador to international organizations in Geneva, said the emblem was a humanitarian issue.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies also welcomed the adoption of the red crystal and said it believed it would “provide a comprehensive and lasting solution to the emblem question.”
The red cross symbol was first adopted in 1863 and it reverses the colors of the neutral Swiss flag, without any religious intent. But most Muslim countries refused to use it and the Ottoman empire used the red crescent instead to protect medical workers in the 1876 Russo-Turkish war.

The Scribe:
The result is inline with our suggestion in 'The Scribe' issue 75, which may have had a positive influence on the Red Cross' latest agreement





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