Saturday, December 10, 2005

At The Sign of the Red Crystal

A red-crystal knight forever kneeled
to a lady on his shield...

(10 extra-credit points from the Balabusta for recognizing the source of the mangled quote above).

So anyway, how about that Red Crystal Thing?

Personally, the Balabusta has got issues.

Basically, if I understand correctly, this week, signatories to the Geneva Convention made it possible for Magen David Adom to potentially get to be part of the International Red Cross by adopting a red diamond shape as an official symbol, thereby providing something that's not a cross or a crescent or, more importantly, a magen david, so the Jews will have something to use without offending Arab nations, who are notoriously sensitive to this kind of thing, this kind of thing, of course, being any recognition of Israel, Jews, or anything related to them. Apparently, this generous concession squeaked through despite Syria throwing a fit about how they wanted to drive ambulances through the Golan Height.

Apparently at 2 AM, the whole thing got put to a vote, and it passed, 98-27, with 10 abstentions. MDA gets to continue to use the magen david when at home. Abroad, they get to display the magen david boxed in the aforementioned red lozenge thing. Neither cross nor crescent is going to be restricted to a red lozenge.

Per JTA,
Jewish groups welcomed adoption of the red diamond and hoped that the development would lead to the MDA’s full membership in the international organization.

Why? Why the hell are we welcoming something this offensive? I would be delighted if we simply put religious symbols aside, and the whole organization adopted the Red Rhombus. But we are not talking about that. We're talking about a way to get around the fact that any recognition of Israel or Jewish symbols is intensely distasteful to the Arab world, and they have the votes to make it stick.

A conference to admit MDA to the international movement is expected sometime in 2006. If accepted, MDA would be eligible to request funds from the international movement and would have access to training, information and forums from which it’s now excluded.


I understand what's going on here. I understand how this works. Somehow, this time, it simply sticks in my throat too much. One more round of the same game. I'm NOT thrilled. They have not even actually allowed MDA into the International Red Cross, they've forced a conflicted vote to approve a symbol that can substitute for a Jewish symbol so maybe MDA can get in after nearly sixty years of being kept out for no reason except anti-Semitism. The world goes on acting as though this is normal, acceptable, even meritorious behavior.

I am half-sick of shadows, and not real excited about the Red Thingie of High Excitement. Feh.

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