Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Red Cross emblem to be neutered?

The headline reads "Red Cross mulls 'neutral' emblem".

They're calling the proposed new emblem a red crystal but it looks like a diamond with a hole in the middle. Apparently, the only two emblems currently recognised under the Geneva Conventions are the red cross and red crescent. Relief workers and ambulances bearing these symbols are protected under international law.

It turns out that Israel uses a red Star of David (also its national symbol) and therein lies the rub:
  • Israel uses the red star for its relief organization, therefore
  • Israel is not allowed to be part of the Red Cross movement
  • Arab states will not accept the red star of David
  • They see the third emblem as an unnecessary accommodation of Israel

The issue seems artificial since the crescent is a universal symbol of Islam.

Doesn't arguing over emblems whose purpose is to protect humanitarian aid workers seem a bit nuts? The Asian tsunami and Pakistan earthquake with hundreds of thousands of people killed ... who gives a flying fig about what emblems are used by relief workers?

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