Magen David Adom

Magen David Adom (MDA, Hebrew מגן דוד אדום, German: Red Shield of David ) is an aid to Israel, which has been responsible with official government contract for ambulance services, emergency rescue and blood transfusion services. Magen David Adom employs 1,350 full-time employees, more than 13,000 volunteers help to run the 116 stations and 820 ambulances, motorcycles and emergency blood donation vehicles and rescue helicopters, which are spread across the country. It is supported by United Hatzalah, a first responder organization. In addition, MDA supports the IDF ( Israel Defense Forces ) as an additional unit. Seat of the MDA is Tel Aviv.

Magen David Adom has endeavored since its establishment for recognition as a national company within the meaning of the Geneva Conventions and for admission to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. As the organization but the Red Shield of David is used as a flag instead of one of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 established protection character, she was the recognition by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC ) and membership in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent companies for decades granted. Following the adoption of the Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions in December 2005 and based on the introduction of the Red Crystal as an additional neutral protection symbol carried by a corresponding change in the statutes of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in June 2006, the recognition of Magen David Adom by the ICRC as national aid society and inclusion in the International Federation.

History of the organization

MDA was founded as a voluntary emergency rescue station on June 7, 1930 in Tel Aviv of seven doctors, members of the Hagana and individuals. 1931 in Haifa, a second MDA Group was founded in 1934 in Jerusalem a third. A year later, the conversion of MDA followed in a nationwide organization. While at MDA was treated by the British administration authorities as a Red Cross Society, in addition, MDA acted as Medical Service of the Hagana. 1948 Israel signed a few weeks after its founding, the Geneva Conventions. Moreover, the Israeli government announced its intention to recognize MDA as a national society of Israel referred to the conventions. The signing of the Geneva Conventions was performed with the restriction to use as emblem of the Red Shield of David instead of the Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies. Only two states, Lebanon and the United States in their ratification of the Geneva Conventions on August 2, 1955, this restriction refused official.

At the Diplomatic Conference in 1949, on which the revision of the Geneva Conventions, it was decided there were three proposals concerning the protection symbol. The Netherlands introduced a motion, which provided for a new, uniform protection symbol instead of the three previously recognized characters. From the 17th International Red Cross Conference, which had a year previously taken place in Stockholm, the proposal, the Red Cross came to determine the only recognized protective sign and thus with red sun to strike the Red Crescent and the Red Lion again from the conventions again. In addition, Israel came from the proposal to list the Red Shield of David as an additional distinctive emblem to the existing three characters. The first two proposals were rejected after an appropriate debate without a vote, as well as his subsequent attached proposal Burma, each country or each national society left to the free decision about their emblem. The Israeli proposal was initially rejected, in an appropriate Committee of the Conference with 21 votes in favor, eight to ten abstentions. Even more votes in plenary provided with 22 to 21 with seven abstentions and 24 to 18 with three abstentions no majority for the recognition of the Red Shield of David.

In 1950 a law was passed by the Knesset, the MDA transferred the exclusive responsibility of Israel for the emergency rescue, medical transport, civil protection, education and training in first aid and blood donation services. In addition, MDA is by this Act required to support the medical services of the Israeli army in the care of wounded and refugees in the event of war. With this law, MDA came thus to the typical tasks that are perceived in other countries by the national Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.

The extension of the Geneva Conventions for more protection symbol with religious or national reference was repeated in the following years by the International Committee of the Red Cross rejected, for example, relevant inquiries from India and Sri Lanka. The ICRC is however also repeatedly deviated by the recognition of a number of national Red Crescent Societies of the 1949 originally planned procedure that was founded in 1949 by national companies would be recognized only when using the Red Cross. At the Diplomatic Conference from 1974 to 1977, on which the first and second Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions were adopted, Israel reiterated a proposal to supplement the Conventions. This saw the recognition of the Red Shield of David as a protective sign before in areas where it was already established with extended use. This proposal was withdrawn in the course of the Conference of the Israeli delegation without a vote, since the re- rejection appeared likely.

On 8 May 2001, the World Red Cross and Rothalbmondtag, MDA received together with the Palestinian Red Crescent to " Lisl and Leo Eitinger Prize for Human Rights " at the University of Oslo for cooperation between the two organizations for the benefit of humanity in difficult conditions. Symbolic starting point of this cooperation was the joint supply of ten wounded in a traffic accident Israeli soldiers and their Palestinian driver by rescue workers from both organizations in October 2000.

Recent Developments

Due to the controversy surrounding the character used by MDA, the organization was not recognized by the ICRC National Society to June 2006. The reason for this was based on Article 4 of the Statutes of the Movement, which provides for the use of the recognized in the Geneva Conventions protection symbol as one of ten conditions for recognition. Because of the non-recognition by the ICRC MDA was until June 2006, not a full member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, but had in the General Assembly of the Federation only observer status. Due to its excellent work and acceptance of the principles of the movement by MDA, however, the organization had despite this limitation a high reputation within the movement and was involved in various ways in their activities. Both the ICRC and the International Federation had already represented before 2006 by representatives in Israel to tune possible cooperation with MDA.

In December 2005, it came at a diplomatic conference in Geneva to the adoption of the Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. This provides for the introduction of a red crystal before as an additional neutral protection symbol. The protocol was strongly endorsed in advance by both Israel and Magen David Adom. An agreement was signed shortly before the conference between MDA and the Palestinian Red Crescent, which regulates the responsibilities and cooperation in the Palestinian territories. During the conference, there was then surprising to demands Syria after a similar agreement for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and its access to the Golan Heights. However, intensive negotiations between MDA and the Syrian delegation under the mediation of the ICRC provided no amicable solution. For this reason, the third additional protocol has not been adopted by consensus, but by a vote with a score of 98 to 27 with ten abstentions.

The Third Additional Protocol allows Magen David Adom, continue to use as a flag within the borders of Israel to the Red Shield of David. In humanitarian relief missions abroad MDA may, after consultation with the country concerned as a sign either his emblem inside the Red Crystal, or use the Red Crystal without additional mark. Similarly, the red crystal will be used in future by the Israeli side, a protected symbol in armed conflicts. In June 2006, the Statutes of the International Movement of the Red Crystal has been added as an additional indicator equal rights within the framework of the 29th International Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference. The corresponding changes were thereby accepted by the present 178 delegations of national societies and delegations from 148 States Parties to the Geneva Conventions, with 237 votes for and 54 votes against and 18 abstentions. The ICRC decided on the basis of this decision, the recognition of MDA and the Palestinian Red Crescent as a national relief societies. In addition, both organizations were admitted as full members of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.