Why I support Magen David Adom

07.26.03

More reflections on why I think it’s so important to support Magen David Adom:

Magen David Adom has been a cause rather close to my heart, ever since my dad got food poisoning on a flight to Israel about 6 years ago and was rushed to a Jerusalem hospital . . . in an ambulance donated by the Canadian MDA.

That day in 1997, while we were in the air, a terrorist bomb exploded in Mahaneh Yehuda in Jerusalem. And when we arrived in the hospital, the injured victims of this bombing were being brought in.

In between ducking the news cameras so as not to scare our friends and relatives back home by showing up on the 6 o’ clock news, my mom and I had time to reflect on this crazy, wonderful country we were in. My dad was, thankfully, not seriously ill, but the doctors and nurses took excellent care of him. At the same time, they were treating the victims of senseless terrorism with expert skill and compassion.

The ambulances that are first on the scene when disaster strikes are not political. MDA ambulances are staffed almost entirely by trained volunteers. They treat all victims, be they Jewish or Arab, living on either side of the so-called “green line”, and no matter their background or political affiliation. Ambulance drivers have to brave enormous difficulties to make their way to these horrific scenes, often putting themselves at risk of delayed second attacks designed to target rescue efforts. They also fulfil the role of any other ambulance service, rushing to the scenes of car accidents, to the aid of heart attack patients, and the like.

Magen David Adom is the victim of a senseless campaign itself, to keep it out of International Red Cross/Red Crescent for purely arbitrary reasons – namely that the Jewish magen david is not an “acceptable” symbol, unlike the Christian cross or the Muslim crescent. Recently, the American Red Cross has come out in support of MDA and hopefully this isolation will end soon. On the Canadian side, a spat between CMDA and the CCRA has been resolved, allowing the organisation to keep its much-deserved charitable status in Canda.

So please mosey on over to Meryl Yourish and donate to Blogathon 2003. Israel desperately needs ambulances. Let’s help get them one.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 why? 07.27.03 at 5:13 AM

I’m sure that Israel needs ambulances, yet one is forced to ask themselves whether fewer would be required if Israel stopped subsidising wacko settlers who believe that they have been put on earth to pray all day, EVERY DAY, and thus require that everything be paid for them by secular Israeli’s (as having a job is clearly below such illustrious people).
This, of course, while living on stolen land from already desperately poor people.
Just one of my crazy ideas, mind you….

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2 Wadi 07.27.03 at 8:47 AM

“who believe that they have been put on earth to pray all day,”

What the fuck are you talking about?

While many Jews who live in the West Bank and Gaza are religious many are secular as well. The same way many Muslims are religious and many secular. The Jews living there have jobs like all other Israelis. Their lives are not consumed by prayer and baking with the blood of Palestinian children, if you haven’t figured out already.

Maybe if you stopped focusing so much on your desire to ethnically cleanse the West Bank and Gaza of Jews and started concentrating more on achieving peace you’d make more sense. Of course, since you most probably consume a very unhealthy dose of Zmag/Indymedia/counterpunch propaganda on a daily basis you have no grasp of reality.

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3 John Anderson 07.31.03 at 2:58 PM

Has the Canadian government stopped calling Red Star of David a terrorist organization yet? I refer to their refusal to allow a Canadian charity’s paid-for-and-equipped donated ambulance to be shipped to Israel earlier this year on the grounds that it might be captured by terrorists and used to transport weapons…

This is similar to the Swiss refusal to ship parts to the UK this year that were designed for weaponry. Someone pointed out that under Swiss law, the companies could not ship to any government engaged in fighting – so what the #$%^ are they making and selling military weapons systems for in the first place?

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4 Steven 07.31.03 at 8:12 PM

“Has the Canadian government stopped calling Red Star of David a terrorist organization yet? I refer to their refusal to allow a Canadian charity’s paid-for-and-equipped donated ambulance to be shipped to Israel earlier this year on the grounds that it might be captured by terrorists and used to transport weapons…”

No, this is false, where did you hear this?

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5 Erk 10.16.03 at 4:48 AM

People giving up their time to go into sometimes ugly situations with the intent of getting the sick and injured out… what’s not to like about that?

Looked at the MDA site and their proposed solutions to the logo “problem”… time to get a secular symbol out there to mark medical vehicles and sites, letting each flavour of ICRC organisation then bear whatever extra symbol it felt appropriate. Despite the fat, un-calvaric red cross logo being completely religion-free at first thought for me, I’m sure people in enthusiastically secular countries like China (and enthusiastically secular people everywhere) as well as supporters of the MDA (I suppose there’d be some overlap there) would appreciate the gesture.

On the settler troll post… it does seem a tad counterproductive to make a de-facto border longer and harder to defend by subsidizing people (in the form of direct suport and risking soldiers’ lives) to occupy contested land separated from the main area to be defended. I know that Arafat considers all of Israel contested in some sense, but we can really talk about two levels of contestation here. I for one would consider the fence/wall idea to be a reasonable one if it didn’t snake out to protect subsidized hilltops. It would be even better if the countries of the world (including neighbouring states and Israel as well as the usual suspects in the G8, the EU and NATO) then worked to support agriculture and legitimate industry in Gaza and the West Bank. Good fences make good neighbours, but idle hands do the devil’s work or something like that…

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