No Jews or Dogs!!
I have been following the recent saga in the Red Cross with growing disgust. For those of you who are not familiar with the issues at hand, Israel and its official relief agency Magen David Adom (Red Star of David) has traditionally been rejected membership as an official member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies because of its refusal to adopt either a cross or crescent as its official symbol. When Israel suggested allowing the additional symbol of the Red Magen David in 1949, the organization rejected the request for the reason that "They don't want to have too many symbols." Contrast this to the refusal of the Muslim world to display a cross on their equipment, and the almost immediate acceptence of the Red Crescent as an official symbol. Since that initial refusal, the Arab countries have fought tooth an nail to keep Israel out of the organization; that is until today.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, today is an historic day for the State of Israel, the Jewish People and Magen David Adom. Finally, after over 50 years of ongoing struggle, despite the current objections of Syria, the governing body of the International Red Cross/Crescent societies have approved Israel's membership. Oh, there's just one more thing. In order to join Israel must adopt the newly created alternative symbol the "Red Crystal" and hereby refrain from using the Red Star of David.
Before you get excited, it is not as bad as it sounds. If MDA wants they can continue to use the Magen David INSIDE the red crystal on DOMESTIC and fundraising missions and even on foreign relief missions where the host country is not "offended" by the symbol. How magnanimous of them. Where do I sign?
Yes my friends, you have heard correctly. Jews may finally join the Red Cross/Crescent but only on the condition that they stop being Jewish. The benevolent nations of the world will allow us to join their "club" and participate in relief missions saving THEIR citizens from disasters, but only on the condition that we never G-d forbid reveal from whence we came.
I am not old enough to remember this myself, but I have heard many first hand accounts that in the recent past, even in "Jewish New York", hotels, businesses and places of entertainment used to prominently display signs in the entranceway that said "No Jews or Dogs!!" There was many a country club in the Northeastern US which did not allow any minorities including Jews to join. They still unofficially exist today on Long Island and New England although at least today (unlike the Red Cross), they have the decency to hide their "eligibility requirements". Of course, as Jews look similar to their WASP neighbors, they would often "make an exception" and let you in as long as you paid an "extra" membership fee and promised never to reveal the fact that you were Jewish.
We need to ask ourselves, what does Israel or MDA gain from this newly found "acceptance"? The "privilege" to go and save the lives of people who hate us and won't even allow us to display a non offensive symbol of Judaism on our uniforms and ambulances? Is it really a positive thing that we try so hard to join a club that proudly displays a sign on its front gate "No Jews or Dogs"? Do we need to risk our lives and send our brave men and women over to countries who won't even acknowledge our existence as a people? People who are so repulsed by a non political historic symbol of the Jewish people, that they would rather die than accept aid from "dirty Jews"? Even if this new arrangement will allow Israel to benefit from extra funding, is it really worth the self-denigration that is required to be eligible to receive it?
The Torah records a prophetic blessing given to the Jewish People "Behold it is a nation that dwells alone and is not counted among the other nations" (Numbers 23:9).
How many of us remember this verse in our daily lives and really consider it to be a blessing? We dedicate our lives to being accepted by the world at large and the harder we try the more they remind us that "No Jews or Dogs" are allowed! Sure there is one way to gain their acceptance, and there always has - Stop being Jewish. Maybe we should once and for all, make Jewish history, take the last shred of dignity that we have left as a people, and tell the Red Cross and all other Anti-Semitic organizations of the world what they can do with their membership cards!
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