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Senator Clinton And The Magen David Adom

It will be recalled that The Jewish Press took the lead in criticizing Hillary Clinton during her campaign for the Senate last year. But the fact that we took a back seat to no one in hammering Candidate Clinton for her appalling record on Israel in no way inhibits us from applauding Senator Clinton for her lead role in the efforts to get the International Red Cross to grant membership to the Magen David Adom Society, Israel's rescue and relief service.

The Magen David Adom has been barred from membership ever since the founding of Israel on the ground that its emblem features the Star of David rather than the archetypal red cross. This, even though waivers have been granted to more than 20 aid groups that have emblems other than a red cross, including one for the Moslem Red Crescent.

Senators Clinton and Peter Fitzgerald (R-Illinois ) have launched a public campaign for acceptance of Magen David Adom as a full member of the International Red Cross. They circulated a letter to their senate colleagues ? which was signed by 46 senators ? in which they appealed to the International Red Cross to grant membership to the Magen David Adom. In part the letter read:

The United States must send a clear message to the leadership and the member states of the International Red Cross that the American people will not accept that the Israeli Magen David Adom Society is the only organization excluded from full membership in the largest humanitarian organization in the world.

The letter also pointedly noted that the International Red Cross has been the beneficiary of over $700 million in American taxpayers' money.

It will take a lot to erase the memory of Mrs. Clinton's past record. Certainly it will take more than spearheading an effort that revolves around a basically symbolic though important issue. We would like to hear from her on some of the life and death issues Israelis must confront each and every day. But, it is a beginning and we are listening.

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