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October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Red Cross’

Red Cross Calls for Family Visits – For Palestinians Only

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

The International Committee of the Red Cross has called on Israel to resume prisoner visits for Palestinian terrorists, with nary a mention of the fact that Palestinian groups currently hold three Israeli teenagers hostage.

Like the Palestinian political spectrum, which draws a cause-and-effect relationship between the abduction and an ongoing hunger strike by 150 Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails, the Red Cross says ICRC doctors are “conducting regular visits to detained hunger strikers. The group also call for “a swift resumption of family visits, which are required under the Fourth Geneva Convention.” 

However, the group does not extend the same demand to the kidnappers of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel. In a statement posted on the ICRC website, the group notes “mounting tensions” and “an extensive military operation takes place to rescue three abducted people in the West Bank,” but stops short of demanding the release of the hostages or the right to visit them. 

On the other hand, the Red Cross does detail the military aspects of the current incursion to Palestinian Authority-ruled cities in order to track down the missing boys. 

“The operation currently under way has included house-to-house searches and night raids, over 200 arrests, and the requisition of some private homes. Incidents of assault and clashes resulting in casualties – including one death in the West Bank and injuries in Gaza – are fuelling frustration and may trigger further violence. In Gaza, renewed air strikes and rocket fire are also contributing to rising tension.,” said the statement. 

The organisation’s current policy seems consistent with the stance it maintained during the Gilad Shalit affair. Then, Red Cross officials never demanded the right to visit him the hostage, sufficing only with several polite requests for “signs of life” from Shalit. 

In addition, Jacques de Maio, head of the ICRC delegation in Israel and the “occupied territories” said “Civilians living in the West Bank now face increased restrictions on their movements, and several thousand family members cannot visit their loved ones in prisons in Israel this week because of security closures.

It is not clear as of this writing whether de Maio intended to include the three Jewish families who have not been able to visit their children this week, and who do not know what condition the boys are in.

Red Cross Bares Its Heart and Soul, Honors PA Terrorists

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

The International Red Cross together with the Palestinian Red Crescent in Jenin planted 150 trees bearing the names of “veteran prisoners” who were convicted and jailed for murdering Israelis.

Most foreign and local media call them “militants,” reserving the word terrorists for those who kill people for political gain in a media outlet’s home country.

The Palestinian Authority now has helped the Red Cross add another word to the Orwellian Middle East dictionary: “Veteran prisoners.”

The official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported last week that the Red Cross and Red Crescent “planted 150 fruit trees that carry the names of the veteran prisoners jailed in the occupation prisons.” The article was translated and published on Sunday by the Palestinian Media Watch.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida told its readers that the two organizations “conducted a ceremony called ‘My Honor is My Freedom’ in the village of Zububa to mark the 150th anniversary of their founding. Fruit trees were planted at the entrance to the village, where the racist annexation and expansion wall that has swallowed up thousands of acres [of land] was built.”

The Red Cross has a very cozy relationship with the Palestinian Authority, where the Red Crescent has long been a member of the international organization. Israel’s Magen David rescue services were not accepted by the International Federation of Red Cross until 2005, but on a condition: Magen David has to agree not to operate in Judea and Samaria or areas in Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

Displaying the Jewish Star of David, the translation of the term Magen David and the symbol used on its ambulances, would suggest that the Red Cross, God forbid, acknowledges that Jews can live in Judea and Samaria and all of Jerusalem.

The Red Cross, in its devotion to protecting the rights of prisoners under the Geneva Convention, dutifully makes sure that Israel opens its jails to relatives of jailed Palestinian Authority terrorists.

It took an entirely different attitude during the five heart-wrenching years that Hamas held Gilad Shalit hostage after kidnapping him in a terrorist attack in 2006 that left two other soldiers murdered. The Red Cross went through the motions of demanding his release but did not place any pressure on the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority to work for his freedom.

Shalit’s father Gilad said during his son’s captivity, “We demand that the Red Cross’ approach be more active and decisive. I would like to believe that they would give us a sign of life from Gilad. We are conducting ongoing dialogue with the Red Cross but it has not been much help. I did not hear them condemn Hamas on its crime against Gilad. The Red Cross has been a complete failure in this affair.”

It took the Red Cross almost five years until it made a belatedly public appeal for his release. When Shalit was released, the Red Cross did not even examine him.

The Red Cross also took no action against the Red Crescent and the Palestinian Authority’s assisting terrorism in the early part of this century, during the advanced stage of the Intifada that is also called the “Second Intifada” and the “Oslo War.”

IDF occasionally foiled terrorist attacks by inspecting Red Crescent ambulances before allowing them to continue from Judea and Samaria into urban Israel. More than once, soldiers discovered explosives and weapons under the beds of supposedly pregnant women, a gross violation of international law.

This did not stop the Red Cross from honoring the “prisoners.”

If anyone questions that they really are terrorists, check out the background of such “veteran prisoners” as Karim and Maher Younes, Issa Abd Rabbo, Osama Al-Silawi, Mohammed Turkeman, Nasser Abu Surour and Mahmoud Abu Surour, Zaid Younes, Ibrahim Al-Taqtuq, Ikram Mansour, Ahmed Ka’abna, Nael and Fakhri Barghouti and Samir Kuntar, Jamal Hweil, Jamal Tirawi and Jum’a Adam.

The name “Kuntar” should ring a bell.

Born in Lebanon, he joined the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) with the stated goal of killing Jews.

At the age of 16, he helped kidnap an Israeli family from Nahariya, on the northeast Mediterranean Coast. He murdered four people, including a 4-year-old daughter, in the presence of her father, who also was killed. He was cited as a hero by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Dr. Heimlich Fighting the Red Cross over Maneuver

Monday, January 21st, 2013

In 1974, Dr Henry Heimlich announced the maneuver that carries his name. Until then, when a person choked on food, it was generally accepted that forcefully slapping the victim’s back would fix the problem, when, in reality, slapping often causes the lodged bits to drop deeper into the throat, making things worse.

In 1974, Dr. Heimlich wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association that applying upward pressure to the diaphragm, under the choke point, might force the blockage to pop out, like a cork from a champagne bottle. Within weeks he began hearing from doctors who had used the maneuver to save lives, and within months Dr Heimlich and his Heimlich maneuver became famous around the globe.

I have performed the Heimlich maneuver several times in picnics and dinner parties, actually saving lives—not something many journalists can boast.

And yet, as USA Today reports (today, obviously), the American Red Cross’ first-aid procedure still recommends five back slaps and then five abdominal thrusts to deal with choking.

Heimlich says he’s perplexed by this recommendation, seeing as “there has never been any research saying the back slap saves lives.” On the other hand, he continued, “We know the Heimlich maneuver works. So it comes down to a matter of life or death.”

According to the National Safety Council, choking is America’s No. 4 cause of accidental death, after poisoning, driving, and falls. In 2010, choking claimed 4,700 lives, a 4 percent increase over 2009.

“I don’t want to fight the Red Cross,” Heimlich says, “But I don’t want people dying needlessly.”

He kind of fights them, though, bless his heart. He has challenged the Red Cross to produce research showing the effectiveness of back slaps over his own maneuver.

The Red Cross has gone back and forth over the years on endorsing the Heimlich maneuver, and so Heimlich has asked the organization to remove his name from any of its literature and training procedures on choking.

“When they started calling for back slaps first and then the Heimlich maneuver, I wouldn’t let them use the Heimlich name.” he told USA Today. ” Why? Because patients were going to die.”

Dr. Richard M. Bradley, a member of the Red Cross’ Preparedness, Health and Safety Services advisory council and an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston said: “To the best of my knowledge, after doing a pretty thorough literature search, no controlled studies exist comparing back blows to abdominal thrusts or anything else.”

How exactly would you go about conducting such a test – generating spontaneous choking? And who would volunteer to be in the control group?

William Terry Ray, director of the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing’s Nurse Anesthesia program said he looked at 40 years of research, and concluded that “the literature says there is no one definitive treatment to relieve an obstructed airway on a conscious person.”

In his view, “a person may have to use the back blows as well as abdominal thrusts to relieve the obstruction, depending on what caused the person to choke.”

According to NNDB, Dr Heimlich had his first opportunity to actually perform the Heimlich Maneuver only as late as 2000, when he heard a ruckus in a restaurant, and turned around to see a stranger choking. “I did the Heimlich maneuver,” said Heimlich, “and got it out and then went on and had my lunch.”

I checked eBay for “bit lodged by Dr. Heimlich performing the Heimlcih maneuver” and found nothing.

Israel arrests Hamas lawmakers in Jerusalem

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Israeli police have arrested two members of the Palestinian Legislative Council inside the Jerusalem headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Red Cross announced in a statement Monday. A relative of one of the MPs was also reported to have been arrested.

The two legislators, Mohammed Totah and Khaled Abu Arafeh, the former Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, are members of Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel. Totah and Arafeh have been living in the Red Cross’ Sheikh Jarrah compound since July 2010 in order to avoid deportation from the city due to their refusal to renounce ties with the Islamist movement.

Israeli National Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld was quoted by the Palestinian news website Ma’an as saying that the two were being interrogated for leading “Hamas activities inside Jerusalem.”

Ma’an also reported that a crowd of Arabs had gathered outside of the Red Cross to protest its failure to protect the MPs from arrest, claiming that as parliamentarians they should enjoy legal immunity.

Originally part of a larger group of Hamas political representatives in Jerusalem known as the “Hamas Four,” Totah and Arafeh were the only remaining MPs still at large in the capital.

Their colleagues MP Muhammad Abu Teir and MP Ahmad Attoun of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Bahir were detained last year by Israeli security forces and expelled to the West Bank, leaving the remaining lawmakers to serve as Hamas’s de facto representatives in Jerusalem.

In 2006, following the Palestinian elections, the Interior Ministry informed the Hamas politicians that they risked losing their residency rights in Jerusalem if they continued to represent their party.

Their continued residency in the capital, the government explained, was dependent on their official repudiation of ties with the group.

The first action came as Israeli forces in Jerusalem arrested Abu Teir and evicted him to the West Bank. Following his detention, the three remaining legislators made their way to the Red Cross.

Soon after they moved into the Red Cross, Red Cross spokeswoman Dorothea Krimitsas stated that the three men had requested her organization’s “protection” from Israeli police and been informed that “they could remain on ICRC premises, but also that the ICRC could not prevent the Israeli authorities from taking action against them.”

“Israel, as the occupying power, has an obligation to protect the Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem and cannot lawfully undertake to forcibly transfer them from their homes,” Krimitsas stated. “Under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, forcible transfers of protected persons are explicitly prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

When asked by reporters if the ICRC recognized Israel’s categorization of Hamas as a terror organization, Krimitsas replied that it “is not up to the ICRC… to confer a particular status on people or organizations or to recognize their legitimacy; neither does international humanitarian law.”

Israel, however, took exception to Krimitsas’s statement.

“The three people we are dealing with are senior members [and] leaders of Hamas… and nobody can expect a country to allow people of an organization that is calling openly for its destruction to roam around freely in the territory of that country,” the Foreign Ministry responded, indicating that the three fugitives “are illegally staying in east Jerusalem, and they will have to leave to a PA-controlled area.”

During their time at the Red Cross, the MPs made the area a de-facto Hamas political headquarters for Jerusalem, meeting with foreign dignitaries such as former President Jimmy Carter and numerous local Arab leaders.

A giant banner with the men’s faces adorned the side of the Red Cross headquarters building and a protest tent was set up within the walls of the compound.

Several weeks after announcement of the prisoner swap in which captive IDF serviceman Gilad Schalit was freed, MP Attoun was arrested in an undercover mission reminiscent of a spy novel.

Attoun was lured out of the Red Cross compound by several undercover police officers dressed as Arabs, who simulated an altercation on the street outside the compound.

When the lawmaker stepped outside to see what was happening, he was hustled into a waiting car and driven off.

Attoun’s brother had previously been arrested for Hamas related terror activity in the capital.

Pundits, both Israeli and Palestinian, have alleged that Israeli security forces have been unwilling to enter the Red Cross building due to fears of negative publicity.

In a petition to the High Court shortly after the beginning of their saga, the parliamentarians claimed that their deportation orders, which they termed “a grave violation of international law, collective punishment and racial discrimination,” were illegal because Israeli law did not apply in “occupied East Jerusalem.”

The High Court seemed to have agreed with the fugitives. On October 23 Court President Dorit Beinisch ruled that Interior Minister Eli Yishai has 90 days to provide a reason for having canceled the Hamas members’ legal residency.

Israel Arrests Hamas Officials Found Hiding in Red Cross Building

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Israeli police arrested two Hamas officials who had been hiding inside a Red Cross office in Jerusalem to evade arrest for over a year.

Police arrested the two men Monday when they were spotted leaving the compound.

Red Cross officials confirmed that Khaled Abu Arfa and Mohammed Totah had been staying in the compound.

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Way to Heaven by Juan Mayorga

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Teatro Circulo

65 East 4th Street, New York, NY

Until  May 24, 2009

Thursday 8 p.m.; Sunday 3 p.m.

$18, students and seniors $16

waytoheaventheplay.com

212-868-4444

 

An unshaven man stumbles onstage, clad in a raincoat covering his pajamas.  He is barefoot and shuffles among the dried leaves that litter the stage area, a long rectangular set with the audience on either side.  It is a most intimate performance area, uncomfortably so.  He tells us he was a Red Cross representative, stationed in the Berlin suburb of Wansee, during the war, and had been sent to inspect a civilian internment camp in Nazi Germany.  Now, he is guilt ridden, confused and sleepless.  A tortured soul remembering what it was like to play-act to do his job, unaware he was but a manipulated audience himself.  As he describes the entire visit and the episode unfolds before us. He cannot sleep.


Next, boys play with a top and quarrel, a couple argues over a gift, each actor perfecting his or her lines, cueing each other to get the dialogue right.  We notice they all wear a yellow star. The young woman complains of constantly hearing trains in the night.


Then a little girl enters holding her doll.  She talks to her doll telling him not to be afraid and sings a song.  A haunting Ani ma’amin.  She sings, “I believe…”


The Nazi commandant strides on stage; confident, charming, understanding, his evil arrogance is barely masked by his civilized and rational demeanor. 

Finally, Gottfried is brought in and sits before the Commandant. He is a prisoner, powerless to resist the orders of his captor.   He must become an actor, learn his lines and collaborate, in order to give outsiders the impression of a benign internment camp.  His play-acting seeks to convince them that conditions are relatively good and, considering the war, humane.  As for the ramp from the railway station to the infirmary, well, everyone just calls it the “way to heaven.”  The play has begun.


Way to Heaven by Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga currently playing a limited New York run, explores the terrible phenomenon of Jewish complicity in covering up the reality of the Holocaust.  It is based on the compulsory acting that played out in the “model camp” of Theresienstadt, located near Prague.  The play is a historical amalgam; combining aspects of the infamous show camp and the famous July 1944 Red Cross visit to inspect the camp, as well as its subsequent approval by the Red Cross.  This awesome “dress rehearsal” is played out in the shadow of the Nazi death machine, which is evoked by the trains arriving promptly at 6 a.m. every morning, and the ever-present ramp leading to the death chambers and crematorium.  As the play makes relentlessly clear, the façade of normalcy – children playing, a balloon seller, a mid-day meal and the petty drama of young lovers – all serve to mask the grim reality of what was really a transit labor camp on the way to Auschwitz.  Starvation and disease was the norm at Theresienstadt even though the Nazis lauded the camp as the safe haven for the Jewish cultural elite of Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria.  Indeed there was an amazing amount of art, music and theater produced by the inmates, before they were shipped East to their deaths.    Hence the tragic irony played out in Way to Heaven.

 

 


Red Cross Inspector played by Shawn Parr

Way to Heaven written by Juan Mayorga

 

 

The director of the American production, (it has been produced in London, Paris, Madrid and Buenos Aires), Matthew Earnest, masterfully entraps the audience, slowly drawing them into the inescapable web of compromise with the use of minimal sets and highly dramatic lighting, allowing the accomplished actors free reign to plumb the depths of each character.  Regardless of their lines, they are terrified mortals, desperately trying to act out scripted parts to save their lives.  There is seldom a moment in which a double entendre doesn’t reveal the harrowing truth beneath it.  Each of the principle characters – Mark Farr as Gottfried, Shawn Parr as the Red Cross Inspector, Francisco Reyes as the Commandant and Samantha Rahn as the little girl, all put in riveting performances.

 

 


Gottfried and Commandant played by Mark Farr and Francisco Reyes

Way to Heaven written by Juan Mayorga

 

The play effectively moves backwards in time, bringing us along for the ride, starting with the Red Cross inspector’s tortured and guilt-ridden memory monologue.  While his memory torments him, his recounting troubles us because he has been effectively fooled by the much too convincing acting of the Jews.  Indeed, in his memory, all seemed normal.  Why were these Jews so good at acting as if nothing terrible was happening in this “civilian internment camp?”  Next we are plunged into the feverish cacophony of inmate rehearsals, repeating lines over and over, trying to get it right with their mechanical readings of dialogue for the sake of the Red Cross. 

 

 


Commandant played by Francisco Reyes

Way to Heaven written by Juan Mayorga

 

The Nazi Commandant attempts to beguile us with his assurances of European civilization, the books he has in his library, how he distains war and how once it is all over, we will all speak one language and celebrate one culture.  His monologue constantly slips between past and present, chilling our confidence in the distance of the past horrors.  Suddenly all the lights go out and in the pitch-blackness the Nazi asserts that all of the killing camps are gone now, “There’s none of it left now, but they’re still here.  All of them, every single one.” The ghosts of the murdered Jews remain because, “Every train in Europe terminates here.”


Further into the past, we are plunged into the complex and tortured relationship between Gershom Gottfried, the “mayor” of the Jews, and the Commandant who is both the author and director of the little piece of theater that will convince the Red Cross that there is no mistreatment of the prisoners.  Gottfried’s role is to make sure everyone acts his or her part exactly as the script says, that they understand that their lives depend upon their performance.  Gottfried says the people want to know what to expect.  The Commandant answers, “Focus on one thought, Gottfried. ‘I’m not on that train. As long as I’m here, I’m not on that train.’”  The play-acting becomes instantly clear; their performance is a bargain with the devil himself.


Gottfried is told that one scene is too crowded, “Cut them down to a hundred.”  He is told to take them to the “infirmary,” that closed shed at the top of the long ramp, at the end of the “way to heaven.”  Gottfried balks, he can’t choose which of his fellow Jews will be condemned.  He rebels and spits out, “What if we refuse?…[what if] He arrives and there’s no one there Or we tell him the truth ”  The Commandant calmly reminds Gottfried that the Red Cross man may not understand the gesture or the symbol.  Jewish rebellion would hardly make an impact, and would only result in more death.


Sitting so close to the actors, finally understanding their dilemma, understanding that Gottfried and his Jews have no choice, understanding that no one wants to assure their own death, I still ask myself, what would I do?  What would I do?


Now the Commandant is alone, musing about the loneliness of the actor, the futility of theater itself.  He rants against the little girl with the doll, recalling that in fact she did call out, send a signal of distress to the Red Cross inspector.  “I hope he doesn’t mention it in his report.”  With this we realize that the world really didn’t want to see, didn’t want to hear of the brutal murder of millions of Jews. 

 

 



Little Girl played by Samantha Rahn

Way to Heaven written by Juan Mayorga

Finally Juan Mayorga’s stunning play brings it all home.  Gottfried and his Jews resume practicing their parts, reassuring fellow actors, “we’ve all had to pretend some time, haven’t we?”  The little girl with her doll enters and is comforted by Gottfried.  “If you do it well, we’ll see Mummy again. She’ll come on one of those trains. If we do what they ask us We’ll do it as many times as we have to, until Mummy comes back.”  She softly sings her haunting song again. Ani Ma’amin.   Yes, I believe, I believe with a perfect faith.


Richard McBee is a painter and writer on Jewish Art. Contact him at rmcbee@nyc.rr.com.

Free Gilad Shalit

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

       More than 1,000 days have passed since the unprovoked abduction of a Gilad Shalit, a young Israeli soldier, by the Hamas terrorist government of Gaza. Unlike the Arab terrorists being held in a “country club” atmosphere of the Israeli jail system, with TV, library facilities, exercise rooms and other amenities, Gilad is being held in primitive conditions. He is not even allowed to meet with Red Cross representatives.

 

     Gilad was not captured during a war. He was kidnapped by Arab government forces. Everything in Israel’s power should be done to free him from his terrorist captors.

   

     The only question is the price being demanded by the terrorists. Are 1,400 murderers equivalent to one Israeli soldier? Is the price reasonable or ridiculous? Will all the freed terrorists return to terror with the result that many more Jews will be murdered? Will the freeing of these terrorists reinforce the lesson that the Arabs have already learned: “Kill as many Jews as you want because the Israeli government will capitulate and allow Hamas to free its members from Israeli jails by kidnapping soldiers or civilians.”  

 

     If the kidnapped soldier were my son or grandson, (G-d forbid), would I demand that Israel capitulate to whatever demands Hamas would make? The answer is that for my son or grandson, I would absolutely insist that Israel pay any price Hamas would demand. I understand Gilad’s parents and friends, and thankfully I will not be asked to make that decision.

 

     A sovereign government, however, must consider the needs of its citizens. What will the impact upon Israel and its citizens be if Hamas’ demands are met? The crimes of the 1,400 terrorists that Hamas is demanding to be freed have resulted in the deaths of many Jews. It is painfully obvious that not only do these prisoners have “blood on their hands,” but that they will immediately return to terror if freed. They have learned that should they be captured, they will live in the “country club” atmosphere of an Israeli prison until their fellow terrorists manage to free them by kidnapping another Jew.

 

     One of the major obstacles to the freeing of Gilad was the behavior of the Israelis. The country turned the demand to free Gilad Shalit into a major media circus. Hamas leaders were thrilled with the Israeli reaction and upped their demands until they reached an unreasonable level. Even Olmert, who unfortunately is still the prime minister, could not accept the Hamas demands.

 

    He had so hoped to cap his mediocre reign with the adulation of the nation as the prime minister who freed Gilad Shalit. Olmert and his lame-duck government were willing to free hundreds of terrorists in return for Gilad Shalit, but the price demanded by Hamas was too high, even for him.

 

     How many more Jews have to be murdered before Israeli ministers realize that they cannot negotiate with terrorists? Should anything happen to Gilad Shalit, Israel should employ the American military tactic used in the Vietnam War and carpet-bomb Gaza.    

 

    The world leaders should be aware that Gilad Shalit was not captured in war. World leaders should stand up as men, and not as weak cowards in fear of Arab retaliation, and demand that Gilad Shalit be freed immediately.

 

     And the shelling of Southern towns by terrorists from Gaza continues!

 

    Comments may be sent to dov@gilor.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns//2009/03/25/

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