International Community Moves To Recognize Israel's Magen David Adom As Iran Calls Star Of David "Symbol Of Inhuman Activities" And Syrian Ambassador Compares Israel To Nazis

December 5, 2005

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MOVES TO RECOGNIZE ISRAEL'S MAGEN DAVID ADOM AS IRAN CALLS STAR OF DAVID "SYMBOL OF INHUMAN ACTIVITIES" AND SYRIAN AMBASSADOR COMPARES ISRAEL TO NAZIS

WIESENTHAL CENTER TO HOLDS PRESS BRIEFING IN GENEVA FOLLOWING TUESDAY VOTE

Even as the world's major powers move closer to adopting a new neutral red crystal symbol that would effectively bring Israel’s Magen David Adom formal recognition within the International Red Cross community, and scores of diplomats praise the Israelis and Palestinians for initialing an agreement, Syria’s ambassador compared Israel to Nazi Germany, the Simon Wiesenthal Center reported today.

"The Syrian Arab Republic opposes the conquest of the Golan and Jerusalem by Israel, just as Europeans opposed the German Nazi conquest of the Czech Sudetenland," declared Dr. Bashar Ja’afari Permanent Representative of Syria. In a related development, the Iranian Ambassador denounced the Jewish Star of David as "a provocative symbol of the inhuman activities of a government whose atrocities are committed on a daily basis against innocent victims" and the introduction of the Red Crystal would reward "Israeli Occupation."

"After 58 long years, and even as Israel has had to deal with the human disaster of another suicide bombing in Netanya today, this toxic rhetoric could have practical significance, since the 56 member Organization of Islamic States is insisting that there be a memorandum of understanding between Syria and Israel before agreeing to vote for the Swiss-sponsored Third Protocol that would introduce the Red Crystal as a new neutral symbol for the international community," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Dr. Shimon Samuels, senior officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who are currently in Geneva to observe the historic vote, which could come as early as Tuesday.

All the major powers, including Russia and China are backing the proposed protocol and are publicly commending Switzerland for its initiative and the Israelis and Palestinians for agreeing to mutual recognition.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.

For information in Geneva, please contact the following Wiesenthal Center officials:

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean, +310-210-9750

Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations, +336 0977 0158.