On November 18, 2002, leaders of Magen David Adom (MDA) in Israel, MDA chairman Yochanan Gur, and American Red Cross Chairman David McLaughlin signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at MDA headquarters in Tel Aviv. The mission is part of a movement to discuss humanitarian issues in the Middle East with all leaders of International Red Cross counterparts, including the Palestine Red Crescent and the Jordan Red Crescent Society.
The MOU focuses on collaboration in the area of emergency preparedness in the event of a terrorist attack, including attacks from weapons of mass destruction. Other areas of collaberation include international tracing and family reunification, biomedical services, organizational development and international humanitarian law disseminaton.
"The American Red Cross and Magen David Adom have developed a tradition for knowledge exchange that has resulted in improved service to our respective populations," McLaughlin said. "We've enjoyed a strong relationship of mutual asistance and will continue to learn from thsi collaborative approach."
The American Red Cross has considered MDA's admission into the International Red Cross a policy priority for more than 25 years, and has passed multiple resolutions in support of MDA membership. Since 2002, the American Red Cross has withheld dues to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Soceities to protest its refusal to admit MDA.
McLaughlin also signed an MOU on November 16, 2002, with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). The two organizations hope to cooperate on issues concerning primary helath care programs, emergency response and disaster preparedness.
Sources: American Red Cross