American Red Cross Chairman Updates Jewish Community at Holocaust Museum Houston Event

HOUSTON, TX (June 14, 2006) Holocaust Museum Houston and the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston hosted American Red Cross Chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter at a special joint reception on Monday, June 12.

More than 50 people were on hand to hear McElveen-Hunter discuss the behind-the-scenes efforts to get Magen David Adom (MDA), the Israeli equivalent of the American Red Cross, admitted into the international Red Cross movement.

On Dec. 8, 2005 in Geneva, Switzerland, diplomats from more than 100 countries voted overwhelmingly to adopt the Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions to create a new symbol for the Movement – the Red Crystal – to represent MDA. With the adoption of the protocol, a long-standing barrier to the admission of MDA was removed.

McElveen-Hunter said the American Red Cross had been working with U.S. and international partners to obtain admission of MDA to the movement for more than 50 years.

Although she said much work remains before a formal vote scheduled for late June, she said the adoption of the Red Crystal symbol signaled the attainment of a critically important milestone.

"Fifty years of discrimination is enough," she said, adding that the American Red Cross board of directors was "unyielding" in its support of admission of MDA to the international movement and had withheld $45 million in dues payments to the international group until the more than 180 member nations formally voted to accept the MDA.

Holocaust Museum Houston promotes awareness and educates the public of the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence against the backdrop of the Holocaust by fostering remembrance, understanding and education.

Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004.

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