search

Red Cross Has a Long History of Double Crossing Jews

In the pantheon of international organizations that treat Israel with a mix of disdain and indifference, the International Committee for the Red Cross is a cut above the rest.

It’s not the most loathsome NGO (the United Nations Relief and Welfare Agency owns that title). But it has been the most hypocritical organization for the longest period of time: The ICRC has a track record of shamelessly hyping its humanitarianism amid conflicts while practicing a systematic indifference to Jewish life.

The organization did lots of posturing after the October 7th massacre, mostly lamenting the ‘humanitarian crisis’ in Gaza that, of course, was precipitated by Hamas. The notable exception to the pattern of ignoring Jewish victims of war was a  meeting in early December where a Red Cross representative told hostage families asking for the organization’s help in getting medicines to their loved ones: “they need to think about the Palestinian side.”

In the wake of that borderline sadistic response, Hadassah International asked ICRC president Mirjana Spoljaric, “Has the Red Cross ever before failed to care for hostages and victims of armed aggression in such a blatant way, or is this treatment reserved for individuals abducted from Israel?’

Red Cross Trucks Deliver Medicines to Nasser Hospital in Gaza

The answer is: Indeed, it has. The ICRC has a rich history of going to great lengths to ignore Jewish suffering and getting rewarded for it.

In 1944, the group was awarded the Nobel Prior “for the great work it has performed during the war on behalf of humanity.”

The ICRC hid from The Nobel Committee and the entire world that it knew of the Nazi extermination of Jews and did nothing.  It knew about the
“final solution” but said nothing. It didn’t even ask the Nazi regime to respect the human rights the ICRC supposedly stood for.

In 1943, the group decided to try to send food, medicine, and clothing to deportees in Nazi-dominated countries. It failed, blaming Allied civilian authorities for failing to provide documents allowing them to pass through their war blockade.

The ICRC did muster the energy to issue transit papers intended for war refugees traveling to haven countries to thousands of ex-Nazis, including war criminals such as Joseph Mengele and Adolph Eichmann. Past ICRC president Peter Mauer claimed the group failed as a “humanitarian organization because it had lost its moral compass. It failed … by responding to the outrageous with standard procedures. It looked on helplessly and silently.”

The question is when it comes to Jews and Israelis: Does the ICRC have a moral compass?. It took the ICRC 50 years to admit Israel’s Magen David Adom into its ranks because its logo is the Star of David, And the ICRC’s treatment of Israeli hostages – and their rationalization for such treatment – is hardly different than that received by Jewish victims of the Nazis.

ICRC constantly took to social media and news outlets to blame Israel – wrongly – for bombing al-Shifa hospital. At the same time, security camera footage from the facility makes it clear the ICRC knew it was being used to confine hostages. As Seth Mandel noted in Commentary:

Fighters dragging the hostages can be seen interacting freely with medical personnel at the hospital in case anyone still tries to argue that hospital officials have plausible deniability. As some have pointed out, there was no way for the hostages to get to Shifa without being taken past several other hospitals on the way, so they were not brought in for medical care.

The Red Cross was no stranger to Shifa. For example, on November 6 and 7, it boasted of ICRC caravans transporting supplies to Shifa and patients from Shifa. They were aware of the material needs of the hospital and, therefore, what was being used daily. ICRC doctors and surgeons around Gaza were in contact with colleagues at Shifa.” Not very different from interacting with Nazis and claiming ignorance about the plight of Jews.

Just as the ICRC accepted a Nobel Prize by covering up its complicity with the Third Reich, its refusal to help Jewish hostages in Gaza didn’t stop it from taking credit for transporting the first wave of Israeli hostages Hamas released. As the Middle East Forum’s Gregg Roman notes: “The Red Cross has conducted itself similarly since Hamas took Israeli hostages. The Red Cross gained much acclaim for bringing Israeli hostages home after they were released. However, the Red Cross played no part in the negotiations that led to the release and made no effort to visit the hostages while they were imprisoned.

This is in stark contrast to past hostage crises. During the Iranian hostage crisis, the Red Cross visited the occupied US embassy in Tehran. When 72 Japanese hostages were kidnapped by guerrilla forces in Peru in 1996, the Red Cross provided food and medical assistance. When New York Times reporter David Rohde was held by the Taliban in 2008, the Red Cross delivered him a letter from his wife. When more than 240 hostages were taken from Israel, however, the Red Cross did nothing.”

Meanwhile, the ICRC still hasn’t found a way to deliver lifesaving medicine to the remaining hostages. ICRC spokesman Jason Straziuso told the media “We don’t have superpowers. We can only take humanitarian action when the authorities in a given area give us the permission.” At the same time, Spoljaric told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that pressuring Hamas would be ineffective in delivering medicines.

Yet on December 9, 2023, two days after the Red Cross told families of those held hostage that it couldn’t get medicines to their loved ones (and to think more about Gazans than themselves), an ICRC truck carrying medical aid for Gazans arrived at the Nasser Medical Hospital in Khan Younis.

In February, Israeli Defense Forces drove Hamas from the facility. The terrorists left behind a massive amount of ammunition and weaponry. Nearby, medications given to the ICRC to deliver to Jewish hostages weeks before sat undelivered and unopened.

What a fitting symbol of the decades-long, dehumanizing treatment of the Jewish people by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

About the Author
Robert Goldberg has written extensively about Zionism and Israel for several years. His articles have been featured in prominent publications such as Tablet, The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, National Review, Algemeiner, and the American Spectator. Additionally, he is writing a book on lessons from the Haggadah about responding to anti-Zionist Jews. As Vice President of The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, he writes about healthcare issues.