Today's Wall Street Journal has an editorial (link for subscribers) on Israel's pending admission to the International Red Cross.
After almost six decades of rejection, Israel saw the road cleared yesterday for its emergency and disaster relief organization to join the International Red Cross. The price of admission was relinquishing its symbol, the Red Star of David.Some maintain that the red cross is not a religious symbol, so this accomodation should be okay. Yet that is not how it is viewed -- which is the reason that the cross was not adopted in Muslim countries, and a red crescent is used instead.
Instead, the Red Cross approved a new "neutral" symbol -- a Red Crystal, which Israel must adopt to become a member, possibly next spring. The Star of David may still be used at home, and on foreign missions it can be put inside the Crystal, provided the host country agrees.