Uri in Geneva - The Red Crystal
Following the successful crucial negotiations
with the Palenstinians and Israelis...
Uri Geller played an unusual role in breaking the ice during talks on a historic deal in Geneva
Uri helped to negotiate an amicable agreement between the Red Cross, Palestine Red Crescent and Israel’s Magen David Adom: "Uri Geller did not just help break the ice with the skills that have made him famous - a considerable number of bent spoons line the road that led to this agreement," said Swiss foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey. "He has also played a pivotal role in helping everyone focus on the main objective and overcoming differences over secondary details at key junctures," she told the assembled dignitaries. Later on in Geneva he read a speech from the organization pledging to address Syria's humanitarian concerns to a 192-nation conference to approve a new Red Cross (Red Crystal) emblem that would enable Israel to join the movement after nearly six decades of exclusion.
Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey holding the crystal, which was originally from Uri Geller's pocket, given to and passed on from Noam Yifrach; chairman of Magen David Adom (Red Star of David) at the signing ceremony at the International Conference Centre in Geneva, Switzerland, November 28, 2005.
This is the speech Uri read out to over 140 Nations:
Diplomatic Conference on the adoption of a Third Additional Protocol
to the Geneva Conventions
Geneva, 5-7 December 2005
Address as prepared by Dr. Noam Yifrach
Chairman of Magen David Adom in Israel
Delivered in Geneva on 7 December 2005
"Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates,
As the Chairman of Magen David Adom (MDA), I am proud to be here in this Diplomatic Conference where we hope that the problem that has troubled the Movement as a whole, and my national society in particular, may finally find a solution. I would like to express my deep thanks to you Mr. President and to the many States and individuals, as well as the ICRC and the Federation, who have worked so hard in order to make this possible.
I will be frank and admit that I have little background in the political and diplomatic issues that arise in a conference of this nature. I am a doctor by training, and the Chairman of MDA as a volunteer. I come from the world of the Hippocratic oath, which binds me to treat the ill and the needy without discrimination. It is for this reason that I have constantly tried to ensure that political issues will never get in the way of the humanitarian mission that we have been entrusted. The guiding principle for all of us, I think, was best said by the Swiss Foreign Minister, Mrs. Calmy-Rey, who spoke of the profound conviction that “all human beings share something called humanity that overcomes even the most extreme differences”.
In taking this approach, I have been joined by other national societies. In particular, I must pay tribute to my colleague Younis Al-Khatib, the President of the Palestine Red Crescent Society. Over recent weeks, with the help of the Swiss Government and the ICRC and the Federation, we have managed to reach an agreement between our societies which I genuinely believe will bring real benefits to the work of both societies. In order to reach this agreement both of us had to make some painful compromises, and to find a way to deal with some of the most sensitive issues between our peoples. But we succeeded in reaching an agreement and we now face the true test of putting this into practice.
MDA has undertaken to lobby the Israeli government on issues important to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and we take this job seriously. I am pleased to say that so does the Israeli government, and only yesterday I was pleased to learn on one of the most sensitive issues – the access of PRCS ambulances to East Jerusalem, our lobbying on behalf of PRCS has already borne fruit.
Although the issues between us are different and although I have not had the opportunity to develop a relationship with my Syrian counterpart, I see no reason why a similar approach cannot overcome any obstacles between MDA and SARCS. As I have written to you, Mr. President, I firmly believe that there is no issue facing our two societies which cannot be addressed through a genuine spirit of dialogue and I am willing to meet with my Syrian counterpart, Dr. Attar, at any time or place to move this forward.
Some of you may know that in our efforts to move things forward we have been accompanied by my good friend, Uri Geller. If Uri, with his remarkable skills, stands for one thing, it is the principle of mind over matter. I truly believe that if we dedicate our minds to the principles to which we are committed, we can triumph over any of the differences between us, and fulfill the holy mission that our peoples have entrusted with.
January 21, 2006
In the early morning hours of December 8 in Geneva, Switzerland, diplomats from over 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. With the adoption of the Protocol, a long-standing barrier to the admission of the Israeli society – Magen David Adom (MDA) – was removed. For over 50 years, the American Red Cross has been working with our U.S. and international partners to obtain admission of MDA to the Movement. Although much work remains before the hoped-for admission of MDA in June 2006, the adoption of the Red Crystal signals the attainment of a critically important milestone.
On behalf of the American Red Cross, I want to thank a number of people who played a critically important role in adoption of the Red Crystal. We are profoundly grateful for their personal interventions as well as those of their governments as they actively sought the successful resolution of the MDA issue.
Never accepting failure as an option, they and their governments worked tirelessly with the parties as well as interested societies to ensure that the goal of MDA’s admittance into the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement remained a very real possibility – a possibility that unfortunately had eluded the Movement for far too long.
In addition to the individuals named below, I would also like to highlight the courage and wisdom of Dr. Noam Yifrach, Chairman of MDA and Dr. Younis Al-Khatib, President and General Director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. Were it not for their very strong commitment, dedication and courage, this successful conclusion would not have been possible. They are truly the unsung heroes of this entire effort.
We at the American Red Cross are extremely grateful to the following people:
• The Honorable Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State
• His Excellency the Ambassador of Israel Daniel Ayalon
• Her Excellency Micheline Calmy-Ray, Swiss Foreign Minister
• His Excellency Blaise Godet, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Office of the United Nations and the Other International Organizations in Geneva
• His Excellency Didier Pfirter, Special Ambassador of Switzerland
• Shalom Turgeman, Diplomatic Adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel
• Ambassador C. David Welch, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
• Ambassador Kevin Moley, Permanent Representative, United Nations and the Other International Organizations in Geneva
• The Honorable Richard Greene, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
• The Honorable John B. Bellinger III , Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State
• Don Juan Manuel Suárez Del Toro Rivero, President, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and president, Spanish Red Cross
• Jakob Kellenberger, President, International Committee of the Red Cross
• Mohamed Al-Hadid, Chairman, Standing Commission, International Red Cross and Red Crescent
• Markku Niskala, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
• François Bugnion, Director for International Law and Cooperation within the Movement, International Committee of the Red Cross
• Chris Lamb, Special Adviser International Representation, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
• Anna Segall, Federation Representative in Israel, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
• Uri Geller, Chairman, Friends of Magen David Adom
With warmest regards and the thanks of all of my colleagues here at the American Red Cross,
President Bush today signed legislation adopting the Red Crystal legislation and the 3rd Protocol. There is also mention of the role this played in admission of MDA.
It took a year but the US finally got there.
Links to photos and articles
Wounded Have Ears Bent by Uri
Red Cross asks for aid convoys via Rosh Hanikra
Uri with Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Levni.
The transcript of the debate at the U.S House of Representatives where the House resolved to congratulate MDA for achieving membership in the Movement.
Letter to MDA
Magen David Adom in Israel Certificate
Uri with John Bellinger Legal Adviser of the US State Department.
Uri dancing the Hora with the Chairperson of the US Red Cross, Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter in celebration of the acceptance of MDA to the Red Cross Federation.
Red Cross Appeals for Israel's Inclusion - Guardian Unlimited - UK
"...Israeli-born celebrity psychic Uri Geller, a leading supporter of Magen David Adom, read a speech from the organization pledging to address Syria's humanitarian concerns..."
Magic touch, bent spoons help on Israeli-Palestinian deal - AFP via Yahoo! News
"Entertainer and psychic Uri Geller played an unusual role in breaking the ice during talks on a historic deal between the Palestinian Red Crescent and its Israeli counterpart by bending spoons..."
Geller helps 'conjure' up deal - News24 - South Africa
"Geller, who is head of the Friends of Magen David Adom, a key fundraising arm of the ..."
"Uri Geller did not just help break the ice with the skills that have made..."
Red Cross votes to admit Israeli agency as member - San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA
"We are overjoyed here," Uri Geller, the purported psychic and president of the International Friends of Magen David Adom, said in Geneva after the vote...
Swiss, Syrians negotiate at last minute over MDA symbol - Jerusalem Post - Israel
" ...to the admission as a full member of Israel emergency rescue service, Magen David Adom.
...Meanwhile, Israeli-born magician Uri Geller, who is head of the MDA..."
Bent spoons help on Israeli-Palestinian deal