The Messianic-run Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ), a growing human rights organization, brought together hundreds of Christians and Jews from around Europe at the doorstep of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, Switzerland last month to demand equal treatment for abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Yoel Shalit met with ICRC officials, and then came out to thank those gathered for advocating on behalf of his brother. He was followed by JIJ Founder and Chief Counsel Calev Myers, who demanded the Red Cross return to its founding principles and afford the same rights and treatment to all prisoners, regardless of nationality.
“The Red Cross continues to visit all [Palestinian] prisoners in Israeli prisons, making sure that they are treated with dignity and fairness, in conformity with international conventions,” noted Myers. “Meanwhile, Gilad Shalit is being prevented any contact with the outside world and being used as a bargaining chip to release from Israeli prisons hundreds of terrorists with blood on their hands.”
Myers scolded the Red Cross for maintaining “strong relations with Hamas [the ruling power in Gaza, where Shalit is being held], regardless of all of its blatant breaches of international conventions, while they have yet to even visit Gilad Shalit.”
The Red Cross was founded and continues to identify itself as a Christian organization. Yet, Myers contended that by abandoning Shalit, the Red Cross was abandoning the very Christian values upon which it was founded.
“In Matthew 25, it is recorded that Jesus said when he comes back he will separate the just and the unjust; the sheep and the goats. He will tell the goats that when he was naked they did not clothe Him; when he was hungry they did not feed Him; and when he was sick and in prison they did not visit Him,” explained Myers. “Will [the Red Cross] be sheep or goats? Perhaps Gilad Shalit is the ‘least of these brethren’ today. Will you not honor your self-defined faith by visiting him when he is sick and in prison?”
Myers urged all donors to the Red Cross around the world to “ask this question before the next time you give them money: Have you visited Gilad Shalit?”
Interestingly, as Myers pointed out in his speech, Red Cross founder Henri Dunant was an active Christian Zionist, and was one of the only Christians to attend Theodor Herzl’s Zionist Congress that advocated the return of the Jewish people to their national homeland in the Middle East.
Without question, Dunant would be mortified at the direction his organization has gone vis-a-vis the reborn State of Israel.