"Another 'victory' like this and we've had it," wrote the Wall Street Journal – the most influential newspaper in the United States – about Magen David Adom's admission to the International Red Cross, in exchange for relinquishing the red Star of David in favor of a red crystal.
The paper's stance, which is a staunch supporter of Israel, shows the erosion of Israel's strategic image as a result of the rush to make concessions that has continued since 1993.
Magen David Adom's capitulation – with the support of the government – signifies the spirit of Oslo that has defined every Israeli government since 1992, and that turns "red lines" into "pink" in order to avoid pressure.
This atmosphere represents weakness as if it were strength, servility as determination, fear as restraint, and adherence and devotion to our roots and principles and national pride as extremist and iron-clad assets as liabilities.
Nations don't concede their national principles – certainly not the 3,000-year-old ones – for temporary advantages, but rather as an expression of caving in to pressure.
History shows that sovereignty and national security rest on ironclad assets, the nurturing of which exacts an immediate-term price, but bears fruit in the long term.
By neglecting them, we show our weakness and pour oil on the bonfire of pressure and terrorism. Arab countries never made concessions on their Red Crescent symbol in order to join the "Red Cross", and now they see Israel's concession on the Star of David as one more symptom of its disengagement from roots and a sign it is going soft, not as a sign of restraint and strength.
Oslo spirit lives
Magen David Adom's capitulation – even its willingness to enter into discussions about the historic symbol – would never have even been considered prior to 1992. But then the Oslo spirit hit Israel's policy makers. The current example of capitulation is just one more stage in the dramatic burnout in Israel's staying power and deterrent power, joining the steep, slippery slope of withdrawals and flimsiness: Negotiations about Jerusalem, coming to terms with a growing balance of terror with the Palestinian Authority and Hizbullah, ignoring hate education in the PA and Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' central role in directing the escalation of incitement and terrorism, recognizing Hamas as a "political organization" running for elections, bowing to Condoleezza Rice's demand to open the Gaza crossings to terrorists, and much, much more.
Until the 1992 transformation, Israeli prime ministers resisted heavy pressure, therefore winning admiration and ultimately strengthening strategic relations with the United States.
Magen David Adom's capitulation is yet another pyrrhic victory for a policy that favors short-term tactics and juggling the past over long term strategy and nursing our roots.
But does sacrificing our roots on the altar of immediate convenience and instant gratification not ignore the lessons of history? Devotion to our roots preserved the Jewish people and allowed it to renew its political sovereignty. Pyrrhic victories that call for ignoring the lessons of history cause cracks in our sovereignty and turn Israel from a prototype of being able to withstand pressure to one that fears pressure and runs from threats.