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In Kerry's 9 Months, of Israeli Settlements & Palestine Moves, ICP Asks CFR

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 30 -- At Tuesday's US State Department briefing, while the Israel - Palestine talks about nine months of talks dominated, whether settlements or Palestinian moves for recognition will continue in this time was not really addressed.

  On a Council on Foreign Relations call later Tuesday afternoon, Inner City Press asked CFR expert Robert Danin if he thought settlements would stop. Danin noted that Israel's housing minister is a settler and likely will push forward. But would the Minister of Defense approve such moves?

  Danin said that Israel, in exchange for releasing prisoners, sought Palestine foregoing "isolating Israel" in international forums. That's something different.

  At the UN Tuesday morning, the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People met in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. It accredited five non-governmental organizations and turned three others down. Palestine wants to host the FIFA Congress in 2017 - how does that "further isolate Israel"?

  On the CFR call -- and in the day's US State Department briefing -- there was surprisingly little talk of Syria, as impacts Israel - Palestine and generally. Some link Syria to Turkey's reported decision to pull out of the UNIFIL mission in southern Lebanon, which Inner City Press asked the UN about at Tuesday's noon briefing. In the afternoon, just before the CFR call, the following came back:

Subject: Your question on UNIFIL
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Regarding your question on whether Turkey would withdraw its troops from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has not received any official notification from Turkey on this issue.

  How much to trust the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations under its fourth Frenchman in a row, Herve Ladsous? He refuses to answer questions -- video here -- and his four spokespeople have left unanswered for 24 days a question about Ladsous' non-implementation of the UN's supposed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.

  Nor, we note, did the State Department briefing address the UN essentially declaring war in Eastern Congo in 48 hours. This is the big one. Watch this site.


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