With Gaza Schools As Targets, Theater in UN
Council, Protests in the Streets, French Press Only Allowed into the
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
January 6, updates, video -- In the
run up to the
UN Security Council meeting about Gaza late Tuesday afternoon, money
on the Gaza Strip, and one block from the UN on the sidewalks in front
Israel's mission. The UN's John Ging told Inner City Press that no cash
gotten through the border crossing, and staff cannot be paid. On Second
the owner of Sussex Liquors told Inner City Press that his business is
hurt by dueling protests. He point across the street, past a "Hamas
Hitler" sign, to a restaurant called Cibo. "Saturday they served only
56 dinners," he said, compared to 200 or 300 on a normal night. North
42nd Street a Vietnamese Ban Mi sandwich restaurant reported the same
Ki-moon, meanwhile, rushed to Washington to have lunch with outgoing
George W. Bush. Then he returned to New York to meet with Mahmood Abbas
attend the Security Council meeting, chaired by French foreign minister
Kouchner. France's president Nicolas Sarkozy reappeared in Cairo. His
counterpart, sources tell Inner City Press, faces more and more serious
UN's Ban and ministers, Council theater not shown
threat is most immediate in Gaza itself. Inner City Press asked Ging
report of the Israeli army taking over high-rise buildings, telling the
residents to leave, and setting up with guns to fire down on streets
Ging said that's why people flee to the UN facilities, where of late
also under fire.
And at 4:41
pm, Ban Ki-moon, Alain Le Roy and the UK's Sir John Holmes trooped into
Council, the UN's Gaza troika, to play their role in the theater.
snow began. This will be updated.
Update of 4:47 pm - Inner City
Press' Council sources have said the plan is to suspend today's meeting
when it ends, and resume Wednesday at 11 am...
Update of 4:57 pm
-- the speakers' list has been
passed out, starting with Mahmoud Abbas then Israel, Miliband of the
Babacan of Turkey, Condi Rice of the US, then ministers of Libya and
Austria. There at 26 in all, ending with
the Arab League's Amre Moussa. Lynn Pascoe of the UN's DPA emerges from
Council, smiling and saying "We're all set." Apparently they are.
Update of 5:49 pm
-- UK foreign minister David
Miliband, on his way into the Council, stopped and promised the press
"twenty four hours of action" at the UN. He mentioned arms smuggling
without reference to Egypt's protest of UK Ambassador John Sawers
weapons moving through the Rafah crossing. He took no questions and was
Inner City Press video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVxuDYgDHjg
Update of 6:17 pm
-- After Miliband speaks in favor
of the Council's "statement of December 28" -- that was, the press
statement after 2 am on that Sunday -- Turkey begins. Insiders say that
would be the backbone of any international force to monitor the border
crossings. If that wouldn't get them into the European Union, what
Meanwhile, miffed at no longer having his six-month long EU bully
Sarkozy now wants to use his newer Mediterrean formation to stay in the
Update of 7:03 pm:
in a scrum of TV cameras, Saeb
Erakat of the Palestinian Authority -- and, it must be said, Fatah --
dramatically of children slaughtered, children "with four names." He
said "we should not clone" the Council's process in 2006 on Lebanon,
"eighteen days to a resolution." Arabic journalists shouted,
"thirty three days!" Erakat corrected them: a 33 day war, but 18 days
in the Council negotiating a resolution.
Update of 7:41 pm
-- Bernard Kouchner, at the stakeout where he once lunged at an Al
Jazeera journalist, this time took issue with an African journalist's
question, about whether France in its presidency of the Council this
month is not letter other issues, like the Congo and Darfur, fall by
the side. "Why are you shouting?" Kouchner demanded. But no question
was allowed on the substantive new developments in the Congo, the
failure to protect civilians from the Lord's Resistance Army and the
possible ouster of Laurent Nkunda from the CNDP. France's foreign
policy, it seems, follows the TV cameras.
Update of 7:59 pm
-- While reporters are routinely
told to never enter the Council when it is in session (the sign says,
Only), the French have allowed in a gaggle of French-only press. It is
reminiscent of Nicolas Sarkozy's "French only" press conference in UN
Briefing Room 226, at which even a French-speaking Lebanese reporter
she could not enter if she did not have a French passport. Various
were made that it would not happened again, but France is once again at
screening questions at the stakeout, and allowing "French only" into
spaces that the UN, and not France, purportedly controls.
Update of 9:10 pm
-- the Libyan foreign minister
has come out of the Council and said their resolution is "in blue,"
meaning it was be put to the vote within 24 hours. Journalists, most of
French, protest that Kouchner has said, give Egypt time to work. This
didn't seem to carry much weight with Libya.
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and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
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