At UN, Egypt's Gaza Text Beats Ecuador's, Bombing Continues,
No Vote for Cape Verde
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
January 17 -- In the UN General Assembly
on Friday night, the question asked was who cares more about the people
Palestine? At the end of two days of
debate about the war in or on Gaza, there were two competing draft
GA President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann started it, with a what he
presidential text. This could only be passed by consensus. After close
business on Friday, it became clear if it hadn't been before that there
consensus. And then the games began.
withdrew his proposal, and immediately called on the representative of
She re-introduced d'Escoto's draft as her own, amending it to demand an
unconditional withdrawal from Gaza by Israel. Egypt's Ambassador
protested, first saying he had held up his name plate -- or "flag,"
as he called it -- before "the lovely woman" from Ecuador, as he
called her, to groans from many in the audience.
for not putting to the vote a compromise he had reached with the
Union, which also referred to the plight of Israeli civilians. The
Observer of Palestine Riyad Mansour also spoke up for this compromise,
the Assembly to vote on it and not Ecuador's more divisive proposal. Mansour had told the Press earlier in the day
that he thought d'Escoto's draft would pass, "but I'm not saying I'm
with it." Inner City Press video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdUAg0q21Qc.
D'Escoto adjourned the meeting.
PGA d'Escoto, Mansour in his ear, Shaaban bars Cape Verde
Out in the
hallway, the Ambassador of Syria spoke to a group of diplomats by the
machine. Inner City Press went to the floor of Conference Room 3 to get
of Ecuador's just-printed amendments.
Various Ambassadors approached to tell Inner City
Press that this was
"sad" and "another example of how broken the Assembly is."
An Arab diplomat said it would be funny if it were on another topic,
the bombing of Gaza.
Ambassador, Permanent Five member of the
Security Council, said that Israel might be best helped by a vote on
draft. D'Escoto's spokesman graciously explained the jockeying about
saying Inner City Press should be rewarded for working so hard, and so
But many Ambassador stayed to nine p.m. The war in or on Gaza has gone
more than three weeks.
ended with a whimper, not a bang. Egypt called for and won a procedural
to put its proposal before that of Ecuador. Then Egypt's and the EU's
adopted, and all that was left to fight about was whose vote was
and who hadn't been allowed to vote. Cape Verde's representative
he had, in fact, paid his dues, and anyway was were Afghanistan and
allowed to vote? People laughed, and garbage time was entered. And in
bombs kept falling.
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