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At UN, Questions of Settlers in Israel's OECD Statistics, Two U.S. Positions

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 8 -- While Israel's Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom predicted to the Press on Monday that his country with "finally join" the OECD at its meeting in May or June in Paris, he would not provide Israel's response to OECD's critique of including settlers but not Palestinians in Israel's statistics.

Inner City Press asked Shalom, twice, if both groups were and would be included in Israel's submission to the OECD. Shalom said, we will comply with the rules, and then referred to other issues that have arisen in the last few years. Video here, from Minute 21:27.

 Another issue is whether wine and other products coming from Israeli settlements should be labeled as such. As one pro-Israel source told Inner City Press after its questions, "it's all politics."

  Following up on Friday's Security Council meeting and press statement, Inner City Press asked Shalom if he understand, as the Palestinian Observer put it, that the "provocations" decried in the Council's press statement includes Israel's National Heritage List.

  Shalom took this as an opportunity to hearken to the Bible, with its "first chapter" referring to patriarchs as in the Cave of the Patriarchs. We have been there 3700 years, he said, not 130. And then he left the stakeout.

UN's Ban and Silvan Shalom, Cave of Patriarchs not shown

  Later, it was argued to Inner City Press that the United States delegation had not agreed to the Council's press statement of March 5. An even more pro-Israel source, however, blamed the U.S. not objecting on the fact that the "U.S. number one Ambassador was not there. The number two, who closely follows the Middle East, was not there either. The number three is sharp about Kosovo, but not the Middle East."

The source compared the two U.S. positions -- not objecting to the press statement and then claiming that it had -- to "Obama's record in the Senate, of not taking positions on some hard votes." That's what the source said. But if the U. S. Mission wants to claim it didn't agree, and blame the "inexperienced" Gabonese presidency, it should come forward with facts. Watch this site.

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UAE May Name Dubai Assassins for UN Terror List, Fatah Says, Opacity at UN as US Disclaims Council Statement

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 5 -- The United Arab Emirates is considering submitted to the UN Security Council's terrorism list the names of "those terrorists" who assassinated a Hamas leader in Dubai, Palestine's Permanent Observer to the UN Riyad Mansour told the Pres on Friday.

  Inner City Press asked Ambassador Mansour if his delegation wanted to raise to the UN the assassination in Dubai. We leave that to our brothers in the UAE, Mansour answered, it is a matter of sovereignty for them. Video here, from Minute 8:47.

  The UN's "terrorism list," as Mansour put it, is a list pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1267. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are on it, as is the shadowy and some say non existent East Turkestan Islamic Movement ascribed to Western China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. The inclusion of "agents of Mossad" would be something new.

  In fact, as one correspondent pointed out later on Friday, the 1267 Committee has recently tried to provide more due process to those on the list, along it still require unanimity on the Council to be removed from the list. But might the procedural improvement benefit Mossad? Most say there is no chance that the Dubai hit men will be added to the list.

Mansour alone at UN, UAE introduction of Mossad names not shown

  Mansour was speaking to the press -- two reporters, to be exact -- after the Gabonese president of the Security Council for March, Gabon's Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet,  read out a one paragraph statement about the "provocations" of both side in the Middle East. Inner City Press asked if the reference was to the skirmish between Palestinians and Israeli forces on the Temple Mount that day. The Council president refused to answer even this, walking away from the microphone. Mansour nevertheless called it a strong statement. Video here, at end.

  Inner City Press asked Mansour if the "provocations" might also refer to Israel's recent listing of National Heritage Site. Video here, from Minute 6:47. Mansour said yes, referring to "site of heritage for Zionism." And so it goes at the UN.

Footnote: In fact, after the Gabonese president read out the statement that began "the members of the Council expressed their concern," the U.S. Mission to the UN claimed to reporters that it had not agreed, that the statement was only adopted due to "procedural confusion." Inner City Press say U.S. number three official Rosemary DiCarlo leaving the Council before the statement was read. Some asked, where was Susan Rice?

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 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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