As Libyan Ship Blocked by Israel, Echoes of France
and Myanmar, Free Gaza and Somali Toxic Waste
Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Muse
December 3 -- As Libya convened a
Security Council meeting about the Israeli Navy's blocking of its ship
humanitarian goods from docks in Gaza, several analogies were raised to
Ambassador Alejandro Wolff of the United States, Israel's main backer. Inner City Press asked Amb. Wolff, did he
think the aid flotilla that arrived from Cyprus in Gaza, including Tony
sister-in-law, was equally an act of "lunacy" as Libya?
said, that trip had been authorized in
advance. But as another correspondent remonstrated by shaking his head,
not true. With no prior approval, Israel nevertheless allowed that
land, and only blocked their exit.
Press asked Amb. Wolff to contrast the Libya off the coast of Gaza with
French Navy's stationing off of Myanmar earlier this year, with Bernard
Kouchner threatening humanitarian intervention.
Wolff said that Libya's relationship with Israel is
France's with Myanmar's. Video here.
But is it?
Wolff referred to international law, Inner City Press asked him about
by the head of UNRWA, Karen
AbuZayb, that Israel is violating the privileges
and immunities of UN staff by disallowing their use of diplomatic
preventing the import into Gaza not only of money, but even of paper.
Ambassador Wolff responded that the U.S. is of course concerned about
humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people. But what about the legal
of UN staff members? That question stayed unanswered.
Libya's Gaddafi and UN's Ban, Libyan ship
blocked from Gaza not shown
Footnote: Also on
the issue of ships, at the UN's
noon briefing two Western UN humanitarian staffers speaking about
dismissive of Somalis' claims that toxic waste is being dumped upon
line. The Food and Agriculture
Organization's representative said that he'd been a part of a test for
waste in the Puntland region in 2005 which found no such waste. Video here,
Inner City Press asked Dumisani Kumalo, the Ambassador of Security
member South Africa, about the issue. "Why did they only test in
Puntland?" Amb. Kumalo asked. "And why were they having to test in
the first place?" He might have added: why is the UN, which complains
loudly about the effects of piracy on the delivery of food, implicitly
attacking the local view that Western powers overfish and dump in
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
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