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As Israel Writes SC on Violence from Gaza, OIC Lobbies for Palestine at UNESCO

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 30 -- As Israel complained of Security Council silence on their complaint of "violence emanating from Gaza" and the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation promoted its lobbying in Paris for Palestine to join UNESCO, it was a Sunday morning of dueling press releases.

  First at 8:04 am from Israel's Mission to the UN came Ambassador Ron Prosor's letter which the Mission said was sent to the Council on snowy Saturday night, saying

"Two days ago, I wrote to the Security Council and expressed my Government’s concern about the escalating violence emanating from Gaza, alerting the international community about the dangerous potential for civilian casualties. The Council did not utter a single word of condemnation. Today one Israeli civilian was murdered and others lay injured in hospitals this evening as a result of the escalating rocket fire – and we still only hear silence from the Security Council."

  Some, particularly on the Sunday morning talk shows if they got it in time, would see this in context as an implicit critique of the Obama administration, or at least the US Mission to the UN for not seeking a Council meeting. Click here for Prosor's letter.

   Inner City Press on Friday outside the Security Council asked Ambassador Prosor about Palestine's bid for UN membership, specifically the November 11 meeting at which the full Council will get a report from its Committee on the Admission of New Member.

  Prosor replied that he doesn't think the Council will vote that day on Palestine's application.

  The addition to the Council on January 1 of Pakistan, Azerbaijan -- whose foreign minister told Inner City Press on camera he'll follow the OIC line on Palestine -- and Morocco, which has said the same off camera, may result in those opposing Palestinian membership calling for a vote before then. Click here for first story by Inner City Press on this.

(c) UN Photo
Prosor hands to Ban Ki-moon, as he did Saturday night letter

  Palestine's application to join UNESCO remains pending; Security Council members Germany and the US, among 58 UNESCO members in the preliminary vote, opposed it as untimely.

  Now OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has described his lobbying in Paris on October 30 of OIC members and non member states in advance of the October 31 voting. If Palestine joins UNESCO, not only would World Heritage Site status be on the table: it would seem to be a precedent for Palestine joining the International Criminal Court and being able to call, as an ICC member, for investigation of the situation in Gaza. Watch this site.

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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