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With Israel Statement Stalled at UN, 3 Views of Lebanon: Quid Pro Quo?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 19 -- After the attack in southern Israel, a boilerplate draft press statement of condemnation was circulated in the UN Security Council. But, Western spokespeople complain to the Press, Lebanon balked, saying that language about the wider Israel - Palestine issue should be included.

  The first critique of this, from a Western permanent member of the Council, is that all that is proposed is the same standard statement as issued recently on the attacks in Israel.

  Another Western critique, from more pro-Palestinian European nation not currently on the Security Council, is that Lebanon is erring by trying to link the Palestinians, or "all Palestinians," to the attacks: "Leave them out of it."

  Some interested member states complain they can't get a straight answer from the Lebanese Mission to the UN, there are different views, here and back in Beirut.

   Inner City Press asked a representative of the Lebanese Mission, who said that any statement "should be balanced."

  They returned with a new argument for blocking the proposed statement on the attack: since "the Americans" never want a Council statement condemning "settler violence," nothing should come out on this one. "But then you know what the Israelis will say."

Ban & Barak on July 29, 2011, Palmer report still not shown

 Earlier in the week, Israel's Permanent Representative to the UN Ron Prosor told reporters that

[The Palestinians] have climbed on a tree and the higher they climb the higher they request a ladder. What is going to happen in the end is that they will fall from the tree – but they won’t just hurt themselves, they will [hurt] everyone else in the vicinity....The United States has articulated their position that they would veto such a resolution at the Security Council. So if that is the case, there is no way the Palestinians will become a new member of the United Nations. Then there is the General Assembly, a quest on the Palestinian side to upgrade their position...That upgrade will not change anything, except in the United Nations itself."

Inner City Press asked Prosor about the Durban III event slated for September 21. He called it “anti-Semitic and racist” and praised the "boycott" declared by the US, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands.

These were quotes approved for release by the Israeli Mission. Meanwhile on Friday morning, Palestinian Observer Riyad Mansour told the Press, I will be back to speak, tell you colleagues! And so it goes at the UN.

Update of 11:29 am -- Palestine's Mansour told the Press there will be a (closed) Council meeting on Friday afternoon; he said eight civilians have been killed in Gaza including two children, wants a statement on that.  Inner City Press asked if Palestine wants it all in a single consolidated statement. Let's see, he said, we don't want to negotiate against ourselves.

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As Israel Faces Palestinian UN Bid, Leahy Eyes Aid Cut to Gaza Flotilla Unit

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 16 -- Thirty five days before the Palestinian Authority has said it will ask for statehood at the UN, Israel is lobbying nations large and small to vote against the Palestinian's bid.

 Washington-based Ambassadors of small countries have been taken on trips to Israel; the country's central bank chief Stanley Fischer has handed a lobbying letter to Cote d'Ivoire's Alassane Ouattara, a former IMF official who is also reportedly a friend of Fischer who was recently deemed too old to face off against Christine Lagarde to head the IMF.

Meanwhile Israel faces problems both in New York and Washington. At the UN, the extended deadline from the release of the so-called Palmer report into the killing aboard last year's Gaza flotilla is a week away, with no sign that an apology agreement with Turkey will cut it off.

  In Washington, Senator Patrick Leahy is floating a bill that would restrict US military aid to at least three units of Israel's armed forces, including the navy unit involved in the Gaza flotilla incident. When Ehud Barak visited the United States late last month -- click here for coverage from Inner City Press -- he tried to cut Leahy off at the pass. But Leahy's proposal is similar to restrictions on military aid to Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan. We'll have more on this.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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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