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After Netanyahu Links Iran & Jeter, Iranian Reply Slams Canned Applause

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 29, more here -- Hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his speech in the UN General Assembly on September 29, Iran took the floor at 8 pm in Right to Reply.

  The Iranian representative called it "laughable" that Netanyahu had spoken about atrocities by ISIL after what he did in Gaza. He mocked the applause Netanyahu got, saying this was from people brought in from outside of the UN. (Other delegations bring people in, but the day's applause was noticeable, and noticed.)

  Referring to the P5+1 sessions in New York which a Western diplomat quoted by Reuters and said by Iranian sources to be the French foreign ministry of Laurent Fabius called unproductive, the reply said Netanyahu was trying to disrupt the "earnest and serious negotiations" about Iran's nuclear program.

  One expected there to be an Israeli sur-reply to the reply, but there was not. The GA's chair at the time, Libya's Permanent Representative Ibrahim Dabbashi, gaveled the meeting shut.

  Earlier, Netanyahu said Israel bombing Gaza to get Hamas was the same as the US bombing Syria and Iraq to get ISIL.

  Striking at least two New York City notes, Netanyahu said that the distance between the 1967 lines and Tel Aviv was similar to that between the UN building and Times Square: seven blocks. He snarked that saying Iran doesn't practice terrorism is like saying Derek Jeter doesn't play shortstop. But isn't Jeter now retired?

  There were several rounds of applause, and some took them at face value. A Free UN Coalition for Access member in the room said it was a cheering squad to the side. Any speaker could have brought such a squad. But would the UN have allowed it?

 Earlier on September 29, Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman took three questions at the General Assembly stakeout. The only one in English was set aside for the head of the UN Correspondents Association, who asked about Iran. The Free UN Coalition for Access opposes such set aside, especially to what has become the UN's Censorship Alliance.

  Liberman had previously said that UN envoy Robert Serry would be leaving his position in October, a deadline Inner City Press then asked Serry about. (Serry said it is up to Ban Ki-moon, and that Ban's five year rule is not a rule.) But it was not possible to ask Lieberman about this on September 29.

 Back on August 18, Serry said, "on three occasions, there was a direct hit on UNRWA schools...A total of 38 people were killed in those three incidents, and 317 were injured. Eleven UNRWA colleagues were killed in the line of duty. The Secretary General has called for a thorough investigation into these incidents to assure full accountability.

  So in the 12 days between the two statements, has anything been done? In 2009, Ban was lobbied about his cover-letter to the previous board of inquiry report by Ian Martin; now in 2014, as it made up for it, he accepted free private jet travel from Qatar, with its stake and position in the conflict. Neither is acceptable.

 On the latter, Israel's Ambassador Ron Prosor came out of the Council after Serry's public briefing and said, among other things, that Qatar has bought campuses of six universities, Harrod's and the PSG football club. He cited the 2022 World Cup, but did not mention Ban accepting the Qatar-funded private jet. He passed out a flier, "Captured Hamas Combat Manuel," which Inner City Press put online here.


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