Wednesday, January 25, 2017

On Settlements, ICP Asks Palestine About ICC, UNSC Prez Refers to Sam Power's Spokesman

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 25 – Before the UN Security Council met about Israeli settlements on January 25, Inner City Press asked Palestine's Observer Riyad Mansour about reports of moves at the International Criminal Court based on the December 23 resolution on which Samantha Power abstained. 

Tweeted video here.  Mansour told Inner City Press there is work on that.

  After the meeting, Security Council President for January Olov Skoog of Sweden was asked if in the meeting, requested by Bolivia, the US' position had changed. He laughed and said you'd have to ask the US press officer -- Kurtis Cooper, a face of Samantha Power, standing at the stakeout on January 25. Video (with Gambia answer) here.
  Earlier in the day new Ambassador Nikki Haley was sworn in by US Vice President Mike Pence; she tweeted her farewell to South Carolina. Still, even as of January 25 at 10 am, there were no new photographs at the US Mission to the UN to replace those of Obama, Biden, Kerry and Power. We'll have more on this. 
  Back on January 17 as the Security Council began its last month session on the Middle East and Palestine before the change in US administration before week's end, Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft about a recent skirmish. Video here, UK transcript here:
Inner City Press: Q: How about your Prime Minister’s criticism of John Kerry’s speech? How should we read that?

Amb Rycroft: Well, the UK supported resolution 2334 and what she was saying was that settlements are an obstacle to peace, but not the only obstacle to peace. And so what we need to do is to make sure that we are addressing all of the obstacles to peace, as indeed resolution 2234 did, by also calling on all parties, for instance, to end terrorism, to end support for terrorism, and to end incitement. 

Back on December 28 when outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry belatedly began his Middle East swansong speech, he told the story of the December 23 resolution votewithout mentioning that New Zealand and Senegal picked up the Egypt-postponed resolution, and that the US didn't ask for any postponement but rather set the vote for 2 pm.

   By the time Kerry got to his or “our” proposals, the speech had been on so long that Qatar's Al Jazeera cut away to a stand-up in West Jerusalem, then a show about Ban Ki-moon running for president of South Korea.Kerry spoke about Obama's and Susan Rice's 2011 veto. Here's Inner City Press' story then about Rice's counter-offer of a Presidential Statement and a trip.

  Kerry name-checked UNESCO, which Qatar is primed to take over, and Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, from whom a response was immediately expected. Watch this site.

Before the UN Security Council voted on December 23 at 2 pm on an anti-settlements resolution, approving it with the US only abstaining, there was a closed door consultation of the Council.

Inner City Press has assembled this video just outside. Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that the way things were happening projected an impression of haste. (In the consultation he had asked for a delay past Christmas, Barak Ravid reports, after a call from Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Russian President Vladimir Putin.)

  US Ambassador Samantha Power flatly refused to comment on the upcoming vote. But Venezuela's Ambassador Rafael Ramirez, asked by a person with a CNN microphone about the consultation, said that the US had only asked that the vote be at two pm. 

And so it happened. Longer explanatory Inner City Press YouTube here.