Thursday, May 26, 2011

U.S. taking cues from Israel to pressure UN General Assembly members to vote against Palestine recognition...

U.S. taking cues from Israel to pressure UN General Assembly members to vote against Palestine recognition...

May , 2011 -- State Dept. US Mission to UN official at AIPAC...

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) may be influential and be chock full of Israeli intelligence agents but when it comes to operational security, AIPAC is bush league.

The sidewalk between the DC Convention Center, the venue for the AIPAC convention, and the main delegate hotel, the Renaissance, served as a virtual breakout room for the AIPAC delegates and invited guests. During a delegate "gaggle" on the sidewalk, next to a group of about 100 anti-AIPAC protesters, one delegate was handed a business card, which he proceeded to drop on the sidewalk as he fumbled putting it into his jacket side pocket.

After being stepped on by a number of delegates and being caught in the wind, this editor
retrieved the card from the grassy knoll across from the DC Convention Center. And the foot race to grab the card did not disappoint.

The card is that of Courtney Nemroff, Counselor, Economic and Social Affairs, U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York. It appears that Nemroff likes working for any Rice, Condoleezza and Susan, that is. Nemroff previously worked in the Bush National Security Council for Condoleezza Rice and now works for Obama's UN ambassador, Susan Rice. Nemroff's name comes up in Bush-era news reports along with that of Vice President Dick Cheney's convicted chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

It would appear that Nemroff's main role at AIPAC was to assure delegates and other Israel supporters that the United States will use every pressure point to ensure that the UN General Assembly does not make an end run around a U.S. veto in the UN Security Council of a resolution to grant Palestine UN recognition within 1967 borders. A Cold War-era provision known as "Uniting for Peace," or Resolution 377, can be used to circumvent a U.S. veto in the Security Council to bring the cause of Palestine recognition to the General Assembly, where the vote of the United States is the same as tiny Nauru in the Pacific. If two-thirds of the General Assembly vote for Palestine, the U.S. veto in the Security Council is trumped. The General Assembly can also recommend the imposing of sanctions on Israel for violating the sovereignty of an independent Palestine, a scenario that the Obama administration, Israel, and AIPAC will do everything in their power to prevent.

Uniting for Peace is actually an American contrivance used to trump Soviet vetoes in the Security Council during the Korean War. Uniting for Peace stipulates that when the Security Council cannot resolve an issue because of a veto of one or more permanent members, a special session of the General Assembly can be convened "with a view to making appropriate recommendations for collective measures ... including the use of armed force when necessary." Uniting for Peace resolutions require a two-thirds majority at the emergency session of the General Assembly. Since only the Security Council can recommend Palestine for UN membership, the U.S. will be sure to veto such a move in the Security Council. However, General Assembly recognition for Palestine will boost its cause and mark a step toward full Palestinian statehood and international recognition, placing Palestine in the same legal position as U.S.-supported Kosovo, which, although recognized by the U.S., Britain, and other nations, is still not a UN member. There could even be a deal that would drop the U.S. veto of Palestine membership in the UN in return for Security Council permanent members China and Russia dropping their threatened veto of Kosovo.

Enter the AIPAC stage, Ms. Nemroff. As Economic Counselor under Susan Rice, Nemroff is in a position to threaten small and impoverished General Assembly members with a cut-off of U.S. assistance if they vote for Palestinian recognition. If the U.S. can threaten enough members, two-thirds of 193 (or 194 if South Sudan joins the UN, as expected, upon independence in July) to deny a Uniting for Peace resolution for Palestine, the effort will fail.

We have learned that Netanyahu and his aides, working with State Department officials like Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, Susan Rice, Nemroff, and others, have been coming up with "hit lists" of small and poor nations to be bullied into voting against or abstaining on the Palestine Uniting for Peace resolution. Israeli officials have recently visited small south Pacific nations like Tonga to convince them to vote no on Uniting for Peace for Palestine.

For his part, President Obama, preparing to attend to G8 summit in France, is pressuring European allies not to permit Palestine to seek recognition through the UN. At a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama declared: "the United Nations is not going to be able to ... deliver a Palestinian state." U.S. diplomats like Nemroff and her boss, Susan Rice, are busy twisting the arms in every way possible of countries from Albania to Zambia and Nauru to Barbados.

We gave Nemroff an opportunity to explain the presence of her and/or her business card at AIPAC. Three questions were posed:

1. Were you in attendance at AIPAC in either an official or private capacity?
2. If in an official capacity, was this with the approval of Ambassador Rice?
3. Is the Economic and Social Affairs branch of the US Mission to the UN involved, in any way, with pressuring members of the UN General Assembly not to vote for recognition of Palestine after a possible invoking of the Uniting for Peace provision later this summer?

No response was received by publication time....