Counting and pounding heads against Palestine in the UN General Assembly

Amiram Magid, who resides in Jerusalem at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, has been promising the Caribbean states security and intelligence assistance in return for their votes in the UN General Assembly against recognition of Palestine's sovereignty. Many Caribbean travel officials scoff at Magid's promise of an influx of money-tossing Israeli tourists in return for pro-Israel UN votes by the Caribbean nations

By Wayne Madsen

Informed Caribbean sources have reported to WMR that Israel's Foreign Ministry personnel, including the Israeli non-resident ambassador to Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Amiram Magid, who resides in Jerusalem at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, has been promising the Caribbean states security and intelligence assistance in return for their votes in the UN General Assembly against recognition of Palestine's sovereignty. Many Caribbean travel officials scoff at Magid's promise of an influx of money-tossing Israeli tourists in return for pro-Israel UN votes by the Caribbean nations. Israelis are known by many Caribbean hotel owners as among the stingiest and cheapest tourists who have vacationed in the islands. Hotel owners often complain that Israeli tourists damage rooms, steal room fixtures, and leave the islands without fully paying their bills.

Magid is clearly trying to shore up the Caribbean states' votes against Palestine at this September's General Assembly meeting. What is hypocritical in the Israeli approach to the small Caribbean islands is that Israel is promising Israeli security assistance to fight organized crime, largely stemming from Colombian drug cartels that are allied with Russo-Israeli mafia syndicates. The latter's ranks include and have included a number of veterans of the Israeli Defense Force, Shin Bet, and Mossad, including the notorious Yair Klein, aka Jair Klein, expelled from Russia after pressure was exerted on Moscow by the European Court of Human Rights. Klein is now living in Israel.

Klein's extradition to Colombia has been requested by Bogota for his activities in training and arming the Colombian drug cartels of Pablo Escobar and Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha and right-wing paramilitary militias against the progressive forces of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

One of the Caribbean states being lobbied by Israel to oppose the Palestine resolution is Antigua and Barbuda, once a base of Klein's operations and the home to a number of Russo-Israeli drug money laundering operations.

The expected Palestine sovereignty resolution, if passed by a two-thirds majority, would not only confer the General Assembly's recognition of Palestine within the 1967 borders but would also open up the legal channels for UN members to apply sanctions against the State of Israel.

Israel's strategy is to have 60 members of the General Assembly vote against the Palestine resolution, abstain on it, or be absent from the Assembly and not vote. Sixty votes would deny Palestine and its supporters a two-thirds majority. For that reason, Israel is concentrating its efforts on the 38 members of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). With all or a majority of the 38 SIDS members, Israel hopes to pick up the remaining 22 to 30 votes from small European and African nations, as well as from the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and some of the NATO nations of eastern Europe.

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The 38 SIDS members are as follows:


Antigua and Barbuda


Federated States of Micronesia
















Papua New Guinea


Cape Verde






São Tomé and Principe








St. Kitts and Nevis


Dominican Republic


St. Lucia




St. Vincent and the Grenadines








Solomon Islands
















Trinidad and Tobago






Marshall Islands




Although nations like Cuba, Suriname, and Guyana have already recognized Palestine, Israel hopes to have Guyana and Suriname reverse course in the General Assembly vote.

But it is the small English-speaking Caribbean countries that have seen a full-court press by Israel. A week ago, Magid visited St. Kitts and Nevis and promised the twin-island state help in its alternative agro-business to supplant its decimated sugar cane industry. In May, St. Kitts and Nevis National Security Minister Sam Condor said that his country was looking to Israel for training in "intelligence gathering" to combat gang warfare and other criminal activities. In April, Condor said that a "team of security force and military academy personnel from Israel" would soon be arriving in St. Kitts and Nevis. By accepting such assistance, St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as other nations accepting similar assistance from Israel will be required to give their UN vote to Israel against Palestine.

Magid has also been to St. Lucia and offered that nation security assistance in dealing with a growing murder rate linked to the drug trade. Foreign Minister Rufus Bousquet indicated in January of this year that the Israeli aid offer was linked to a similar offer from the United States. St. Lucia's Prime Minister, Stephenson King, is a former president of the Caribbean Federation of Youth, a CIA front established at the time of the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983 and the ouster of that nation's Marxist-led government. The Caribbean Youth Federation, which still exists with branches in Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica, Montserrat, Nevis, Saba, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tobago, is aimed at countering leftist and progressive recruitment efforts among the youth of the Caribbean, particularly from Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.


On February 13, 2011, King stated in his State of the Nation address that: "the Government of Israel has approved a request from the Government of Saint Lucia to provide assistance to the local police in the following areas: Intelligence Gathering and Handling Human Sources, Operations and Detective Work, and Technical Surveillance and General Surveillance." King added that the United States would supplement the Israeli efforts with training and logistical support.

Magid, the non-resident ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, has visited the nation to ensure that national security and intelligence cooperation established between Israel and Trinidad and Tobago under Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning, which included the shipment of Uzi automatic weapons to the nation's security forces, continues under Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

In February, after Suriname recognized Palestine within the 1967 borders, Magid flew to Paramaribo and a "frank and candid" meeting with Foreign Minister Winston Lackin. "Frank and candid" is diplomatic-speak for a heated confrontation. In recent weeks, Israeli officials have expressed confidence that some Latin American nations that previously recognized Palestine will vote no or abstain in the General Assembly. These include Suriname, neighboring Guyana, as well as Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Brazil, and Argentina. Israel believes it already has the support of Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Honduras, and possibly, Guatemala, Jamaica, and El Salvador.

Another vote that is up in the air is that of Belize. For years, Belize considered Israel to be hostile because of Tel Aviv's military and intelligence support for Guatemala's right-wing military governments, which laid claim on Belize as Guatemalan territory. While Belize's Prime Minister was Said Musa, who was of Palestinian descent, relations soured even further. However, with the election of Belize's first black Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, who has served as an attorney for former British Conservative Party deputy leader and major Belize investor and dual British-Belizean, Lord Ashcroft, relations between Belize and Israel have warmed considerably. Israel's ambassador to Belize, Mattanya Cohen, resident in San Salvador, is a frequent visitor to Belize and he has established a close relationship with Belize's Foreign Minister and Attorney General Wilfred Elrington. Cohen has also dangled the prospect of young Israelis, who currently travel to Guatemala, of crossing the border into Belize. Cohen reminds Belize officials that before Palestine was chosen as the Jewish homeland by the Zionists, the other two possibilities for the Jewish state were Uganda and Belize.

Israel's ambassador to the Dominican Republic Moshe Sermoneta has been pressuring the remaining Caribbean states to fall in line behind Israel and against Palestine. Israeli post-quake assistance has been offered to Haiti and other aid packages have been dangled in front of the Dominican Republic, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda in return for their votes. Sermoneta promised Antiguan Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer a wave of Israeli tourists during a meeting in the Antiguan capital.

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One country that may be ripe for a pickup by Israel for a vote that would likely have gone to Palestine is Dominica, whose Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, is a political ally of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and has joined Dominica to the Bolivarian Alliance of Our People´s of Our America (ALBA), a counter-U.S. Latin American organization co-founded by Venezuela and Cuba. However, the illness of Chavez, who is recuperating from a sudden illness in Cuba, has forced the cancellation of the July 5-6 summit of Latin American and Caribbean leaders on Venezuela's Margarita Island. It was widely anticipated that the Margarita summit would see Palestine's chief allies, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, press the uncommitted nations to support the UN General Assembly Palestine resolution and, perhaps, even recognize Palestine before the UN meeting. The postponement of the summit will give Israel, as well as the United States, which was not invited to the summit, time to lean on the uncommitted nations of the hemisphere to nix the Palestine resolution.

In the Bahamas, Israel has been using Christian Zionists to apply pressure on the government of Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham to vote no on Palestine. Bahamanian Christian Zionists and their Bahamian expatriate friends in Florida have established pro-Israeli pressure groups like the "Caribbean Allies for Israel Foundation" and "Shalom Caribbean International" and have held pro-Israeli rallies in Nassau and Freeport.

With Israel hoping to nab most of the SIDS members, Tel Aviv is bargaining that most of the NATO countries will side with Israel and deny Palestine their votes. Other nations being eyed by Israel are African nations with close ties to Israel, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, and the the expected 193'rd member of the UN, South Sudan. Other possibilities are Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Gambia, and Benin.

Israel is also hoping for no votes or abstentions from the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, and the European mini-states of Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, Luxembourg, San Marino, and Monaco. Austria, Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Ukraine, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia are also being courted. The math of the situation, in Israel's view and with the United States and Germany threatening wavering nations with a cut-off of economic aid, means that Palestine has an uphill climb to secure a two-thirds vote in the General Assembly.