Senior U.N. Official Quits After 'Apartheid' Israel Report Pulled
Fri Mar 17, 2017 | 8:51pm EDT’
A senior U.N. official resigned on Friday over the withdrawal of a report accusing Israel of imposing an “apartheid regime” on Palestinians, saying “powerful member states” pressured the world body and its chief with “vicious attacks and threats.”
United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary for the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Rima Khalaf, announced her resignation at a news conference in Beirut after U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked for the report to be taken off the ESCWA website.
“I do not find it surprising that such member states, who now have governments with little regard for international norms and values of human rights, will resort to intimidation when they find it hard to defend their unlawful policies and practices,” Khalaf, of Jordan, wrote to Guterres.
“It is only normal for criminals to pressure and attack those who advocate the cause of their victims,” Khalaf wrote in the resignation letter, seen by Reuters, adding that she stands by the ESCWA report.
UN Report On Israeli ‘Apartheid’ Sets Off Diplomatic Fireworks
(CNN)Memo to critics of Israel inside the UN system: Prepare to pay a price.
The sizeable impact of President Donald Trump’s new administration on the UN reverberated again Friday when an undersecretary-general resigned after a UN agency report said Israel was using apartheid-style practices on Palestinians.
The US under Trump has made it quite clear it will defend Israel perhaps more than all other countries at the UN. So when what might have been an obscure report by a small UN group, among thousands printed through the UN, accused the Israeli regime of being “designed” for the core purpose of apartheid, diplomatic fireworks erupted.
New UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres already has a tough road ahead because the United States, the UN’s biggest financial contributor, wants to dramatically slash funding to the global organization and humanitarian programs. Guterres acted relatively quickly to distance the UN from the report — which was compiled by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia at the request of 18 Arab countries.
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