A UN official who resigned after she refused to retract an anti-Israel report is being lauded by Arabs.
Rima Khalaf, former executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), is being lauded as a hero in the Arab world after she resigned her position following UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for a retraction of the anti-Israel report her agency published.
The report titled, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid: Palestine and the Israeli Occupation,” accuses Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime.”
Khalaf announced her resignation saying she was pressured to withdraw the report by Guterres.
“It was expected, naturally, that Israel and its allies would exercise immense pressure on the UN secretary-general to distance himself from the report and to ask for it to be withdrawn,” she said at a press conference in Lebanon.
When Guterres instructed her on Thursday morning to withdraw the report, “I asked him to review his position but he insisted on it,” Khalaf said. “Based on that, I submitted to him my resignation from the United Nations.”
Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror organization, said that Khalaf’s resignation proves his accusation that the UN is, “under the control of the US, [and] therefore it is too weak to defend our rights, and this is why we can never rely on its decisions to restore our occupied lands [i.e. Israel].”
“Second, the stance of this Arab lady who sacrificed her position and job, and will have to bear the consequences of her decision in the future is worth offering my gratitude, and the gratitude of the resistance fighters and all the honorable people the world,” he added.
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi condemned the UN’s decision to remove the report. “Instead of succumbing to political blackmail or allowing itself to be censured or intimidated by external parties, the UN should condemn the acts described in the report and hold Israel responsible,” she said in a written statement published Saturday.
Ashrawi called on Guterres, “to do what is right, reinstate the ESCWA report and undertake serious and concrete measures to hold Israel accountable for its persistent violations of international law and human rights.”
‘Far-Reaching Negative Consequences’
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki reacted to Khalaf’s resignation with “deep regret” and expressed his “unequivocal objection” to the report’s withdrawal, which he described as an “objective analysis of the facts on the ground, arriving at an accurate conclusion based on the legal definition of the crime of apartheid.”
“Palestine considers the withdrawal to be counterproductive and ill-advised,” Al-Maliki said. “This has far-reaching negative consequences for the international system as we know it.”
However, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley welcomed the UN’s opposition to the report.
“When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the UN, it is appropriate that the person resign. UN agencies must do a better job of eliminating false and biased work, and I applaud the secretary-general’s decision to distance his good office from it,” Haley stated after Khalaf stepped down.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News