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-- WITH PHOTO -- TO FOREIGN, NATIONAL, AND RELIGION EDITORS:
AJC Urges Removal of UN Under-Secretary General Rima Khalaf
NEW YORK, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC called on UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to remove Rima Khalaf from her position
as UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the UN
Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
"Under-Secretary General Khalaf's profound and all-too-obvious animus
against one UN member state, Israel, has betrayed her fundamental
responsibility as a UN official," said AJC Executive Director David
An ESCWA report, "Arab Integration: A 21st Century Development
Imperative," released in February, is full of invectives against
Israel. Ostensibly a study of economic development challenges and
prospects in the Arab world, the report accuses Israel of a "flagrant
breach of all international conventions and resolutions," and of
supporting "discord aimed at establishing sectarian Arab mini-States."
Khalaf highlighted the accusations against Israel when she released
the report. "Israel's adamancy that it is a Jewish State...violates
the rights of both the Muslim and Christian indigenous populations and
revives the concept of a state ethnic and religious purity, which
cause egregious human suffering during the twentieth century," Khalaf
"It's painfully ironic, isn't it, that Khalaf has no problem with Arab
states that self-define as both Arab and Muslim, but has a big problem
when it comes to the notion of Israel as a Jewish state," Harris
observed. "And yet, it was the UN itself that first laudably
recommended the creation of a Jewish state -- the General Assembly's
words, not ours -- in 1947."
In a letter to Secretary General Ban this week, Israel formally
requested Khalaf's suspension as the head of ESCWA.
"It is unacceptable that inflammatory anti-Israel messages continue to
be produced under the banner of the United Nations and using UN
resources," wrote Ambassador Ron Prosor, Israel's Permanent
Representative to the UN. "By demonizing Israel, Ms. Khalaf is
advancing a personal agenda rather than furthering the cause of peace
or advancing regional Arab development."
Prosor added that the accusations against Israel in the ESCWA report
and expressed by Khalaf "represent the epitome of modern day
anti-Semitism and cannot be condoned under any circumstances."
"We could not agree more with the conclusions reached by Ambassador
Prosor," Harris noted.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee
/CONTACT: Kenneth Bandler, AJC Director of Media Relations, 212.891.6771, email@example.com
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/Web Site: http://www.ajc.org
CO: American Jewish Committee; AJC
ST: New York Israel
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