AJC Urges Removal of UN Under-Secretary General Rima Khalaf



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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

Harris.

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

declared.

"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.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100816/AJCLOGO

SOURCE American Jewish Committee

-0- 04/16/2014

/CONTACT: Kenneth Bandler, AJC Director of Media Relations, 212.891.6771, bandlerk@ajc.org

/Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100816/AJCLOGO

PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

/Web Site: http://www.ajc.org

CO: American Jewish Committee; AJC

ST: New York Israel

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