The head of a Lebanon-based United Nations agency that promotes development in Arab countries resigned Friday, after the body she led was ordered by the UN secretary-general to remove from its website a controversial report that charged Israel has established an "apartheid regime" guilty of "racial domination" over the Palestinians.
Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian who served as executive secretary of the Beirut-based Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), announced her resignation at a hastily arranged press conference in the Lebanese capital...
"We expected of course that Israel and its allies would put huge pressure on the secretary general of the UN so that he would disavow the report, and that they would ask him to withdraw it," Khalaf, who had also served as an under-secretary-general to Guterres, added...
Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon welcomed the developments, saying Guterres's move was "an important step in stopping discrimination against Israel."
In a statement, Danon said "Anti-Israel activists do not belong in the UN. It is time to put an end to practice in which UN officials use their position to advance their anti-Israel agenda."
He added that "Over the years Khalaf has worked to harm Israel and advocate for the BDS movement. Her removal from the UN is long overdue."
US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley, who had demanded the report's withdrawal Wednesday, said in a statement: "When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the US, 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."
Danon said of the report on Wednesday that the "attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie."