UN Under-Secretary General Rima Khalaf: “Israel is a racist state that has established an apartheid system”

A report commissioned by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia accuses Israel of racial segregation against Palestinians, compares Israel to the South African apartheid regime. Israel’s ambassador to the U.N.: “The attempts to discredit the only democracy in the Middle East are shameful and bizarre.”
UN forum on Israel Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

A U.N. agency published a report today (Wednesday) accusing Israel of inflicting an “apartheid regime” based on racial discrimination against the Palestinian people. This is the first time that an agency representing the U.N. has come forth with such harsh accusations against Israel.

The report was commissioned by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), one of six UN organizations dealing with economics and society. The council is comprised of eighteen Arab countries from Western Asia and its headquarters are located in Beirut.

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The head of the agency, ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, who also serves as U.N. Under-Secretary General, said that the report "clearly and frankly concludes that Israel is a racist state that has established an apartheid system.” She went on to explain that the report’s conclusions were based on “scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence” but added that “only a ruling by an international tribunal in that sense would make such an assessment truly authoritative.”

Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon called for the Secretary General of the U.N to renounce the report. “The attempts to discredit the only democracy in the Middle East are shameful and bizarre,” Danon said. “It is not surprising that the committee that chose for its leader someone who calls for the boycott of Israel and who compares Israel to the most horrific regimes in mankind’s history would publish a report such as this one.”



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