UN diplomat quits after pressure over Israel 'apartheid' report

UN diplomat quits after pressure over Israel 'apartheid' report
© Getty Images

A United Nations diplomat stepped down Friday after refusing to withdraw a report accusing Israel of practicing apartheid against Palestinians, reported.

Jordanian diplomat Rima Khalaf, who headed the U.N.'s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, said U.N. Secretary General António Guterres urged her to retract her commission's report after it sparked outrage in Israel and the U.S., according to The New York Times.

Khalaf stood by the report despite the pressure.

ADVERTISEMENT
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley applauded Khalaf's resignation, calling her commission's report "false and defamatory." She also lauded Guterres for standing against the report and calling for its withdrawal.

“When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the U.N., it is appropriate that the person resign,” Haley said.

The report was authored by a commission made up of 18 Arab U.N. member states, including former U.N. human rights investigator Richard Falk, who has been accused of anti-Semitism and conspiracy theorizing.

Apartheid refers to the now-abolished South African policy of racial segregation and oppression.