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Ban rejects Israeli complaints, fully supports ESCWA chief's work - spokesman

NEW YORK, April 16 (KUNA) -- Rejecting Israeli criticism of Jordanian Rima Khalaf, Head of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), a UN official on Tuesday said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has "full confidence" in her and in her work.
"The Secretary General has full confidence in her and her ability to do her work," UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told the daily press briefing.
Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor demanded in a letter to Ban Khalaf's suspension from ESCWA, following her recent public statements and the release of a UN official report which "promotes anti-Israel incitement and anti-Semitism." The 200-page ESCWA report, Prosor claimed, "systematically mentions Israel in almost every chapter, blames it for the failings of the Arab world in all spheres of life, and claims that Israel is the main cause for the divisions among Arab states." Prosor also said the report draws an implicit comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany, arguing that "Israel propagates the concept of the religious or ethnic purity of states, a concept that inflicted on humanity the worst crimes of the last century.
"These accusations represent the epitome of modern day anti-Semitism and cannot be condoned under any circumstances. Ms. Khalaf may have a Ph.D. in Systems Science, but she deserves a Ph.D. in science fiction for her 200-page report filled with conspiracy theories," Prosor said in his letter.
He added "it is unacceptable that inflammatory anti-Israel messages continue to be produced under the banner of the United Nations and using UN resources. By demonizing Israel, Ms. Khalaf is advancing a personal agenda rather than furthering the cause of peace or advancing regional Arab development. Senior UN officials should lead by example and demonstrate tolerance rather than prejudice". (end) sj.hb