Indonesian diplomat Makarim Wibisono, on record for his pro-Palestinian leanings, resigned from his position as record-keeper of the human rights situation in the PA-administered territories, claiming a lack of Israeli cooperation.
Makarim Wibisono, an Indonsian diplomat who held the position of “United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories,” resigned on Monday over what he said was lack of access to the Palestinian Authority (PA)-ruled areas. The resignation is effective March 31, 2016.
“Unfortunately, my efforts to help improve the lives of Palestinian victims of violations under the Israeli ‘occupation’ have been frustrated every step of the way,” Wibisono stated.
In June 2014, Wibisono replaced US Professor of Law Richard Falk, who was criticized by the likes of former US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice and even by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his extreme anti-Israel positions, including the absurd claim that Israel was practicing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
Wibisono, although less offensive than Falk, has also delivered biased reports on Israel. In March 2015, he delivered his report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Israel’s conduct during Operation Protective Edge, saying: “The stark disparity in casualty figures on the two sides … reflects the [skewed] balance of power and the disproportionate cost borne by Palestinian civilians, raising questions as to whether Israel adhered to the international law principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions.”
When Wibisono was refused entry back in June, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon explained: “Israel cooperates with most human rights mechanisms of the UN. Israel does not cooperate with unfair and unbalanced mandates such as the UNHRC rapporteur’s mandate, and consequently his entry to Israel is not allowed.”
As The Jerusalem Post noted at the time, Israel remains the only country for which a special investigator is permanently assigned.
An ‘Impartial and Objective Observer’?
“I took up this mandate with the understanding that Israel would grant me access, as an impartial and objective observer,” Wibosono said upon his resignation. “With no reply from Israel to my latest request, in October 2015, to have access by the end of 2015, it is with deep regret that I accept the premise upon which I took up the mandate, which is to have direct access to the victims in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, will not be fulfilled.”
The PA “cooperated fully,” he added.
Israel has a long history of friction with the UNHRC, which consistently singles out the Jewish state for condemnation. In October, for instance, the UN General Assembly elected 18 new members to the UNHRC, among them notorious violators of human rights, including Venezuela.
“We must remember this day the next time the UN condemns Israel,” said Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, upon their appointment. “When a country like Venezuela, which suppresses its own people, forbids freedom of the press and detains members of the opposition, becomes a member of the Human Rights Council, it comes as no surprise that this council condemns Israel more than any other country in the world.”