UN hires another Israel-basher to replace hate-blogger Richard Falk

By Anne Bayefsky, May 16, 2014
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Winisono (right) will take over from Falk as the UN’s new ‘Israel expert’ (Photos: Reuters)

Winisono (right) will take over from Falk as the UN’s new ‘Israel expert’ (Photos: Reuters)

ANALYSIS

For over a month, the UN’s top human rights body has been struggling with a major dilemma. How much prior Israel-bashing experience is necessary to be appointed UN “independent expert” on Israel?

On Wednesday we found out. Indonesian Makarim Wibisono has just the right mix of confirmed anti-Israel bias and diplomatic cover to replace outgoing UN “expert” Richard Falk.

Falk posted an antisemitic cartoon on his blog. He was a 9/11 conspiracy theorist and Boston Marathon bomb apologist. But at the UN, a six-year time limit forced his retirement — not a matter of principle.

Former Indonesian UN ambassador Wibisono is from a country that does not recognise Israel’s right to exist. He served as the president of the UN Human Rights Commission in its last year of operation in 2005 — a body that even UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said “cast a shadow on the reputation of the UN system as a whole”.

In a 2006 statement to the new Human Rights Council, Wibisono described Israel as showing “ruthless contempt for the lives of the innocent”, and perpetrating “callous attacks against terrorised and defenseless civilians”.

A biography claims that until January 2014 he was “active in the private sector as an adviser to the Third World Network”. That NGO spews out anti-Israel vitriol — such as accusing Israel of “bestiality” and “barbarity”, saying that Aipac pays “cash and other perks” for “towing the Zionist line”, and arguing that the US “[holds] back the sun to enable Israel…to finish the job” against its Arab victims.

And there’s more. Falk lives to see another day. His wife and close professional “collaborator” — to use his word — Hilal Elver will become UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

Elver can be counted upon to spend her time Israel-bashing from her new UN perch. Elver’s writing echoes that of Falk, including references to the “Jewish lobby” and admiration for 9/11 conspiracy fans.

These UN jobs matter. Although they do not carry a salary, they do provide expenses, travel, status and, most important, an instant global platform as the world’s leading “expert” on the human rights subject at hand.

That is why Arab and Islamic states fight so hard to ensure anti-Israel discrimination is embedded into the system. An allegedly independent guru on human rights is a potent weapon in a systematic campaign to use politics to destroy the Jewish state.

The sordid background to the appointment of Wibisono indicates how much better America’s enemies play the UN game than the State Department.

In the case of the Israel rapporteur position, there were ten candidates. A consultative committee of five states, geographically representative, produced a short-list and ranked Christina Cerna first. She was an international human rights lawyer with no known political views on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Arab and Islamic groups of states formally objected to Cerna on the grounds that she did not have the “relevant experience”.

The Arab group then put forward Christine Chinkin as the candidate “with the relevant experience”. Chinkin’s “relevant” expertise included her prior membership on the UN Goldstone committee, which declared that Israel deliberately intended to murder Palestinian civilians rather than act in self-defence against eight years of Hamas rocket attacks.

The selection of Wibisono is to be confirmed by the Council on Thursday.

In fact, no UN rapporteur on Israel could be independent. The 1993 UN job description says the mandate holder must investigate only Israel’s human rights violations. Investigating Palestinians is off-limits. The next “independent”, “unbiased” UN human rights report on Israel, coming up.

Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. This article originally appeared on FOX News

Last updated: 9:45am, May 16 2014