The Jeriusalem Post reported on Monday about the resignation of the UN special rapporteur for Palestinian rights, Makarim Wibisono, who cited Israel’s refusal to grant him a visa to travel to the West Bank as his reason for leaving the post.
“I took up this mandate with the understanding that Israel would grant me access as an impartial and objective observer,” he said.
The Jerusalem Post notes, “Israel is the only country for which the UNHRC has assigned a permanent special investigator.“
Spokesperson John Kirby was asked at the January 4th State Department briefing about the resignation. He stated, “We hope that the new Human Rights Council president will be able to appoint someone who can take a fair and balanced approach to this issue to fill out the remainder of Wibisono’s term.”
A journalist questioned Mr. Kirby as to whether he agrees with the Israeli postion that “the entire special rapporteur’s job is biased against them.”
He responded, “We remain strongly opposed to this one-sided mandate which falls under the Human Rights Council agenda item 7, the only agenda item dedicated to one country – Israel. We not only oppose this one-sided mandate, but also all HRC action taken under this item.”
A journalist pointed out to him, “But you just said that you hope that his successor will have a more fair and balanced approach. So you do support that position.”
He replied, ‘”We’re opposed to the mandate itself, to the function itself. But we have every expectation the UN’s going to replace him, and so we want to say now at the very outset that if they’re going to do that – which we have every expectation they will – that they do it with somebody who can do it in the most fair and balanced way possible."
One is left to ascertain how a position which is fundamentally biased can be filled by an individual who will be fair and balanced.
Mr. Kirby was also asked about the installation of cameras at “the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif that were agreed to between King Abdullah and Prime Minister Netanyahu.” When Mr. Kirby stated that Secretary Kerry would like to see it done, a suggestion was presented, “Maybe he should go himself with some cameras and string –“
At that point Mr. Kirby ended the briefing, “I got to go. Thank you very much.”
Speaking of the State Department, MEMRI has translated a video made by "Lina Allan, a Palestinian-Jordanian activist who lives in Michigan" who, wccroding to MEMRI, represented the State Department’s U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) in the Jameed Festival in Jordan, according to an interview she gave to the Jordanian Roya TV.”