Outspoken Israel critic set to replace Falk as UN monitor

Makarim Wibisono

Pressure from Arab states has caused the UN Human Rights Council president to reject the candidacy of a vetted American academic to replace outgoing Palestinian rights monitor Richard Falk, according to diplomats cited in a report on Wednesday.

The high-level position of UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories will instead go to Indonesia’s former UN envoy, Makarim Wibisono, an outspoken critic of Israel, according to Geneva-based UN Watch.

In a series of letters to UNHRC president Remigiusz Henczel, the Arab League reportedly objected to Georgetown Law lecturer Christina Cerna’s candidacy because she did not have a prior record of statements on Palestinian issues. Cerna received a unanimous recommendation from UNHRC’s five-member vetting committee.

Wibisono, on the other hand, has a long history of one-sided remarks regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…