U.N. Accused of Doctoring Video to Erase Leading Pro-Israel Speaker’s Credentials

Speaker gave scathing speech on anti-Semitism, anti-Israel hatred at event at U.N.

The United Nations stands in midtown Manhattan
United Nations / Getty Images

The United Nations is facing accusations it doctored an official video to remove all mention of a leading pro-Israel speaker's credentials ahead of a scathing speech accusing the international organization of promoting anti-Semitism and hatred against Israel, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

Professor Anne Bayefsky, the director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and president of Human Rights Voices, was recently invited by the Israeli government to speak at an event at the U.N. on anti-Semitism and the harmful impact of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, a global campaign to economically isolate the Jewish state that has widely been discredited as anti-Semitic in nature. Bayefsky specifically addressed anti-Semitism at the U.N. itself.

In an official video of the May 30 event posted on the U.N.'s website, Bayefsky's identity, credentials, and longstanding status as a leading expert on anti-Semitism were initially erased, leaving a confusing gap that she claims diminished the speech's impact.

Bayefsky, a vocal critic of the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias, alleged in a subsequent video highlighting the U.N.'s deletion that the international body was engaged in an attempt to revise history and weaken a speech that called out in stark terms the entire U.N. for its promotion of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic policies.

U.N. officials who spoke to the Free Beacon admitted the original video deleted all mention of Bayefsky's credentials, but explained this was due to a technical issue that was rectified soon after the Free Beacon began its initial inquiries in the matter.

"This meeting is now available on UN Web TV website in its entirety," a U.N. official said. "Please note that as a matter of policy we don't edit out any portion of recorded videos of meetings."

The particular video in question—part of "Evolving Hatred—Antisemitism and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions," an event organized by Israel's permanent mission to the U.N.—experienced technical glitches during its recording in the U.N.'s video system, the official explained.

"We managed to fix that technical problem on Friday night," the official said, explaining the initial delay in posting video of the event. "On Monday morning, my colleagues published the video on UN Web TV website."

After the initial posting, the Israeli Mission notified the U.N. that "about two minutes of the recorded video was missing," the portion featuring Bayefsky's introduction and explanation of her credentials.

The video was fixed and posted in full to the U.N.'s site late Tuesday, hours after the Free Beacon inquired into the matter.

The missing portion has now been reinserted into the video.

It now includes the full introduction of Bayefsky: "I would now like to welcome Ms. Anne Bayefsky, a champion for human rights and for the State of Israel.  Ms. Bayefsky is the director of the Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust at Touro College and she is the president of the organization Human Rights Voices. She is a scholar and an expert in international human rights law, equality rights, and constitutional human rights law. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Anne Bayefsky."

Bayefsky told the Free Beacon that the U.N. has engaged in "historical revisionism" in the past, but that she had not anticipated the original video being edited in such a fashion.

"The U.N. has long specialized in historical revisionism, but changing history within a week is a new twist," she said. "Of course they're afraid of the facts on U.N.-driven anti-Semitism. But the solution isn't editorial creativity."