U.N. Censors Israeli-Made Wine During Holocaust Event

'The incident reveals the duplicity of U.N. Holocaust events'

The United Nations stands in midtown Manhattan
United Nations / Getty Images
February 1, 2019

The United Nations is again facing accusations of anti-Israel bias for erasing from display the location of an Israeli-made bottle of wine during a recent Holocaust remembrance event, according to pictures provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

During a U.N. Holocaust memorial event sponsored by Austria and Norway earlier this week, an Israeli-made wine was served. However, "Golan Heights Winery," where the wine was produced, appears to have been blacked out on the label so it can no longer be viewed, according to pictures.

The apparent whitewashing of the wine’s origins was first caught by Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and president of Human Rights Voices, whose members attended the event and posted photos on Twitter.

Bayefsky, who has long tracked and called out anti-Israel bias at the U.N., said the blacking out of the wine's label represents another instance of U.N.-driven discrimination against the Jewish state—especially hypocritical on UN Holocaust Remembrance Day.

"The incident reveals the duplicity of U.N. Holocaust events that use and abuse the memory of Jewish dead decades ago to erase the reality of Jews under attack today," Bayefsky said. "And to erase the truth that—thanks to Israel—Jewish children are saved by a Golan that is used for creativity, commerce and beauty, instead of deadly modern anti-Semitism."

The Austrian Mission to the U.N., in an official statement, told the Free Beacon, "This was a well-received event. Blotting out the geographical denomination was a clear mistake by an individual member of the mission for which we apologize."

The Norwegian Permanent Mission to the U.N. and the Holocaust and U.N. Outreach Programme did not respond to requests for comment.

The Golan Heights remains contested territory and has been used as a launching pad for attacks on Israel by militant forces. The U.N. does not recognize Israeli ownership of the land.

"In 2005, the U.N. General Assembly created a day to remember the Holocaust on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp," Bayefsky said. "It did so as a consolation prize for the failure by the General Assembly in the preceding years to adopt a proposed resolution dedicated to combating anti-Semitism."

"Despite the fact," she explained, "that the U.N. was erected on the ashes of the Jewish people, and despite tens of thousands of U.N. resolutions on umpteen human rights subjects over the years, the General Assembly has still never adopted a resolution specifically devoted to anti-Semitism. On the contrary, disseminating anti-Semitism is a U.N. calling card."

The Holocaust event in question was meant to commemorate Ruth Maier, a Jewish child who perished in the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

"As part of the 2019 U.N. commemoration, the U.N. Missions of Austria and Norway—the two countries responsible for the persecution and murder of Jewish child Ruth Maier in the Auschwitz concentration camp—sponsored an exhibition telling her story," Bayefsky recalled. "Wine was served at the exhibit opening. The wine was produced by the award-winning 'Golan Heights Winery,' founded in 1983. But in the minds of U.N. staff, or the U.N. missions of Austria and Norway—countries that routinely vote in favor of a panoply of anti-Israel U.N. resolutions—the identity of the wine was deemed offensive and the words 'Golan Heights Winery' were specifically blacked out with a marker on each bottle."

"The Golan Heights is a plateau that was used by Syria to kill the Jews living in the area below, and to attempt to annihilate Israel altogether, until Israel took control of it in self-defense during the 1967 war," she noted. "More recently, Syrians have fled from the brutality of their own government to the Golan for treatment by Israeli doctors."