Kosher wine made in an Israeli community in Samaria, served at Kamala Harris’ Passover Seder, riles anti-Israel advocates.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
An inauspicious bottle of wine at a Passover Seder hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Jewish attorney Douglas Emhoff, drew attention from anti-Israel advocates and international journalists.
The reason? It came from Psagot Winery, which is located in a Jewish community in the region of Judea and Samaria, near Ramallah, where a visit by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had sparked controversy.
Pompeo was the first senior U.S. diplomat to visit an Israeli settlement in an official capacity, a move which generated backlash from local Palestinians, left-leaning critics of Israel and BDS supporters. In an act of gratitude for his visit, Psagot named a wine after him.
Israeli journalist Yuna Leibzon of Channel 12 News was the first major media figure to note the Psagot-branded wine in a picture of the Seder table posted by Harris’ official Twitter account.
Others quickly followed suit, reposting her tweet and its zoomed-in focus on the bottle.
One person who took notice was Michael Bueckert, vice president of NGO Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.
While the organization purports to serve as a watchdog group protecting human rights in the region, its website exclusively focuses on alleged Israeli wrongdoing and pressuring the Canadian government to cut diplomatic and economic ties with the Jewish State.
In 2017, Psagot wines were banned by a Canadian government agency from being labeled as “made in Israel.”
“Huge yikes: Kamala Harris @VP served wine from Psagot at her Passover Seder. It is produced in an illegal Israeli settlement which is colonizing the occupied West Bank,” Bueckert wrote.
“This demonstrates serious contempt for Palestinians and int’l law.”
Huge yikes: Kamala Harris @VP served wine from Psagot at her Passover Seder. It is produced in an illegal Israeli settlement which is colonizing the occupied West Bank. This demonstrates serious contempt for Palestinians and int’l law. https://t.co/UvUMG7bEeI
— Michael Bueckert (@mbueckert) April 16, 2022
Herbie Ziskend, Harris’ senior advisor for communications, replied to a tweet from an Axios journalist noting that the wine originated in Samaria by stating that there was no political statement associated with the choice.
“The wine served at the Seder was in no way intended to be an expression of policy,” he wrote.
But Zisekend’s attempt at clarification only appeared to throw fuel on the fire.
“The wine is full fascist. Because apartheid. And home demolitions. And illegal settlements. And collective punishment. And children in military detention without charge. And state-sanctioned violence. Follow along,” wrote one user in a reply to his tweet.
“Yes, every single (((Israeli))) is an evil fascist, even when they’re private citizens, not in the government, minding their own business,” another user replied sarcastically. “Even their wine is ‘full fascist.'”
“Can’t wait to hear about how you judge all Palestinians by Hamas and the PLO.”
A third user simply replied to Zisekend’s tweet with an emoji of a clown.