Canada’s federal court on Monday formally prohibited Canadian importers from registering wine produced in Judea and Samaria as “Made in Israel,” claiming the statement was not true.
Israel’s Kan public broadcasting network diplomatic affairs journalist Amichai Stein reported the Canadian court ruled that labels on wines saying they are “products of Israel” are “false, misleading and deceptive.”
#BREAKING: Canada's Court rules that Israeli wines produced in West Bank settlements can no longer be labelled as "Made in Israel" saying its "false, misleading and deceptive" pic.twitter.com/9SB1He6GIk
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) July 29, 2019
The court was also unwilling to determine exactly how “Settlement Wine,” as it was referred to, should be labeled. “That is a matter for the CFIA,” (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) the court said, and referred the case back to the CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) for “redetermination.”
The continuation of this article below is by Ariel Ben Solomon and Jackson Richman (JNS)
Canadian Jewish and pro-Israel groups immediately responded to the decision.
“The Canadian Jewish community is very disappointed in today’s ruling. Claiming West Bank wines can’t be labeled ‘Made in Israel’ effectively endorses the anti-Semitic BDS campaign,” said Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center president and CEO Avi Benlolo.
Shimon Koffler Fogel, president and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said, “Following a preliminary review of the court’s ruling, CIJA believes there are substantive errors in the judgment. Current labeling practices are fully consistent with the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, as well as Canadian and international law. This is why we are urging the Government of Canada to appeal this misguided ruling.”
“The ruling is wrong as a matter of international law and hopefully the Canadian government will challenge it. The Canadian free trade agreement clearly makes products from Judea and Samaria part of Israeli customs territory,” Eugene Kontorovich, director of international law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, told JNS. “And Canada labels wines from occupied Nagorno-Karabakh ‘made in Armenia’ – so this looks like another special rule for just the Jewish State.”
“The sole basis of the ruling was that made in Israel labelling confuses consumers,” he added. “But the court sided absolutely no evidence that any substantial number of consumers who might care one way or another about a product’s origin in Judea & Samaria are unaware of that fact.”
“In our view, it is reasonable and not at all misleading to label wines produced by Israeli citizens in Israeli-controlled territory as ‘Products of Israel,’ ” B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn told JNS, adding that his organization “will be asking the Attorney General to appeal this decision since we cannot do so as interveners.”
“The court’s decision does not give any instruction as to how these wines should be labeled, and B’nai Brith will be making submissions to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in that regard,” he continued. “The decision explicitly did not find that there is anything illegal about Israeli settlements east of the Green Line or wines produced there, despite the applicant attempting to argue this point. B’nai Brith intervened in the case to argue that there is nothing illegal about these Israeli communities in the Jewish homeland, so we see that part of the decision as a silver lining.”