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Canadian court rules West Bank wines can’t be labeled ‘Made in Israel’

In a dramatic ruling, sure to anger Jerusalem, Canada’s Federal Court rules that Israeli wines produced in West Bank settlements can no longer be labeled “Made in Israel.”

Responding to a law suit by Dr. David Kattenburg, a Jewish Canadian critical of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, the presiding judge ruled that allowing settlement wines “to be labeled as ‘Products of Israel’ … does not fall within the range of possible, acceptable outcomes which are defensible in respect of the facts and law. It is, rather, unreasonable.”

The presiding judge, Anne L. Mactavish, says she does not want to determine how exactly settlements wines should be labeled, saying this is a matter for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to decide.

In the ruling, the court decides that the agency’s previous decision to allow settlement wines to be labeled as Israeli products was mistaken, as Canada does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty outside the pre-1967 lines. Hence, the labels currently in use are “false, misleading and deceptive.”

— Raphael Ahren

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