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VICTORY! Canada REVERSES Israeli WINE BAN

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Photo: Drinking a stunning Israeli wine in Jerusalem during Purim.

Earlier this week, I reported on a Nazi Germany-inspired economic boycott of certain Jewish goods in Canada. These Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) initiatives call for an economic boycott of the tiny Jewish state. They mirror the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in the lead-up to the Holocaust. Preceding Kristallnacht, the Nazis held several days calling for Germans to boycott Jewish-owned businesses. This was the direct antecedent to the BDS movement. This is no different.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency banned wines produced in Judea and Samaria and other Israeli areas, saying they should not be labelled as products of Israel.

Freedom-loving people were outraged. You were heard. After a backlash from the Israeli government and Jewish groups, the agency said a junior employee “made a mistake.”

Mazel tov! Shooketh.

And if I might add, on a more personal note, Israel wines are exquisite — delectable, delicious, and delightful. Their grapes struggle so — which always makes for a finer wine.

CFIA backtracks on wine from West Bank label issue

Canadian Food Inspection Agency backtracks after saying wine from the West Bank isn’t from Israel
After a backlash from the Israeli government and Jewish groups, the agency said a junior employee ‘made a mistake’

By Marie- Danielle Smith, National Post, July 14, 2017 (thanks to Mendl):

Young employee at agency ‘made a mistake’

After a backlash from the Israeli government and Jewish groups, the agency said a junior employee ‘made a mistake’

A bottle of Viognier wine at Ortal winery on September 3 2013 in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has ruled — and may be about to reverse — the wine is among those that can’t be labelled as of Israeli origin. Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

OTTAWA — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is backtracking after a decision that wines produced in the West Bank and other occupied areas should not be labelled as products of Israel.

The CFIA acknowledged its mistake after the Israeli government said in a statement to the National Post Thursday it opposed Canada’s “politicization” of a labelling issue.

“We did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA),” the statement reads. “These wines adhere to the Agreement and therefore we can confirm that the products in question can be sold as currently labelled.”

According to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), the CFIA had notified wine-sellers last week it is unacceptable to declare Israel as the country of origin for wine products that aren’t produced within Israel’s formal borders.

Israeli officials in Canada appeared unhappy. “Israel supports free trade and objects to its politicization. We are currently in touch with the Canadian authorities and are discussing this matter,” said Itay Tavor, the head of public diplomacy at Israel’s embassy in Ottawa.

But a Canadian government official said Thursday they were told a younger employee at the agency “made a mistake.”

A man shows a bottle of his wine that’s sold mainly for export, at the Shilo winery in the Jewish settlement of Shilo in the West Bank. MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images

That’s what a “high-ranking official” told Jewish organization B’nai Brith Canada, as that group’s spokesman Marty York put it. York said a “low-level person” at the CFIA had made a decision without seeking authority from the federal government. “We understand that this is going to be rescinded shortly and we also expect that this person who made this decision will be disciplined,” he said.

Michael Mostyn, president of the organization, told the National Post the CFIA decision went against existing Canadian policy. “There’s many areas in dispute in the world and many areas in dispute in the world produce liquor products and wines. And nobody would like to see discrimination against Israel in a way that other regions in a similar position are treated differently. That would be the case if there’s no reversal of this particular decision,” he said.

He added the Jewish community across Canada has been “very upset” about the issue. “B’nai Brith and I’m sure many other Jewish groups have been receiving many complaints. … They feel that it’s very discriminatory against Israeli products.”

New rules had prompted a letter from LCBO to “all sacramental wine vendors” telling them to stop importing and selling wine with labels running afoul of the CFIA decision.

A letter to “all sacramental wine vendors” dated July 11 says the LCBO was notified of the decision, affecting products from two wineries, Psagot and Shiloh, on July 6. The letter states products are made from grapes “grown, fermented, processed, blended and finished in the West Bank occupied territory.”It goes on to note Canada does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the West Bank and other territories occupied in 1967 — including the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip — and that any wine products from these regions labelled as products of Israel “would not be acceptable and would be considered misleading.”

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