Canada appeals court ruling that West Bank wine ‘not made in Israel’

Canada’s B’nai Brith, which is a party to the case, had argued that there was nothing misleading about labeling wine produced by Israelis in territory controlled by Israel, as a product of Israel.

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September 9, 2019 00:33
1 minute read.
A GLASS of wine is poured during a Jewish wedding ceremony.

A GLASS of wine is poured during a Jewish wedding ceremony. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

David Lametti, Canada’s attorney-general, has taken a stand in favor of labeling West Bank wines “Products of Israel,” and is appealing a ruling by the country’s federal court banning such labeling.

In its July ruling, the court stated that labeling wines produced in West Bank settlements as “products of Israel” was misleading because there was broad agreement that the territory was not part of sovereign Israel.

Canada’s B’nai Brith, which is a party to the case, had argued that there was nothing misleading about labeling as a product of Israel wine that was produced by Israelis in territory controlled by Israel.

Lametti in his appeal said he believed that “the judge erred in law by ruling that the standard of review that applies to this matter is reasonableness, but failing to apply that standard to [Canada’s Complaints and Appeals Office’s (CAO)] decision that wines be sold as labeled.”

In addition, he added: “The judge erred in law by finding that the CAO had a duty to consider freedom of expression under s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Alternatively, the judge erred in fact and law by finding that the CAO did not consider the relevant Charter values and weigh them against the statutory and regulatory objectives now.”

Canada’s Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel welcomed Lametti’s decision to appeal.

“Considering the substantive errors in the earlier judgment and the importance of the outcome of this case, CIJA will be seeking intervenor status in the appeal,” Fogel said. “It is our expectation that the Federal Court of Appeal will overturn the lower court’s decision. Our position is that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency came to a reasonable decision in accepting the label ‘Product of Israel’ for wines produced in all the geographical area comprised in the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.”


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