The sale of wines from the West Bank in Canada is being challenged in Federal Court.
The matter goes back to July, when, based on a complaint from David Kattenburg, a university instructor in Winnipeg, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) sent a letter to vendors asking them to discontinue sales of wine from the Psagot and Shiloh wineries.
The LCBO claimed the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) had determined that labeling the wines as a “Product of Israel” was unacceptable, because they were made in the West Bank, which Canada considers to be occupied territory and not part of Israel.
Following an outcry from Jewish organizations, the CFIA reversed the directive just two days later, saying that it contravened the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.
Kattenburg appealed the CFIA’s reversal. But in September, the agency said that it stood by its decision to allow wines from Jewish settlements to be sold in Canada.
Last month, Kattenberg applied to the Federal Court for a judicial review, alleging that the wines are “fraudulently” labelled and violate several laws.
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) said it is confident that the Federal Court will dismiss the application.
Avi Benlolo, president and CEO of FSWC, said the case is “one more attempt to promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, which has been recognized by provincial and federal governments as anti-Semitic.”