Are Wines Made in Jewish Settlements “Products of Israel?”

Canada’s Federal Court has ruled that it is “false, misleading and deceptive” to label wines made in Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria as a “Product of Israel.”

By David Lazarus |
Palestinians and Jewish settlers harvest grapes together at a vineyard in the West Bank settlement bloc of gush Etzion. Photo: Gershon Elinson/FLASH90

Astonishingly, the case to remove “Israel” from products produced in the Jewish communities was brought before the court by David Kattenburg, the child of Holocaust survivors. Kattenburg has been a vocal activist for the rights of Palestinians to return to their “occupied lands” in all of Israel and believes that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. In his recent Facebook post, Kattenburg reveals his disgruntled revulsion of Israel calling Gaza the “largest concentration camp in the world, managed by one of the world’s most vicious human rights abusers, the State of Israel.” It is shocking to this author how the Jewish son of Holocaust survivors could be so callous and cynical of Jewish state and its crucial role in the survival of the Jewish people.

But Kattenburg is not finished. He even goes on to justify Palestinian terrorists and calls Israel a terrorist state saying that Palestinians have “EVERY right to resist Israeli oppression, brutality and state terrorism, any way they can.” Your guess is as good as mine as to how Kattenburg could have come up with this twisted view of reality.

Why someone like Kattenburg should be so troubled about labels on wines made in Jewish settlements that he needs to make a federal case over it in a Canadian court is beyond me. According to the court ruling, Kattenburg argued that putting “Israel” on the wines “facilitates Israel’s de facto annexation of large portions of the West Bank.” How a simple label on a bottle of wine could “facilitate” Israel’s recapturing of her native homelands sounds more like a pipedream in a bottle than reality. The truth is that Kettenburg comfortably overlooks that fact that these Israeli wine-producers provide profitable jobs for many Palestinians living in the region which enriches the people and resources of a land that was left barren for thousands of years.

But Judge Anne Mactavish had already made up her mind about Israel’s territorial rights before even hearing the case as her statements reveal. “There is no dispute that the settlements in which the wines are produced are not part of the territory of the State of Israel,” she said in the finding for Kattenburg. The judge went on to admit that her ruling was a political maneuver intended to punish Israel and not a fair review of the facts of the case. “Individuals opposed to the creation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank need accurate information as to the origins of a product to be able to express their opposition. Incorrectly identifying the wines as ‘Products of Israel’ inhibits the ability of consumers to express their political views through their purchasing choices and limits their freedom of expression,” she said in a statement in support of more protests against Jewish Israeli products.

Let’s wait to see if Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gets involved and stands by the commitment he declared at Israel’s 70th Independence Day celebrations. “In 1948, Canada was one of the first countries to formally recognize Israel. Canada is proud to stand with Israel. We will continue to oppose efforts to isolate Israel internationally, and work to expand the trade and security relationship between our two countries,” he said.


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