Settlers defiant after Canadian court rules their vineyards aren’t in Israel

My grandmother was forced to label herself with a yellow patch. I will never label myself,’ one West Bank winemaker fumes, though the government has been apathetic

Vered and Erez Ben Sa’adon in a vineyard of Tura Winery, which they founded in 2003 in the West Bank settlement of Rechelim

Raphael Ahren writes in Times of Israel, “Vered Ben Sa’adon’s grandmother Liesje de Vries lived in Holland when the Holocaust arrived in her native land. She survived the war by scurrying from one hiding place to another. Three generations later, Ben Sa’adon co-owns a boutique winery in the West Bank settlement of Rechelim, whose products can be found in selected stores in the US, Britain, Germany, Hong Kong and Canada. The vintages produced by the Tura Winery proudly state, on the front label, that they are “from the Land of Israel.”

“But two weeks ago, the Federal Court in Ottawa issued a ruling that could keep her products off Canadian shelves if she doesn’t agree to change the label. Challenging a previous decision by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Judge Anne L. Mactavish determined that labels describing wines made in the settlements as Israeli products are “false, misleading and deceptive.” Allowing the wines to be marked as “Made in Israel” does not fall “within the range of possible, acceptable outcomes which are defensible in respect of the facts and law,” she determined. “It is, rather, unreasonable.”

Palestinian and left-wing Jewish groups stage a rally walking from Times Square to the United Nations Building in New York, September 15, 2011, calling to end all US aid to Israel and support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

“Ben Sa’adon, who runs the business together with her husband, Erez, vowed not to change a single letter on her labels, even if it means losing out on lucrative business deals…In her July 29 ruling, Judge Mactavish noted that settlements are not considered part of the State of Israel, as Canada does not recognize Israeli sovereignty beyond the pre-1967 borders. She did not take a position on how exactly settler wines should be labeled, saying that was for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to decide.” (more…)



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