Friday, 23 Feb 2018 - 8 of Adar, 5778

Jewish groups commend Canada for revoking directive that prevented goods produced in the West Bank from being labeled ‘Made in Israel’

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OTTAWA/NEW YORK (EJP)—The government of Canada has revoked a directive that prevented goods produced in the West Bank from being labeled “Made in Israel.”

The Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA) said that two wines that had fallen under the labeling ban did in fact “adhere” to the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement and could be sold as ‘’Made in Israel.’’

The two wines, both produced in the West Bank, were temporarily withdrawn from liquor store shelves in the province of Ontario, raising an uproar among Jewish groups and Israeli diplomats.

Earlier, the Liquor Control Board of the province of Ontario asked vendors to remove from their shelves and stop importing wines imported from the West Bank that were labeled as products of Israel. The board cited a previously unreported July 6 ruling by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that wine products made from grapes “grown, fermented, blended and finished in the West Bank occupied territory” could not be labeled “Product of Israel.”

But Jewish groups, such as the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA),  have lobbied heavily against the labeling directive.

“We are excited and relieved to hear that through the actions of CIJA and the response of the Government of Canada, CFIA has revoked this directive and affirmed that these products can be sold without relabeling,” CFIA,  the advocacy arm of  UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, said. “We commend the government of Canada for moving quickly to rescind the decision.”

The World Jewish Congress applauded the efforts of CIJA and other Jewish organizations for their efforts in bringing the issue to a positive resolution.

“The World Jewish Congress, North America deeply opposes any measures that attempt to in any way boycott or sanction Israeli products and considers these as unjustified acts of discrimination against the Jewish state,” said Evelyn Sommer, Chair of WJC, North America.
“We are gratified by the response of Canada to the concerns of the Jewish community in this case regarding the wine vendors and applaud all the efforts made by CIJA and other Jewish organizations who worked to bring about a positive resolution to this issue,” she said.


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