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Israeli winery: 'Add us to appeal on labeling our wines'

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Israeli winery: 'Add us to appeal on labeling our wines'


Israeli winery: 'Add us to appeal on labeling our wines'

Civil rights group helps Psâgot Winery bring its case before Canada's Federal Court of Appeal.

Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, 27/09/19 15:20


Psâgot Winery

Eliran Aharon

The Lawfare Project, with the support of Toronto-based litigation firm RE-LAW LLP, has brought a motion on behalf of Psâgot Winery to Canada's Federal Court of Appeal in response to a discriminatory lower court ruling that products made by Jewish-owned businesses in disputed Israeli territories cannot be labeled "Products of Israel."

Goods produced in all Israeli-controlled territories were unquestionably labeled as "Products of Israel" in Canada until a politically-motivated complaint was filed with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The complaint was denied, along with a follow-up appeal, but then Canada's Federal Court ruled that labeling wines from disputed territories as "Products of Israel" was "false, misleading and deceptive."

In its motion to the Federal Court of Appeal, Psâgot Winery is seeking to be added to the appeal of this troubling court decision as a party or intervener in order to make its case that its wines are, in fact, Products of Israel.

In a statement, the Lawfare Project wrote: "The Lawfare Project is proud to support Psâgot — a family-owned business with two decades of winemaking experience and international acclaim as producers of 'Israeli Wine' — in its bid to Canada's Federal Court of Appeal. Psâgot Winery has a right to be heard and involved in an appeal of the court's decision."

Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, wrote in a statement: "We are proud to continue to represent Psâgot Winery as it endeavors to fight against discrimination. This time, in Canada, we are challenging a court ruling that singles out a Jewish-owned business for discriminatory treatment. This, despite a Canada-Israel trade agreement that explicitly binds the country to fair and accurate labeling of imports from Israel. If indeed this ruling is allowed to stand and labeling becomes a tool for politicized advocacy as opposed to consumer protection, it won't be long until commercial chaos takes hold."

David Elmaleh, Partner at RE-LAW LLP, stated: "Psâgot Winery was not named as a respondent to the court application, despite it being directly affected by it, having a direct interest in its outcome, and its labeling practices having been the basis and at the core of the application. Fairness dictates that Psâgot Winery be added as a party or intervener to the appeal of this troubling ruling so that its position can be clearly heard—Psâgot Winery produces Israeli wines."

Yaakov Berg, Founder and CEO of Psâgot Winery, stated: "Psâgot Winery is located in territory controlled, administered, governed, and secured by the State of Israel, in the Land of Israel. Put simply, Psâgot Winery proudly produces wines that are products of Israel."

The Lawfare Project is also supporting legal action against anti-Semitic labeling requirements at the European Court of Justice and will continue to fight to ensure that Jewish-owned businesses in Israel are not subject to unfair discrimination under the law.

Tags:Canada, BDS, Psagot Winery, Lawfare Project




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