Hours after a Canadian government-funded agency called for a ban on importing wines manufactured in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) labeled as “product of Israel,” the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reversed course and issued an apology citing their failure to consider the illegality of their decision.
“The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regrets the outcome of the wine labeling assessment which led to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s (LCBO) response regarding products from two wineries labeled as ‘Product of Israel,'” the CFIA reportedly wrote in a statement issued on its website. “In our assessment, we did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA).”
It added, “We can confirm that the products in question can be sold as currently labeled. The CFIA will be following up with the LCBO to correct our original response.”
Psagot, which is located in the eastern Binyamin region, and the Shiloh Winery in Maaleh Levona were the two wineries mentioned in the CFIA’s initial ban.
According to Arutz Sheva, “Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on July 6, 2017 ordered the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) not to label wines imported from Israel’s Judea and Samaria regions as ‘made in Israel.'”
Initially, the CFIA ordered the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) to stop accepting wines from the disputed region that is known, historically, as Judea and Samaria, but which the left describes as “occupied territory” in the West Bank.
“The government of Canada does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied in 1967 (the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip),” the letter states, according to Arutz Sheva.
In March, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said, “I always say that the occupation is a myth because we never occupied other people’s land. [Judea and Samaria] is Jewish land. This should forever be a Jewish land under Israeli law.”
Upon learning about the initial ban on his product, Psagot CEO and founder Yaakov Berg issued a statement in response to the Canadian government:
We have returned home to our homeland, the place where our ancestors made wine continuing in the same place this ancient tradition. Amazing that this is said by the Canadian government as illegal. We live here in Judea and Samaria under historical rights. Specifically Canada, a country founded and expanded as it conquered and destroyed the homeland of another people, a country with no roots or historical validity of its existence there, questions the right of Jews to live and grow vineyards in the land of our forefathers.