Challenge to Israeli product labelling will be heard in Federal court in Toronto on May 21, 22

A legal case contesting the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s right to market wine produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank as a “Product of Israel” was launched in 2017 by Winnipeg native David Kattenburg. Despite opposition by various pro-Israel organizations, the case is slowly moving forward. May 21 will be a significant date. CTIP interviews Kattenburg’s lawyer Dimitri Lascaris…..

A court case launched by Winnipeg activist David Kattenburg over the mislabelling of  some wines sold at Ontario’s Liquor Control Board, seems to be gaining traction. Kattenburg claims that wines labelled “Made in Israel” were in fact produced in settlements in the West Bank that the UN Security Council says are illegal. A pair of decisions this week have given Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) standing in court, while at the same time denying that standing to the pro-Israel lobby group Bnai Brith Canada.

The decision takes on even more significance because newly re-elected Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he intends to extend Israeli sovereignty over the settlements in the West Bank. The UN security council has declared those settlements “illegal” and UN Security Council resolution 2334, passed in December 2017, called on all states “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” Canada claims to support the Security Council resolution, while at the same time continues to market products made in those illegal settlements as if they were in fact, made in Israel.

CTIP interviewed Kattenburg’s counsel Dimitri Lascaris about the case. According to Lascaris, the Canadian bureaucracy (including the Food Inspection Agency) and the courts appear to be trying to do their jobs in a fair and balanced way, but have been subject to considerable political pressure from the Israel Lobby and the Trudeau government in order to protect Israeli interests.

The hearing will be held at the Federal Court of Canada at 180 Queen Street West in Toronto. Anyone who shows up at the courthouse to attend the hearing can go to the reception desk and provide the name of the case (Kattenburg v Attorney General of Canada). The hearing will likely begin at 10 am.

As explained in the interview, David Kattenburg has undertaken this court challenge at some personal financial risk and with no intent (or possibility) of financial gain. Financial contributions to support the case can be sent to Mr. Kattenburg by clicking on this dedicated GO FUND ME site.

David Kattenburg is a Winnipeg-based educator, journalist, activist and child of holocaust survivors. He has traveled to Israel/Palestine on a host of occasions, reporting for his Green Planet Monitor web magazine (www.greenplanetmonitor.net). 

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Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) encourages and promotes a thoughtful discussion among Canadians on the Israel/Palestine issue, including a well informed and sensitive discussion about solutions. CTIP encourages serious people who disagree with any column to make comment. Disagreements respectfully offered are welcome. To learn more about what CTIP does, contact us at chair.ctip@gmail.com.

 

12 comments

  1. Peter. Thank you for your continued diligence on this front. Very much appreciated. Martha and I hope to join you on one of your Israel tours in the coming years. Don

    On Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 7:56 PM Canada Talks Israel/Palestine wrote:

    > Peter Larson posted: ” A legal case contesting the Liquor Control Board of > Ontario’s right to market wine produced in illegal Israeli settlements in > the West Bank as a “Product of Israel” was launched in 2017 by Winnipeg > native David Kattenburg. Despite opposition by various ” >

    1. Hey Don, thank you for this comment. I would be delighted to have you and Martha join me some time. But don’t wait too long, I’m not getting any younger. My next trip is in November 2019, but it is already almost full. Best.

  2. As a Zionist I find it surprising that Im in full agreement with Dimitri Lascaris on that matter

    Based on Israeli law, the West Bank is not part of Israel and therefore products from the West Bank should not be falsely labeled as Israeli products

    These wines are an unfair competition to Israeli wines which doesn’t benefit from the apartheid system that exists in the West Bank and doesn’t exist in Israel

  3. Beware of a possible unintended side effect. The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) calls for a boycott of all Israeli products. If these wines are no longer considered to be Israeli products, I hope that that won’t make them exempt from BDS boycotts.

    1. The BDS boycotts extend well beyond Israel, in fact many Jewish owned businesses are also targeted by the BDS
      Dimitri Lascaris called on several different occasions for the boycott of Canada’s Indigo/Chapters stores, because of their CEOs, Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz

      1. Arnon,

        I did not know that Lascaris spoke for the BDS movement. Is he an officer or board member who could speak for BDS or was he just expressing his personal opinion?

        The only suggestion that Indigo/Chapters should be boycotted based that suggestion on their alleged support for the Israeli Army and not the religion of the owners. Are you suggesting otherwise?

      2. The call to boycott Indigo/Chapters has nothing to do with the ethnicity or religion of the persons who control that business. Rather, the call for a boycott is entirely a function of their support for an Israeli military that systematically and gravely violates international law: https://www.cjpme.org/fs_082.

      3. You say that you are boycotting Indigo/Chapters because they support Heseg and not because they are Jewish
        And yet, Indigo’s main competitor, Amazon is supporting the IDF in a much more direct way and with much higher sums, and yet you never called for a boycott on them.

        What is fine for Bezus is forbidden for Schwarz and Reisman

  4. Arnon, Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz established a foundation for “Lone Soldiers” in 2005 to encourage foreign soldiers to join the Israeli army. The Israeli army commits war crimes on a daily basis by, for example, enabling the construction, expansion and maintenance of settlements in occupied territory. By encouraging foreign soldiers to enlist and serve in the Israeli military, Reisman and Schwartz are complicit in war crimes. You write that “Amazon is supporting the IDF in a much more direct way and with much higher sums”, but you do not provide any evidence to support this claim. If in fact your claim is correct, then I would support a boycott of Amazon without hesitation. Again, this has nothing to do with the ethnicity or religion of the owners of Indigo.

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