Saturday, July 15, 2017

Holding Israel To Arbitrary Standards

"We did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement. These wines adhere to the Agreement and therefore we can confirm that the products in question can be sold as currently labelled."
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

"Israel supports free trade and objects to its politicization. We are currently in touch with the Canadian authorities and are discussing this matter."
Itay Tavor, head, public diplomacy, Embassy of Israel, Ottawa

"There's many areas in dispute in the world and many areas in dispute in the world produce liquor products and wines. And nobody would like to see discrimination against Israel in a way that other regions in a similar position are treated differently. That would be the case if there's no reversal of this particular decision."
Michael Mostyn, president, B'nai B'rith Canada
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the wines follow the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement and “the products in question can be sold as currently labelled.”
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the wines follow the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement and “the products in question can be sold as currently labelled.”  (Andrew Francis Wallace / Toronto Star)

The decision of which Mr. Mostyn makes reference to, has since been overturned. Several days earlier it was revealed the Ontario Liquor Control Board was informed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that it was no longer to accept wines derived from two wine-producing areas located in the West Bank, the area that Israel refers to as Judea and Samaria, corresponding to history, tradition and heritage; ancient Jewish territory, now claimed as their own through squatter-rights by the Palestinian Authority.

The world keeps forgetting that Israel responded to  a violent series of attacks by combined Arab armies in an effort to dislodge the Jewish State from its traditional geography under the newly re-established and completely internationally legal State of Israel. The conflict inflicted upon Israel that resulted in yet another victory over its challengers to its right to remain in the Middle East, saw Israel triumphant in retaking the Old City of East Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria.

Only in the Middle East must a nation which has been attacked and has successfully defended itself, be expected to return its original land mass to the losing aggressor. Yet the international community has collectively decided that Israel must restore to the Palestinians land that was never theirs to begin with. Which most certainly would have happened, had the Palestinians not continued to engage in a human-rights-violating terrorist incitement to violence against Israel and its citizens.

Canada has enjoyed stable and good relations with Israel, recognizing it as the sole democratic state institution in the Middle East, whose values and system of justice and dedication to equality reflects Canada's own. Yet a manager at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency took it into his head to redress what he personally appears to feel is a wrong done to Palestinians by punishing Israeli wineries located in the West Bank. In their defence the CFIA claims this was an error made by 'younger employee' "who made a mistake".

To begin with the CFIA itself is mistaken in its role; it would be up to Customs and Excise, not the CFIA, to exercise the kind of judgement that the CFIA took it upon itself to do. And having done so, now disavows. The letter dated July 11 from the LCBO addressed to "all sacramental wine vendors" purported to affect two wineries, Psagot and Shiloh, stating the grapes "grown, fermented, processed, blended and finished in the West Bank occupied territory" are persona non grata in Canada, as adjudged by the CFIA.

That Canada does not recognize Israel's sovereignty over the West Bank and other territories occupied in 1967 (wrested from the illegal possession of Jordan: West Bank, and Egypt: Gaza, in a conflict inflicted upon an unwary and unprepared Israel, just managing to succeed in its small self-defence military units against a much larger combined armies of its Arab adversaries, to realize victory over those that meant to destroy it) including the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, so that wine products labelled as products of Israel "would not be acceptable and would be considered misleading". 
A man shows a bottle of his wine that’s sold mainly for export, at the Shilo winery in the Jewish settlement of Shilo in the West Bank. MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images

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