Canadian Friends of Peace Now considers a recent court decision on the labelling of settlement products in Canada to be reasonable and just.
The Federal Court of Canada ruled that wines made and bottled in the West Bank should not be labelled as “Product of Israel.” To do so, the ruling stated, is “false, misleading and deceptive,” and therefore contravenes Canadian laws requiring food products, including wine, sold in Canada to “bear truthful, non-deceptive and non-misleading country of origin labels.”
Under international law and even under Israeli law, the West Bank is not Israel. The ruling simply recognizes this fact and to fight the ruling is an attempt to establish a symbolic “fact on the ground” that erases the Green Line and endorses permanent Israeli control over occupied territory. In the words of our sister organization in Israel:
“Peace Now welcomes the ruling of the Federal Court of Canada on the accurate labelling of settlement wines. Not even Israel recognizes the West Bank, which remains under occupation subject to a final status agreement, as part of its sovereign territory. The Canadian court decision is a reflection of this reality, which is as it should be.”
In no way is the labelling decision an endorsement of the BDS movement. Settlement wines and other products may still be sold in Canada. Consumers just have to have truthful information on where the product comes from. Some may choose to avoid these products. Others may wish to make an opposite statement with their shopping dollars. The ruling makes clear that, whatever their leanings on this issue, consumers should be able to make an informed choice. We concur.