Israeli Wine From Settlements Must Be Labelled, Canada Court Rules

Marking products of settlement as 'made in Israel' is misleading for people who wish to boycott them as a peaceful political expression, says court ruling

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A vineyard in the Israeli settlement of Psagot, in 2014.
A vineyard in the Israeli settlement of Psagot, in 2014. Credit: Baruch Grinberg

A court in Canada ruled on Monday that Israeli wine from settlements must be marked, saying that labelling such products as "made in Israel" is misleading to people who wish to boycott settlement products for political reasons.

The petition was filed by activists against the authority in charge of regulating food imports into Canada. The court, acting as the court of first instance on the case, ruled that the office must find an alternative wording for the labelling of products from settlements.

>> Read the full ruling

The verdict noted the sensitivity and complexity of the issue, but accepted the principled stance that "One peaceful way in which people can express their political views is through their purchasing decisions." Thus, they should be provided with "accurate information as to the source of the products in question."

>> Read more: An Israel boycott supporter railed about an Israeli wine being sold in Holland. Then it sold out

In June, an advocate general of the European Court of Justice released a legal opinion that a 2018 decision by a French court not to require marking wine bottles produced in Jewish West Bank settlements is invalid.

Should the ECJ follow the advocate general's opinion it could boost enforcement across the European Union, which is now minimal.

The advocate general noted that EU law requires that a product made on a territory captured by Israel since 1967 be marked as produced in the settlements.

In 2018, a French court granted the Psagot winery's request not to enforce the EU directive to mark products manufactured in the settlements but ruled that the ECJ should review the decision since France is subject to the EU law.

According to the directive, consumers must be explicitly informed whether products were made in the West Bank.