Ontario Canada – An order by a Canadian liquor board banning the sale of wines produced on the West Bank bearing the words “Product of Israel” has been retracted just days after it was issued.
The ban was enacted on July 11th by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, as previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2uXmXsq). Wine dealers in the province were ordered to discontinue the sale of vintages made or processed in the West Bank because of an earlier ruling by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that refused to acknowledge the region as part of Israel.
A statement released today by the CFIA lifted the restriction and said that the group regretted the ban because it did not take into account the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.
The CFIA said that it would work with the LBCO to correct the problem.
Both the Shiloh Winery located in Ma’ale Levona, and Psagot Winery, in Binyamin, which is distributed by Kedem’s Royal Wine Corporation were singled out by the ban which also included wines from the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Gaza, according to the Times of Israel (http://bit.ly/2uWW9bz).
Mordy Herzog, CEO of Royal Wine said that he was pleased with CFIA’s statement, noting that the ban had come as a complete surprise.
“Canada is a very pro-Israel government,” Herzog told VIN News. “We felt that it was a matter of clarifying things and that they would retract it, which they did pretty fast.”
Yaakov Berg, CEO for Psagot Winery in the West Bank, was angered by the move.
“We have returned home to our homeland, the place where our ancestors made wine continuing in the same place for this ancient tradition,” Berg said.
“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.”