U.S. embassy accidentally sends 'settlement wine'

United States embassy in Tel Aviv includes wine produced in Judea and Samaria in Rosh Hashanah gift baskets sent to Peace Now, among others.

Ben Ariel,

View from Tekoa in northern Judean desert
View from Tekoa in northern Judean desert
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

The United States embassy in Tel Aviv has said it accidentally included a bottle of wine produced in Judea and Samaria in gift baskets it sent to a number of Israeli organizations ahead of Rosh Hashanah, Reuters reported Monday.

The wine in question was made in the community of Mishor Adumim, located about 10 minutes from Jerusalem.

One of the recipients of the gift basket was the leftist organization Peace Now, which opposes Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria but which said it would not make a fuss over the inclusion of the wine.

"I'm sure it was an honest mistake," a member of the organization said, according to Reuters.

An embassy official confirmed the baskets had been sent out, saying they were purchased from a vendor who put together the contents, which were not checked before distribution.

"This should in no way be interpreted as a change of our policy on settlements, which is long-standing and clear," the official told Reuters.

The United States' opposition to Israel's presence in lands it liberated during the 1967 Six Day War is nothing new, of course.

In January, it was revealed that the United States now demands that products from Judea and Samaria be labeled differently and not be marked "Israel".

Channel 1 News, which exposed the guidelines through a mail from the Cargo Systems Messaging Service of the Customs and Border Protection, revealed that American importers were instructed not to label Judea and Samaria products as coming from Israel. Those who do not comply are to be sanctioned.

While the State Department later confirmed the United States is requiring products from Judea and Samaria to be labeled differently, it insisted the policy was not new and had simply been reissued after complaints that some Judea and Samaria products had been mislabeled prior to U.S. import.

The State Department has repeatedly stated its opposition to Israel's building in Judea and Samaria, and in several recent condemnations used particularly harsh language, including the use of the word “corrosive”.