Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), on Tuesday welcomed the ruling of Canada's federal court that wine originating from Judea and Samaria cannot be labeled as products made in Israel.
“This is an important first step for Canada and beyond, as this landmark ruling is an affirmation of the supremacy of the law and Canada's obligation to respect international law, which considers settlements illegal and does not recognize them as part of Israel,” said Ashrawi in a statement quoted by the official Palestinian Authority (PA) Wafa news agency.
“In light of this important ruling, the Palestinian leadership calls on the Canadian government to act in accordance with Canadian and international laws and amend, without delay, the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Bill C-85), which affords products originating from illegal Israeli settlements tariff free status, in flagrant violation of Canada's obligations under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and United Nations Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016). This ruling now clearly demonstrates that the agreement also violates Canadian law and values,” added the statement.
Ashrawi called on all other states, particularly the European Union, Israel's largest trading partner, to apply EU and international laws to its agreements with Israel.
“It is long overdue for the EU to take the minimal step of properly labeling products originating from Israel's illegal settlements and to ensure that its partnership agreements do not further enable or favor the continued looting of Palestinian natural resources and the profiteering from the commission is a war crime, as defined in the Rome Statute,” she stated.
“Israel's illegal settlement regime is the embodiment of its colonial agenda in Palestine and its determined efforts to deny the Palestinian people their inalienable rights to self-determination and freedom. The obligation of all states to respect international law and the Palestinian people's national rights is absolute. Such respect can only be ensured by practical steps that deny Israel and complicit companies the ability to profiteer from the colonial occupation and the flagrant violations of international law. Accountability is the shortest and most assured path to justice,” the statement concluded.
In its ruling on Monday, Canada’s Federal Court ruled that it was "false, misleading and deceptive" to label wines made in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as a "Product of Israel."
The court had been asked to rule in the case of David Kattenburg, the child of Holocaust survivors who disagreed with a decision by the Canadian government's Food Inspection Agency to allow the labels.
Kattenburg, who criticized Israel's policies, argued that such labeling "facilitates Israel's de facto annexation of large portions of the West Bank," according to the court ruling.