In Canadian Politics, Human Rights, Middle East

As I have previously reported, I am legal counsel to Dr. David Kattenburg in a judicial review application brought in the Federal Court of Canada.

Dr. Kattenburg, a member of Winnipeg’s Jewish community and a child of Holocaust survivors, complained in early 2017 to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) about two wines produced in Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements.

Those wines were being sold in Canada bearing “Product of Israel” labels. Citing the Canadian government’s own acknowledgement that the West Bank is occupied Palestinian territory and that it does not form part of the state of Israel, Dr. Kattenburg argued that the labels were false and that they violated Canadian consumer protection legislation, which requires accurate country-of-origin labelling.

After months of careful consideration of Dr. Kattenburg’s complaint, the CFIA ruled that the “Product of Israel” labels did indeed violate Canadian consumer protection laws, but within hours of the CFIA’s decision becoming known to the pro-Israel lobby, the lobby persuaded the government of Justin Trudeau to pressure the CFIA into reversing itself.

Weeks later, Dr. Kattenburg commenced a judicial review application in the Federal Court of Canada.

Today, the Federal Court issued its decision.

The Court agreed with Dr. Kattenburg’s position that “Product of Israel” labels on wines produced in Israel’s West Bank settlements are “false, misleading and deceptive” and that, “as such, they contravene the requirements of subsection 7(1) of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and subsection 5(1) of the Food and Drugs Act.”

It is our fervent hope that the government of Justin Trudeau will accept the Court’s well-reasoned decision and will not waste yet more taxpayer dollars by appealing this decision and by continuing to facilitate Israel’s naked theft of occupied Palestinian land.

The full decision of the Court can be read here:

Kattenburg FC Decision – July 29 2019


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Showing 20 comments
  • Sam Cosentino

    Good work, Dimitri!

  • jegrt

    Kol tov to Dimitri and David! A significant victory!!

  • Arrby

    This is rare good news. I haven’t shopped at the LCBO for a long time. It would be nice to be able to return. But it’s even nicer to see some justice done here. Give yourself a pat Dimitri.

  • Maggie Murphy

    Thank you Dimitri and David. Re: ” It is our fervent hope that the government of Justin Trudeau will accept the Court’s well-reasoned decision”

    I doubt very much that they will. Please let us know (after you’ve taken a few well earned victory laps) how best to indicate to them, our support of this decision, and our hope that they will not fight it. Should we : get a petition started…and/or email directly to Trudeau and others? or other ideas you may have as to how we can support you?
    Cheers, Maggie Murphy

  • Simon

    I do not why is this noise and hysterics about Israeli wines. Let’s look at this not from left and obviously anti-Israeli and Judophobic side when objects can be distorted but face to face (Though I read that Mr. Kattenburg is Jew – may be only in his dreams). First, there is no any political entity with the name West Bank – it is more a geographic name of part of the whole Palestine including Israel as the only political entity in this region. Second, because majority of Arabs living in the West Bank are Muslims they can not produce any alcohol including wines. In the ancient times in these places were wineries where Jews made wines. And the last, all the products go through Israeli customs including production from Judea and Samaria. In other words these products are Israeli products. And to add are you standing for destroying wine production in this area? Well, vineyards in Judea and Samaria are unique. Once I was roaming around in Gush -Etzion and came across ruins of ancient synagogue. Few branches of ancient vines were growing there (now they are wild vines because nobody takes care of them). I tasted one grape. It was delicious. And you are not helping at all trying to destroy Israeli agriculture and manufacture in this area. On the contrary you are doing bad for all people both Jews and Arabs who are employed in agriculture enterprises. And it does not move any closer the peace agreement.

    • dimitrilascaris

      Israel’s settlements clearly violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and constitute a war crime. Even the Canadian government acknowledges their illegality. There is nothing ‘hysterical’ about condemning grave violations of international law.

  • David H. Prtington

    This ruling pleases me immensely. If only we in the US recognized and could openly acknowledge the actual situation in Israel and the Occupied Territory. Thank you, Dimetri.

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