Thursday, July 27, 2017

Al-Jazeera? Why Not Ban Haaretz? Or, To Whom Belongs the Temple Mount?

No, I do not support banning newspapers.

Of course, it would be great if Haaretz would be more inclusive in representing various Israeli voices (it's English blogger section is all hard-line left). And if it would voluntarily cease employing Nazi-themed vocabulary by Rogel Alpher, Gideon Levy, etc.  And if it would publish op-eds a little bit more reasoned.

Take this one:

The Temple Mount "belongs" to the Muslims?

Why? Why does it "belong"?

Because Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638 and then occupied it?

Because Jews were finally banned from the compound in the late 13th century (1266) after maintaining a presence therein, including a synagogue, even after losing political independence?

Because Muslims believe Abraham was really a Muslim and constructed there a mosque?

Because the Waqf officials and also Palestinian Authority officials believe Solomon' Temple never existed?

Because they belief Mohammed landed at the site on Al-Buraq, his winged horse?

Because they believe Jewish feet defile the area?

Because despite their Quran does not mention Jerusalem in that night's magic flight, they insist the "farthest mosque" means Jerusalem and not the other mosque near Medina?

Or because Muslims are willing to kill, murder, stab, run-over, bomb, shoot or otherwise threaten violence?

That's why?


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Jordan, An Occupier

As reported:

In 1950, after the fighting between the Arab States and Israel had been brought to an end, King Abdullah formally incorporated within his kingdom that part of Palestine which bordered on Jordan and which was still occupied by his troops. 


Removing the Causes

The statement of Jordan's King:

Amman, July 24 (Petra) -- His Majesty King Abdullah II, on Monday evening, discussed with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the crisis in the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram al-Sharif.

During a phone call, His Majesty stressed the need to find an immediate solution and remove the causes of the ongoing crisis in the Al-Haram Al-Sharif, to restore the situation to what it was before the outbreak of the crisis and full reopen the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

King Abdullah also emphasized the necessity of removing measures adopted by the Israeli side since the outbreak of the crisis and the importance of agreeing on measures to prevent the reoccurrence of such escalation in the future, in a manner that ensures respect for the historical and legal status in Al-Haram al-Sharif.


remove the causes of the ongoing crisis in the Al-Haram Al-Sharif, 

So, the "causes" are...?

The metal detectors are to be removed, so they are the causes.

As for the "status quo"...

to restore the situation to what it was before the outbreak of the crisis 

 So, the "status quo" once again is sanctified.

The detectors have now detected Israel's government's weakness.

Don't worry but I think the new security cameras will be the next "cause" to be removed.*



The King had earlier

urged Netanyahu to cancel the new provocative measures and stressed the importance of an agreement on any measures to prevent a repeat of this escalation in the future

The detectors are the "provocation".

Jordan must be involved in any agreement (and even if it couldn't carry through the previous agreement to affix surveillance cameras two years ago that could, perhaps, have prevented the terror attack of a fortnight away).

The detectors "escalated" the tension.

All wrong.  All backwards.

And so appropriate for this pre-Tisha B'Av period.



Fatah:"With our blood we will thwart the Zionists' plans#No_to_the_cameras"

Even though Israel today is removing the metal detectors from the entrances to the Temple Mount, which were placed following a terror attack there on July 14, 2017, in which 2 Israelis were murdered, Abbas' Fatah Movement is still protesting against Israel's security measures and vowing to "thwart the Zionists' plans" with "our blood":

Text on image (above): "The surveillance and espionage cameras are a violation of freedom of worshipFreedom of worship is limited by the intelligence camerasWith our blood we will thwart the Zionists' plans#No_to_the_cameras"[Official Fatah Facebook page, July 25, 2017]

And from Haaretz:

Responding to Israel's Decision, Temple Mount Authority 'Opposes Any Technological Measures'

The Waqf religious trust announced Tuesday its position on the Israeli security cabinet decision to remove metal detectors from the Temple Mount is "to reject outright any changes, including technological measures." The Waqf also said that "the gates of the mosque should be opened to Muslim worshippers in a completely free manner and to ensure freedom of worship."


Monday, July 24, 2017

Welcome to Sanitized News

No word on why the Jordanian was killed.

Or if he had stabbed the Israeli:

Jordan Times:

Petra Agency:

Sanitized news.

And Jordan is at peace with Israel all the while inciting over the issue of Temple Mount security.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Suspension of Belief

As officially reported, President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday...
“In the name of the Palestinian leadership, I declare the suspension of all contacts with the occupying country on all levels until Israel revokes all its measures against our Palestinian people and Jerusalem, particularly at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and preserve the historic status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque...We also reject the so-called electronic gates because they are a political move hiding under the cover of an imaginary security pretext that aims to control Al-Aqsa Mosque and evade the peace process as well as turn the conflict from a political one to a religious conflict,” he added.

I wish to comment on this bit:

 preserve the historic status quo

and hope you all are astounded at his other claim, of "an imaginary security pretext". 

But first, let us remember Abbas' words on September 16, 2015:

"The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours... and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem."

David Weinberg picked up the theme of 'What status quo?' already and my long-time readers well know that I have noted the ludicrousness of that so-called status quo.

Two new mosques have been constructed at the Temple Mount since 1967 and a third is under construction at the site of the Barclay Gate.

The visiting times for non-Muslims have been altered.

The area in which non-Muslims can visit were changed.

And that "historic" qualifier is from 1967.  The previous claims of a status quo actually related to Jewish rights of prayer at the Western Wall!

The status quo at the Patriarchs' Cave in Hebron, that no Jews be permitted not only inside but to ascend higher than the 7th step outside no longer exists.

Abbas expects us to suspend our beliefs as regards history and tradition.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Find the Difference

When Jordan refers to cameras at the Temple Mount, we find a certain, er, inconsistency:

Momani: Aqsa cameras to connect all Muslims with holy shrine Installing cameras at the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram al-Sharif will enable 1.7 billion Muslims across the globe to remain in touch with the holy shrine and those taking care of it, State Minister of Media Affairs, Muhammad Momani, said on Wednesday.

The minister, who is also government spokesman, said the cameras will put an end to violations by extremist Israeli settlers, explaining that they will not be installed at praying places at the holy shrine. This is a clear evidence that the cameras are meant to monitor moves by extremist Jews and not to monitor Muslim worshippers, he explained.

Momani added that the installation of the cameras will refute Israeli claims that "Palestinian rioting" is to blame for their provocations and violations against the holy shrine by Israeli police and extremists. The minister emphasized that the cameras and the footage they will provide will help Jordan document Israeli violations and pursue legal action at international arenas.

He noted that Israeli right-wing groups oppose the installation of cameras at the holy shrine because this measure will strengthen the Jordanian presence at the holy site.

That was March 2016.

But, in 2013:

Jordan urges Israel to remove surveillance cameras from Jerusalem mosque 
Jordan rejects Israel's move to install surveillance cameras at the Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem to monitor Waqf and Hashemite reconstruction workers and Muslim worshippers, Minister of State for Media Affairs and official government spokesman Mohammad Momani said on Tuesday.

"Jordan strongly dismisses the presence of a police station inside the holy Al Aqsa compound and deems it as a flagrant military assault against the freedom of worship and an interference in the affairs of the Jordanian Islamic Waqf, which has the jurisdiction and the mandate to maintain security and ensure the safety of worshippers and tourists inside the compound," he said.

Momani called on the occupation authority to remove all military manifestations from the Haram Al Sharif compound, including the police post and the cameras, which were put up last week, and all other cameras installed at the Bab al Magharebah Gate in 2011 to monitor movement into and out of the compound.

And another flip-flop:

55 cameras to be installed at Al Aqsa Mosque within days, minister
 Minister of Awaqaf and Islamic Affairs Hayel Daoud said that surveillance cameras will be installed at Al Aqsa Mosque/ Al Haram Al Sharif in the coming few days.

The minister said in a statement that the Jerusalem Awqaf Department, affiliated with the Awqaf Ministry, will be in charge of the cameras, which will cover an area of 144 dunums through a control room...The minister denied allegations that the cameras will be used against "Al Murabitun", adding that these cameras will be used to protect Jerusalem and Jerusalemites.

That was on March 20, 2016.

But on April 18, three weeks later, we read:

PM: Jordan cancels plan to install cameras in Al Aqsa Mosque

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said that Jordan has always been, and will remain the staunchest supporter and defender of Palestine, its people and cause as well as its holy shrines.

Ensour added in a statement to Jordan News Agency, Petra, on Monday that, "stemming from this historic stance, the main objective behind Jordan's decision to install surveillance cameras at Haram Al Sharif compound and not inside the mosque, was to monitor and document the continued Israeli violations against Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, which extends over an area of 144 dunums...

"However, we were surprised since our intention to carry out the project, by the response of some of our Palestinian brethren to the project, adding that they voiced their concern and cast doubt on its aims and objectives. "As we respect the points of views of our brethren in Palestine in general and in Jerusalem in particular, and because we always affirm our full support to the Palestinians and their aspirations at all times, we found that this project is a point of contentious and therefore, we decided to halt its implementation.


At Which Holy Site Was That Violence?

Violence at a holy site that once was a Jewish Temple and now a Mosque.


Violence at a holy site that is a church, recalling a previous attack at a church*, that once was a church, then became, after the Muslim conquest, a mosque and now for several centuries is a cathedral.

VALLADOLID, Spain  - A Muslim man stormed the San Pablo Church in Valladolid, Spain Saturday evening [video here] and disrupted a wedding while shouting "Allahu Akbar!" The 22-year-old unnamed Moroccan charged the altar and tore off the altar cloth as the groomsmen tried to grab him.

Witnesses said the man tried to assault the priest. "A lot of people, including the bride's mother, were crying," according to the priest who was officiating the wedding, "and there were people who had already jumped out of the pews because we did not know whether this person came alone or not or if he was armed."

And they get upset if Jews request the right of access and freedom of worship at the Temple Mount.



A confrontation between Muslim tourists and guards employed by the Roman Catholic bishop at the world-famous Cordoba mosque saw two people arrested and two guards injured last night.  Trouble broke out when the visitors knelt to pray in the building, a former mosque turned into a Christian cathedral in the 13th century, where a local bishop, Demetrio Fernández, recently insisted that a ban on Muslim prayers must remain.Half a dozen members of a group of more than 100 Muslims from Austria had started praying among the marble columns and coloured arches of the vast building when security guards ordered them to stop.
"They provoked in a pre-planned fashion what was a deplorable episode of violence," the bishop's office said in a statement.
Cathedral authorities said the guards had invited the visitors to continue viewing the inside of a 24,000 sq metre building that was once the world's second biggest mosque, but without praying.
"They replied by attacking the security guards, two of whom suffered serious injuries," the bishop's office said.


When Jews Protested A Violation of the Status Quo

Back in 1928:

Zionist Organization Appeals to the League on Western Wall Issue
November 2, 1928

Here are excerpts from the full text of the memorandum on the Western Wall issue addressed by Col. Frederick H. Kisch, political representative of the Jerusalem Zionist Executive, for the President of the Zionist Organization to the Secretary General of the League of Nations for consideration by the Permanent Mandates Commission which represented the appeal of the Jewish people to the nations of the world for the full protections of the full protection of their right to their Holy Places in the land of their fathers, demands that the Mandates Commission take immediate steps to find a solution to the problem. 

“On behalf of the Executive of the Zionist Organization, which is recognized as the Jewish Agency for Palestine in Article 4 for the Palestine Mandate, I have the honor to request that this petition may be transmitted through the proper channels to the Secretary General of the League of Nations for the information of the Permanent Mandates Commission.

“2. The petition relates to a deplorable incident which recently occurred in Jerusalem on the Jewish Day of Atonement, which has caused the most painful impression throughout the Jewish world.

“About 9 a. m on the Jewish Day of Atonement, falling on September 24, 1928, British police, acting on orders received from the Deputy District Commissioner of Jerusalem, broke through the crowded worshippers at the Kothel-Maaravi, generally known as the Wailing Wall, and effected the removal of portable screen which had been set up the previous evening. The screen separated men and women at worship, in accordance with the traditional Jewish religious rite, but did not interfere with the right of way...In carrying out the order to remove the screen, the police thrust aside, and, as was perhaps inevitable for the execution of the order, knocked down several aged worshippers, men and women. One worshipper holding on to the screen was dragged along the ground.

“The identical screen had been in use in the same position ten days previously on the Feast of the Jewish New Year, without any complaint or protest having been communicated to any Jewish authority.

“3. The Government of Palestine in an official communique have justified the action taken, on the grounds that the screen and its attachment to the pavement constituted an infraction of the status quo which the Government was unable to permit, and that the beadle in charge of the arrangements for the conduct of the Services at the Wall had been instructed, on the eve of the Day of Atonement, that the screen would have to be removed before the Services on the following day.

“The Executive regret that they can not be satisfied with this explanation, and maintain that no formal departure from previous custom as regards ceremonial arrangements for religious Services at the Wall could justify the use of police for aggressive action at such a place and on such a day...

“4. The Executive remind the Permanent Mandates Commission that this is not the first occasion upon which the Palestine Government have found it necessary to make aggressive use of the police at the Kothel-Maaravi. The previous incident also occurred on the Day of Atonement when, in 1925, police were sent by the District Authorities to remove seats and benches placed at the Kothel-Maaravi for the use of aged and infirm worshippers during the Fast, as reported in paragraph 9 of the letter dated May 3, 1926 addressed by Dr. Weizmann on behalf of the Zionist Organization to the High Commissioner for Palestine, for transmission to the Secretary General of the League of Nations. On that, as on the present occasion, the order for police action was given by the Administrative Officer concerned, as a result of representations received from the Moslem authorities in regard to arrangements made for the conduct of Jewish religious services...

“6. In order that the Permanent Mandates Commission may appreviate what such an incident means to the Jewish people it is necessary to explain that the Day of Atonement is the most sacred day of the Jewish calendar. The Shmonch Esrei prayer during which the incident occurred and the police broke in among the worshippers, is the most important prayer of the whole day of worship. The Kothel-Maaravi has ever been the most holy spot for the Jewish nation since the destruction of the Temple.

“7. On the other hand, the Jewish place of prayer at the Wall is not holy to any other nation or community, and while the Jews have for generations past undertaken the most arduous journeys in order to be able to pray at the Wall if only for a few moments, the Moslem neighbors have never used the site for prayer, and have not hesitated to desecrate it in the most offensive manner.

The Executive wish emphatically to repudiate as false and libelous the rumors which have been circulated that it is the intention of the Jewish people to menace the inviolability of the Moslem Holy Place which encloses the Mosque of Aksa and the Mosque of Omar.

“8. The demand of the Jewish people is that they shall be given freedom to pray according to their religious rites without external interference. The land in front of the Wall is a place of prayer for Jews, and an end must be put to a situation under which an institution belonging to another community, in this case the Moslem Supreme Council, can interfere with the manner in which the Jews arrange their religious Services at their most Holy Place.

“10. The situation thus explained is painful and humiliating to the whole Jewish world, and the Executive venture to think that it is unworthy both of the League of Nations and of the Mandatory Power, under whose joint auspices the administration of Palestine is conducted.

“11. The Jewish people have always been anxious to secure for themselves proper conditions for free and undisturbed worship at the Kothel-Maaravi by direct arrangement with the Moslem authorities, with fair compensation for any proprietary rights affected. The Executive submit that the provision of such conditions for Jewish worship at the most sacred place of prayer for all Jewry, is an essential condition of civilized government in Palestine. That real freedom of worship is impossible under existing conditions is demonstrated by reason and confirmed by experience. The Executive therefore submit that the Mandatory Government should take all necessary steps to ensure that an arrangement eliminating the present obstacles to the free exercise of worship at this Holy Place shall be effected within the very near future.

“The Jewish Agency appeals to the Permanent Mandates Commission and to the Mandatory Power to secure this end.”


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Visit to an Empty Temple Mount Compound

I ascended today, at 1:30 PM with a group of about 34 other persons.

Haredi. Chardal. Mizrachi. Secular. Family from America. Olim.

First, we waited at the entrance and, surprisingly, we were escorted in first, before the tourists.  There was some concern as the Temple Mount had been closed in the morning due to a violation of the restrictions on any external Jewish expression of prayer or respect 

After security, identification check and a short lecture on proper behavior, off we went.

and briefly stopped to observe the remains of Roman architecture:

The compound was literally empty except for us, the police and some Muslim tourists from an Asian country:

A short clip


We stopped to observe and listen to a topographical explanation (in the white hat is a Channel Two TV reporter; his crew & camera were not allowed in)

sat down a bit

I spied two pigeons seeking shade at the Golden Gate:

It was really empty:

Our group

Looking south

We were there for some 40 minutes or so.

The police were courteous but firm and there was tension.

But we visited the Temple Mount.



That's me:


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cordoba Cathedral and Islam - A Comment

For the past several years I have pointed many times (here in 2010; and here in 2014) to the Cordoba Cathedral as an example of Islamic hypocrisy vis a vis the Temple Mount.

What they demand for themselves in Spain, they refuse Jews in Jerusalem.

And now Gatestone Institute published this

by Giulio Meotti. He doesn't seem to mention my posts on the subject.

Here is from the summary:

In Islamic symbolism, Córdoba is the lost Caliphate...If these Islamists, supported by the militant secularists, will be able to bring Allah back inside the Cathedral of Córdoba, a tsunami of Islamic supremacism will submerge Europe's decaying Christianity. There are thousands of empty churches just waiting to be filled by the voices of muezzins...

The Western attempt to free Jerusalem in the Middle Ages has been condemned as Christian imperialism, while the Muslim campaigns to colonize and Islamize the Byzantine Empire, North Africa, the Balkans, Egypt, the Middle East and most of Spain, to name but a few, are celebrated as a season of enlightenment.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

They Shoot Fellow Arabs Or, Good for the Sabbath

A major oops:

Palestinian man comes under fire while driving north of Ramallah

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man was lightly injured when unidentified assailants, believed to be Palestinian, opened fire at his Israeli-plated vehicle north of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on Saturday morning, according to the Israeli army.
An Israeli army spokesperson wrote in a statement that Nasser Nael came under fire while driving between...Ateret...and the village of Umm Safa, and sustained minor wounds from broken glass of his car window.
The statement attached a video of Nael describing how he “survived by a miracle after a Palestinian fired three gunshots at his car from a speeding car,” the army spokesperson wrote, adding that “terrorism does not differentiate between Arabs and Jews or between Israelis and Palestinians. Terrorism is blind and has one goal that is against humanity.”

I guess the Shabbat contributed to this happy end.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Remember the Surveillance Camera Fiasco?

Throwback reminder:

Israel and Jordan agree to put surveillance cameras on Temple Mount
October 25, 2015


MARCH 19, 2016

And then

APRIL 18, 2016

And now:

Video from security cameras [outside the compound - YM] obtained by the police shows the first moments of Friday morning’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem, in which police officers Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan were murdered.

As can be seen in the video, the armed terrorists were in the vicinity of the Temple Mount compound, exploiting the sanctity of the site and Israel’s easing of restrictions on worshippers in order to harm the security forces.

I warned about it. I warned about Um El-Fahm.  I wrote about a problem with cameras in 2014. 

But I'm just a blogger.



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Saturday, 15 July 2017), held a telephone consultation on the issue of the Temple Mount. It was decided to gradually open the Temple Mount to worshippers, visitors and tourists beginning tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, 16 July 2017). It was decided that the entrance gates to the Temple Mount would be equipped with metal detectors and that cameras would be installed outside the Mount to cover events on the Mount. Additional security steps will be taken later.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Ronni Alsheich. ISA Director Nadav Argaman and Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram Halevy participated in the consultation.




Chutzpah from our peace treaty partner:

Amman, July 15 (Petra) -- Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Wael Arabiyat on Saturday warned of Israel's unprecedented and persisted violations of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram al-Sharif sanctity under the pretext of containing violence and tension.

The minister held Israeli authorities responsible for the mounting tension and violence in the holy compound because of the violations committed by the occupation authorities and Jewish extremists against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, indicating that Jordan rejects Israel's closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque and preventing worshippers from praying under any circumstances.

In a statement issued today, Arabiyat said Israel's closure of the Mosque on Friday was a dangerous and unprecedented act and constitutes an assault on the freedom of worship. He further added that the Israeli move runs contrary to the principles of religious coexistence and world and social peace and forms sheer breach of international law.

And by the way, this is an example of an incomplete news item category of bias.

Haaretz’s Barak Ravid published at 1:07 AM on the paper’s web site that Jordan's King had condemned the Temple Mount Attack and that a government spokesman called on Israel to immediately reopen the holy site and to avoid measures that change the status quo. However, just before 11 PM on the Saturday, that item above was available.



And let the people speak:

Jordanians express outrage over Al Aqsa closure    By Suzanna Goussous - Jul 16,2017

AMMAN — Activists and political parties on Saturday expressed outrage over the Israeli decision to close Al Haram Al Sharif compound in occupied Jerusalem until Sunday, banning Arabs and Muslims from entering the mosque and performing prayers.

...Minister for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani on Friday condemned the attack on Palestinians and the closure of the mosque.  Jordan called for the reopening of the mosque, stressing that the Jordanian government will continue to employ its diplomatic, legal and political tools to deal with any attempts to change the legal and historical situation in Jerusalem, Momani said.  

Jordanian MP Kais Zayadin, rapporteur of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, wrote a post on social media calling on the international community to set punishments for Israel, as it has “executed unarmed Palestinian citizens, without a trial”.

He added: “This terrorist act violates all international legislations and conventions. All those who claim to promote democracy and human rights must act upon it immediately,” he wrote, adding that “the shooting violates the sanctity of the dead”.

And check this.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Today's NYTimes English Instruction Lesson

New York Times' Isabel Kershner reports:

three men armed with guns and knives attacked Israeli police officers early Friday in the vicinity of what Jews call the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, Jerusalem’s holiest site for both faiths and an emotional and volatile focal point of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Well, actually Christians know the site as the Temple Mount as well.  There was no mosque there or any Islamic structure until over 600 years after the Second Temple was destroyed. Jesus visited the Temple, not some Muslim Sanctuary.

Why not simply write - instead of injecting in a straightforward news item a NYT's semantic bias - this: 

"in the vicinity of the Temple Mount also called the Haram A-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary)"?

Or this

"in the vicinity of the Temple Mount also known to the Muslims as Bayt Al-Maqdas [House of the Temple], which they call the Haram A-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary)"?


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Canada Attempts to Halt Flow of Shiloh Wine

Shiloh is in the news, as is our wine [see Update below]:

LCBO CRACKS DOWN ON SALE OF ISRAELI WINESBy Ron Csillag, Staff Reporter -  July 13, 2017

In a replay of controversies seen in Europe, a federal agency in Canada has called for an end to the labelling of wine made in the West Bank as a “Product of Israel.”

The directive from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) came to light via the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), which has asked its sacramental wine vendors to stop importing and selling wines labelled “Product of Israel” that are made in the West Bank and other “occupied” territories.

In a July 11 letter that lit up social media, the LCBO’s corporate affairs office requested that sacramental wine vendors – independent sellers who order wine used in religious ceremonies through the LCBO – stop any importation or sale of bottles labelled as a “Product of Israel” from two West Bank wineries, “or others located in the same region, until further notice.”

The LCBO says it is following a July 6 notification from the CFIA regarding products from the two Israeli wineries.

“The CFIA clarified that ‘Product of Israel’ would not be an acceptable country of origin declaration for wine products that have been made from grapes that are grown, fermented, processed, blended and finished in the West Bank and occupied territory,” states the letter to vendors from Vincent Caron, a policy advisor at the LCBO.

Named in the LCBO directive are the Psagot Winery in Psagot, north of Jerusalem, and the Shiloh Winery in Ma’ale Levona, a West Bank settlement southeast of Ariel.

Critics have angrily denounced the move as bowing to the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli products made in lands captured in 1967.

Canadians for Justice & Peace in the Middle East, a pro-BDS group, has in the past placed stickers on Israeli wines, advising consumers not to purchase them.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) said it is “important to note that this does not appear to reflect government policy...”

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center says it is contesting the move with both government bodies. “We consider any action which promotes the so-called BDS campaign against Israel as anti-Semitic. This would be out of step with the existing government policy, which has vigorously condemned the BDS campaign,” president and CEO Avi Benlolo said in a statement...

Yaakov Berg, Psagot Winery’s CEO, said he was “amazed” at Canada’s decision.

“We are living in Judea and Samaria by historic right,” Berg told the Times of Israel on July 12. “Canada, of all places, which was established and developed on basis of occupying and sacrificing the homeland of another people and which has no roots or historical validity to its existence there, doesn’t recognize the right of a Jew to live and cultivate vines on land inherited from his forefathers?”

I have been advised that

The legal basis of the LCBO's letter is mistaken. The non-recognition of sovereignty does not have any direct implications for labeling, or make labeling misleading. Indeed, a French appellate court and the UK Supreme Court have held that "Made in Israel" labeling for Judea & Samaria goods is not misleading under comparable labeling requirements. Thus the EU labels products from West Sahara "Made in Morocco" while not recognizing Moroccan sovereignty.


B'nai Brith Expects Disturbing Canadian Food Inspection Agency 

Decision Against Israeli Wines to Be Reversed Soon


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regrets the outcome of the wine labelling assessment which led to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario's (LCBO) response regarding products from two wineries labelled as "Product of Israel".
In our assessment, we did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA).
Further clarification of the CIFTA (Article 1.4.1b) indicates that these wines adhere to the Agreement and therefore we can confirm that the products in question can be sold as currently labelled.
The CFIA will be following up with the LCBO to correct our original response.