Oh Canada: Will the PM endorse BDS of Israel?

Seems Canada has de facto endorsed BDS unless Prime Minster Justin Trudeau pushes back against the court.   Justice Anne Mactavish wrote:  Identifying settlement wines incorrectly as “Products of Israel” inhibits the ability of such individuals to express their political views through their purchasing choices, thereby limiting their Charter-protected right to freedom of expression.

The Canadian government had taken the position that consumer-protection laws were not intended to provide information on sensitive geopolitical issues.  Those who wanted such information in this case, it argued, could “just Google the name of the wineries.”  Consumers are entitled to accurate information for health and safety reasons, not for reasons of conscience, it said.

The government had also argued that “in the absence of a recognized country denomination for the territory in which the settlement wines are product” it was reasonable to conclude that those wines could be labelled products of Israel.  Additionally, the government argued, the labels were never designed to give Canadians information about “issues of public international law.”

In the decision, Mactavish agreed that lawmakers were mostly concerned about “matters of health,” but transcripts from the House of Commons debate on the legislation show they were also worried about preventing deception in the “sale of goods consumed by the public.”  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.”   In other words the labels are “false, misleading and deceptive.” So MacTavish ruled that two wines made in Jewish settlements in the West Bank should not be labelled “Product of Israel,” because the label is false and denies Canadians the right to exercise their conscience by boycotting the items.

The court decision references the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to boycott Israeli products and services in an attempt to apply political pressure on the country to withdraw from the West Bank.

So what about the illegal occupation of Cyprus?  Are products from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus labeled so consumers can protest that occupation of Northern Cyprus by Turkey?

In 1983 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) declared independence, although Turkey is the only country that recognizes it.  The occupation is viewed as illegal under international law, amounting to illegal occupation of European Union territory since Cyprus became its member.

It seems the judge has declared that Israel is an apartheid state.  That it discriminates against Muslims the way white people discriminated against black South Africans because the BDS campaign is a repeat of the BDS campaign against South Africa between 1960 and 1990.   It appears the judge has decided that Israel is just like South Africa under apartheid where black and white people had different stores, different entrances, different schools, different neighborhoods, different water fountains.  Segregation.  Separation.  Based on skin colour.  Expect, in Israel, people of all races, colours, creeds, religion and sexual orientation live together.  As equals.

Does that mean the Court is declaring that Canada must apply pressure to Israel to withdraw from the territories?  Does that mean that the government believes, should there be a two state solution, that all Jews must leave the territories?  Judenrein is the word.  Is that Canada’s position?  Is Canada’s position that all Muslims must leave Israel in return?  If not, why not?

The decision has been lauded as a victory by pro-Palestinian activists.

“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,” wrote Dimitri Lascaris, who argued the case for the applicant.  Lascaris is  Chair of the Board of Directors for “Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East” (CJPME).

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau had previously  lambasted  Lascaris for a tweet in which he attacked two Jewish MP’s for “vile antisemitic smears.”  Lascaris had accused a pair of Jewish lawmakers of being more loyal to Israel than to Canada.

Now the Prime Minster must decide if he will fight the decision.

The initial complaint about the wine labels was made by David Kattenburg, a Jewish child of Holocaust survivors, described in court documents as a “wine lover and activist.”  Mr. Kattenburg said the “Product of Israel” labels were Israel’s way of “planting a flag staking sovereign claim over stolen land – on Canadian store shelves.”

Psagot Winery promotional image.

He believes settlement products should be banned from Canada,  at the very least they need to be labelled properly “so Canadians of conscience can decide if they are going to buy them or not.”

Israel is the only Jewish state in a world of 193 countries and is surrounded by 23 Muslim only/Judenrein states.  There are 7.5 billion people in the world in 193 countries.   There are 1 billion Christians; 1 billion Catholics.  There are 2 billion Muslims in 50 countries.

I am always fascinated by people who focus on Israel.  A country of 8 million;  7 million are Jews;  the rest are welcome in the country and have equal access to everything.  The only restrictions in Israel are on Jews:  they cannot go to the Temple Mount;Muslim only, and there are streets that have signs “no Jews allowed.”

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First posted at The Bederman Blog – Your passionate voice of reason.

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