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Here are the Archived entries for 07 2017


Controversy Over West Bank Wine Widens to Question Canada-Israel Free Trade Deal Itself
Jul 26, 2017 at 10:10 PM

What started as a simple complaint over appropriate labelling of wines from the West Bank now threatens to open up a wider debate over the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement itself.

There were probably “high-fives” in the offices of B’nai Brith Canada after Israel appeared to have dodged a bullet a week ago over the issue of West Bank wines. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency had demanded that the Ontario Liquor Control Board stop selling wines produced in the West Bank which were labelled “Product of Israel”. B’nai Brith and others vigorously protested the ruling, arguing that the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) allows products from areas Israel controls to be sold as “Product of Israel”. CFIA was embarassed, and quickly reversed its decision.

B’nai Brith eagerly claimed victory, both on its own website and to the media.

But B’nai Brith may be having second thoughts about using the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement as an argument as it has led others to examine the agreement itself.

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Do 'free trade' agreements trump product origin labelling?
Jul 26, 2017 at 04:27 PM

...Dr. David Kattenburg, a child of Holocaust survivors and complainant in this case, argued, "It's an open and shut case. Just as Canadian consumers wouldn't want to find out that a wine labelled 'Made in France' is produced from grapes grown entirely in Romania, they should know that these wines are not produced from grapes from Israel."

But by July 13, the CFIA reversed its directive citing a provision in the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (signed in 1996 under Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien) whereby Israel is to be considered "the territory where its customs laws are applied," rather than its internationally recognized borders.

As such, this provision in a 'free trade' agreement appears to have trumped Canadian foreign policy and a consumers' right to information on the origin of a good.

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Vancouver event in support of Al Aqsa
Jul 26, 2017 at 02:18 PM

Salamo alikom wa rahamtullah

Please join us Friday July 28th in a massive gathering for Alaqsa in Downtown Vancouver at Vancouver Art Gallery 7:00 PM

The seizing of al Masjid Alaqsa is painful for every Muslim family and for their friends in the communtiy of humanity in every country in the world. Israeli forces have installed metal detectors, made entrance difficult and then temorarily closed Alaqsa Mosque, preventing Muslims from entering or praying there.  Israeli attacks on worshippers have also shed blood in the courtyard of the holy site.

The West Bank is occupied, Gaza is blockaded and becoming unlivable. Now, in the midst of these attacks on the Muslim Holy Site the UN and the International Community are mute. Most media have little to say of this latest atrocity.Who will stand for human rights? And when?

It is our duty now to stand strong and to condemn aggressive violation of human rights by  the Israeli Government.  We demand the complete restoration of Muslim authority to the holy site and the immediate withdrawal  of Israeli forces from the eastern side of Holy city of Jerusalem.

Please share and invite all your contacts

Thank you
 
Tarek Ramadan

 Al Aqsa Poster

The Future of Al-Aqsa, the Future of Palestine
Jul 24, 2017 at 12:00 AM

In a heroic act of resistance, Palestinian worshippers in Jerusalem refuse to go through metal detectors to enter the Holy Sanctuary and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Placed by Israel following the killing of two Israeli soldiers who were manning a checkpoint leading to the Sanctuary, the metal detectors are an act of provocation, challenging the Palestinian Muslim authorities who govern the Sanctuary and Palestinian sovereignty in this holy site.

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Ontario caves to Israel on falsely-labeled wines– for now, anyway
Jul 16, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Anyone who doubts Israel’s awesome ability to manipulate other countries’ public servants should examine the outcome of a complaint of mine to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regarding the false labeling of two West Bank settlement wine products on Ontario liquor store shelves.

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In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
The verdict on the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, essentially blaming the victim for her death. The trial revealed Israel’s approach to the most fundamental principles of international law, and especially to the duty to protect non-combatants.

By Jeff Halper

For those who hoped for a just verdict on the death of Rachel Corrie, the American student and ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she was defending a Palestinian home about to be demolished, this is a sad day. Not surprising, but still sad and bitter. The judge who decided the case, Oded Gershon, absolved the army of all blame, despite massive and internally contradictory testimony to the contrary. Moreover, he essentially blamed Rachel for her own death, commenting that a “normal person” would have run away from the bulldozer rather than confront it.

Palestinians and Israel human rights activists have learned that justice cannot be obtained through the Israeli judicial system. The Haifa District Court, in which the trial was held, could not have ruled other than how the state wanted. For the past 45 years of Israeli occupation, the Supreme Court has excluded from its rulings all reference to international humanitarian law and to the Fourth Geneva Convention in particular, which protects civilians living in conflict situations and under occupation. Only Israeli law applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – military law and orders – and the courts have restricted even that form of law by declaring that in instances of “security,” they defer to the military. As in Rachel’s case, the IDF thus has carte blanche to commit war crimes with impunity, with no fear of accountability or punishment.

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