Community Pressure Forces CFIA Reversal of Wine Ban

July 13, 2017

Media Release

TORONTO (July 13, 2017) – FSWC commends the Canadian Government for its quick response in correcting the discontinuation of importation and sales of wines from the West Bank labelled as “Product of Israel.”

In a statement released today, the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA) stated that they did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, adding that “these wines adhere to the Agreement” and can therefore be sold as labelled.  

"A ban on the importation of wine from Israel was entirely inappropriate in the first place,” says Avi Benlolo, FSWC President and CEO. "To begin with, Canada has a number of trade restrictions with various countries under the Special Economic Measures Act – none of which are with Israel. Despite the fact that Israel and Canada are allies, it is discomforting to note that someone within the bureaucracy has taken great pain to try and impose an unjustified trade ban. We encourage an internal investigation as to what transpired here."

After hearing about the incident, FSWC reached out to government officials expressing concern regarding a letter that was sent by the LCBO. FSWC would like to acknowledge Michael Levitt, MP for York Centre, for assisting us in ensuring the CFIA would follow through with overturning the decision. 

To arrange an interview with Avi Benlolo, please contact:

‍Atara Cadesky 
Communications Associate 
416.864.9735 x 30

Avital Borisovsky 
Communications Associate   
416.864.9735 x 29

Follow us on Twitter at @CanadianFSWC for latest news and organization updates.


Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) is a top Jewish human rights foundation in Canada's organized Jewish community. It directly impacts over 100,000 people each year and 500,000+ peripherally. FSWC is committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and educational programs including workshops, Freedom Day, Spirit of Hope Benefit, Tools for Tolerance and the widely acclaimed Tour for Humanity. FSWC is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization headquartered in Los Angeles which has won two Academy Awards, has built two Museums of Tolerance (with a third being built in Jerusalem) and is an NGO at the United Nations, UNESCO, OAS, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament. Visit us at

Canadian Headquarters: Toronto  Branches: Los Angeles • New York • Chicago • Paris • Buenos Aires • Israel

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