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April 11, 2019 9:50 am

European Court of Justice Hears Case Over Labeling Wine From West Bank and Golan

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The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Photo: Wikimedia Commons via Cédric Puisney from Brussels, Belgium. – A hearing took place on Tuesday at the European Court of Justice in a major case against the discriminatory labeling of Israeli products.

The case, brought by Israeli wine producer and exporter Psâgot Winery Ltd., along with the Lawfare Project, was referred to the court by the French Conseil d’État.

The plaintiffs were represented by French Supreme Court law firm Cabinet Briard, which challenged an opinion published by the French Minister of Economics and Finance in November 2016. The minister’s opinion stated that products from the Golan Heights or West Bank have to be labeled as coming from “colonies Israéliennes” (aka Israeli settlements) or equivalent terms.

At Tuesday’s hearing, counsel for Psâgot—France’s Supreme Court Attorney François-Henri Briard—argued that the insistence on applying the label violates the law.

Briard added that applying the law in such a way would open a “Pandora’s Box,” requiring complex labeling for items from more than 100 different areas globally where there are territorial disputes.

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