Label the Occupation

$5,383 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 64 people in 18 months
Winnipeg human rights activist David Kattenburg wants the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to restore and enforce its July 6, 2017 ruling (issued in response to  Dr. Kattenburg's original late March complaint) that wine products produced in Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank (illegal under Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention) must be truthfully labeled as such, rather than "Product of Israel" -- as is currently the case -- in order for them to be sold in Canada.

The CFIA reversed its ruling in mid-July, under pressure from pro-Israel lobby groups.

On August 6, Dr. Kattenburg appealed the CFIA’s Reversal Decision. On September 28, the CFIA’s Complaints & Appeals Office informed Kattenburg that the CFIA stands by its decision to allow settlement wines to be sold on Canadian stores shelves, bearing the false and misleading label "Product of Israel."

The CFIA is standing by its self-reversal, even though the “Product of Israel” indication of origin on settlement wines is false and misleading, and the very production of the wines is in grievous violation of international law, which the government of Canada is duty bound to uphold.

Accordingly, Dr. Kattenburg is now taking the Canadian government to court. A Notice of Application for judicial review was filed in the Federal Court of Canada on October 24.

Although a wide variety of products produced in illegal Jewish settlements are available to Canadian consumers, the legality of their importation and sale — bearing the patently false label “Product of Israel” — has never been challenged in court.

Ontario lawyer Dimitri Lascaris is representing David on a  pro bono basis, but other costs are anticipated, including the cost of setbacks along the way. Funds will be used to cover these costs. Unspent funds will be donated to not-for-profit Palestinian solidarity organizations in Canada.

For further details, please visit these three links:



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Greetings to all supporters of our Label the Occupation GoFundMe campaign. It's been a while since you've heard from me. Much to report:

My Application to the Federal Court of Canada regarding the labeling of unlawful Israeli settlement wines will be heard by the Federal Court on May 21 and 22, in Toronto. I am applying for the following:

1) An order declaring unlawful the July 13, 2017 decision by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to permit the importation and sale in Canada of settlement wines labelled as "Product of Israel."

2) An order declaring that neither the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) nor its 1996 Implementation Act authorizes products made in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to be labeled "Product of Israel."

3) An order declaring that, insofar as settlement wines are labeled as "Product of Israel," settlement wines violate section 5(1) of Canada's Food and Drugs Act.

4) An order declaring that, insofar as settlement wines are labeled as "Product of Israel," settlement wines violate section 7 of the 1985 Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act.

5) An order declaring that the CFIA's decision to permit the importation and sale in Canada of settlement wines labeled as "Product of Israel" violates the 1985 Geneva Conventions Act of Canada, as well as Canada's obligations as a party to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the United Nations Charter.

My friend, colleague and attorney Dimitri Lascaris has laboured exhaustively since August 2017 -- pro bono -- to bring this case before the court. He has put in hundreds and hundreds of hours, involving monumental intellectual energy. I can't begin to thank him enough. Dimitri's and my various submissions (Dimitri's, really) are itemized below.

Before we get there, I'd like to thank you for your past support, and ask you to consider helping out again, any way you can. Please pass this message through your own networks.

Here's a financial update:

+ Since our GoFundMe campaign began in October 2017, $4883 have been raised through the platform. Our current target is $5000 (down from what it had been originally). After service fees, GoFundMe has transferred a total of $4471.20 to a savings account of mine set up for the purpose. An additional $800 have been contributed directly, and deposited in this same account. So, a total of $5271.20 have been raised for the case.

+ A grand total of $7411.85 have been spent to date. Of this, $5277.72 have been paid out from the above proceeds (ergo, we're down to zero). Unreimbursed expenses (i.e. Dimitri's and my own; I will be reimbursing Dimitri for all his costs) therefore total $2134.13. I am prepared to absorb some of this, but would be grateful for your assistance. There will be more expenses to come, including Dimitri's and my return travel to Toronto at the end of May, and further submissions.

Here are our key milestones:

+ October 24, 2017: Notice of Application submitted to the Federal Court of Canada

+ February 19, 2018: My Affidavit sworn.

+ August 10, 2018: Having received the government's affidavit (the "government" being the Attorney General of Canada), Dimitri cross-examines the government's affiant, Eric Jeaurond, from the CFIA's Complaints & Appeals Office.

+ November 2, 2018: Submission of Memorandum of Fact & Law in support of my Application to the Court. A masterful job on Dimitri's part.

+ March 11, 2019: Memorandum of Fact & Law in support of our motion to file an additional affidavit, relating to documents just released to me (late September, 2018; 17 months after my ATIP request) by Global Affairs Canada. The documents reveal extensive consultations between the GAC and CFIA, some two months prior to the CFIA's Original Decision, regarding, most notably, CIFTA provisions seeming to suggest that the West Bank is part of Israel's customs area, and the relevance of these provisions to domestic Canadian product labeling. In brief, the GAC had told the CFIA to forget CIFTA. It has nothing to do with product labeling, experts said. These emails trash the government's argument that its July 13, 2017 Reversal Decision (allowing settlement wines to be labeled "Product of Israel") was based on "new information" provided by the GAC to the CFIA. These GAC docs also reveal extensive involvement of the Privy Council Office and Prime Minister's Office in the hours leading up to the CFIA's July 13, 2017 labeling decision reversal. (i.e. political interference; sound familiar?). The government is opposing our motion to file this additional affidavit. Court will rule shortly.

+ March 18, 2019: Memorandum of Fact & Law opposing an intervention motion by B'Nai Brith Canada/League for Human Rights (represented by David Matas). Independent Jewish Voices has also filed a motion to intervene (represented by Barb Jackman). We are taking no position on IJV's motion. The government is not opposing either motion. On March 1, 2019, Dimitri cross examined B'Nai Brith's affiant, the Director of BB's Midwest region, Ran Ukashi, in Winnipeg. Wish I could have been there.

Pheww! Lots of info. Please stand by for further news as our court hearing nears. Let me know if you've got any questions. Please do email me at kattenbu@mts.net. Tell me you've received this note.

And thanks for your continuing support at: https://www.gofundme.com/labeltheoccupation

Warm regards to all ...

David Kattenburg
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Greetings to all supporters of our Label the Occupation GoFundMe campaign. Quick update:

After much arduous work on the part of my attorney, Dimitri Lascaris (who is doing all this pro bono), we served our supporting affidavits on the Attorney General’s lawyers yesterday. Our affidavit package included an expert opinion from a distinguished Israeli lawyer specializing in the international humanitarian and human rights dimensions of Israel's permanent occupation of the West Bank. His opinion centers around the legality of Israel's settlements under international law, and the question of Israeli 'sovereignty'. Commissioning this opinion has consumed most of what we've raised to date. The Attorney General's responding affidavits are due on April 30. Out-of-court cross-examinations on the affidavits will occur after April 30. A hearing will probably be held in the fall due to some scheduling changes that we and the Attorney General’s lawyers agreed to. No date has been set yet for this.

I have no idea whether this update actually gets through to our generous donors, so thanks for sending a brief email to kattenbu at mts dot net, confirming you've received this.

Your support for our LabelTheOccupation campaign is greatly appreciated. We'll be needing to raise more, as all this proceeds. Thanks for sharing our campaign link.

Warm regards ...

David Kattenburg
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Hello, friends ... Our Notice of Application to the Federal Court of Canada is now in. We'll be filing my affidavit shortly. Your financial support is greatly appreciated. We're over $2000, creeping upwards. Who's gonna push us up to $3000? Canadians have the right to know where their wine products come from, so they can choose whether or not to aid and abet war crimes. Please contribute, if you haven't already. Please pass this message on to deep-pocketed friends of justice and the rule of law -- in Palestine and Canada.
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Hey folks ... This campaign is moving upwards. We're currently at $1530. Who's going to push us over $2000? Two or three of you can do it.
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Raised by 64 people in 18 months
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