Take action: Ask the government to clearly identify Israeli settlement products sold in Canada

(Support for a United Church of Canada action)

The United Church of Canada is inviting the ecumenical and justice community to write to the Foreign Affairs and Trade ministers, asking for proper identification of Israeli settlement products in Canadian stores and an end to tax exemptions for products from the settlements. The United Church is a founding member of KAIROS.

A Palestinian boy passes grapes through the bars at an Israeli checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.

A Palestinian boy passes grapes through the bars at an Israeli checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: EAPPI/ World Council of Churches)

Their General Secretary, Nora Saunders, has noted, “When members of the United Church are shopping in Canadian stores, we hope that they would be able to make informed choices about purchasing products made in the Israeli settlements. These products are currently identified as “Made in Israel” which is inaccurate, misleading, and does not allow for consumers to make ethical choices. I ask, therefore, that the government introduce guidelines for retailers that would encourage them to label goods from the settlements differently from products made in Israel. Both the U.K. and Denmark have introduced such guidelines, which are also now being considered by other governments.

Because these products are not distinguishable from products made in Israel, they receive preferential tariff treatment under the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA). If the government of Canada views the settlements as a serious obstacle to peace, then it follows that—at the very least—Canada should not be encouraging the settlements by including their products in the CIFTA. I ask you to amend the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement to exclude settlement products. We know this is possible since, for example, the European Union has a free trade agreement with Israel which does precisely that.”

Please support this important action for peace. It is  in keeping with the policies of KAIROS’ other members and indeed with the government of Canada’s own policies, which state that the settlements are illegal under international law and a major obstacle to peace.” For more background information and talking points, please visit the United Church of Canada website.

For more information on KAIROS’ partners in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and our policies, please see our dedicated page, or contact John Lewis, Human Rights Program Coordinator: jlewis@kairoscanada.org or 1 877 403 8933 x224


Filed in: Middle East

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