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Haaretz: “Sweden Labels Golan Wines: Made in Occupied Syrian Land”

By Amiram Barkat, Haaretz , 8th June 2006

Sweden has started to note that wines produced in the Golan Heights originate in “Israel, occupied Syrian land,” the Golan Heights Winery has informed the Israeli Embassy in Sweden. Winery sources told Haaretz that the step is unprecedented and worrisome. The embassy is investigating claims that the warning is being issued for several wines on the Web site of the Swedish government’s chain of shops that sell wine. The chain is the only Swedish body permitted to market alcoholic beverages.

Swedish Jews have protested the step, claiming that the new way of listing the wines from the Golan Heights is a political move by a government body. The sources also said such an indication had never been made regarding any other country – not even South Africa during apartheid. The Golan Heights Winery approached the commercial attache at the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm this week, and requested Foreign Ministry intervention. “We produce wine, not politics,” the winery said yesterday, adding, “happily, this subject does not bother most consumers in Europe.”