Monday, October 6, 2008

Lebanon -"Israel stole our felafel"

YNET reports:

Lebanon is planning on filing an international law suit against Israel for violating a food copyright, Fadi Abboud, president of the Lebanese Industrialists Association, told the al-Arabiya network. The Lebanese claim is that Israel markets original Lebanese food like tabouleh, kubbeh, hummus, falafel and fattoush which the Lebanese considered their trademarks prior to the establishment of the Jewish state.

Abboud explained that the fact that Israel has been marketing Lebanese delicacies under the same names and ingredients around the world has caused great losses to Lebanon, and that while, “the full extent is unknown, it is estimated at tens of millions of dollars annually.” Abboud, who prepared a memo on the subject, based his case on the, ”feta cheese precedent” that occurred six years ago. At that time, France, Denmark and Germany asserted that Greece cannot have a monopoly over the production of this type of cheese. Greece managed to prove in international institutions that it is the cheese’s “originator” and won the case. Until that point, the three prosecuting countries produced 12,000 tons of cheese a year. The court ruled that from then on, other countries could not use the name “feta”, as this cheese is “largely associated with Greece’s history and has been produced under this name for 6,000 years.”

Thus, the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs decided to grant Greece the sole right to produce and market the cheese under that name. The Lebanese official claims that not only does Israel use the names of Lebanese foods but it also markets them in ready-to-eat plastic boxes for European and US consumers as if these were traditional Israeli foods. [...]


  1. Good, sounds like a reasonable law suite to me.

    Now the Lebanese army can start fulfilling its international obligations by patroling its southern border an enforcing quite as is required of it by international law. They can also pay us restitution for the wrongful deaths of all of our soldiers who have been abducted and killed along the borders that they were obligated to patrol. Not to mention the civilian casualties resulting from infiltrations and the rocket attacks during the second Lebanon War. Also they can pay for all of our collateral damage caused by that conflict in which they started. We will pay for the tens of millions that we owe them but only afters they pay out the Billions of dollars that they owe us. That is after they fulfill their international obligations by disarming the Hizbolla.

  2. There's a famous gemara in Sanhedrin that talks about how, during the reign of Alexander the Great the Egyptians tried to get compensation for the gold our ancestors took out of Egypt.

    Is there another gemara to cover this one?

  3. Just another example of the idiocy called "international law".

  4. This is NOT a matter of "international law". Rather it appears to be specific to the EU and based upon their own agreements. So, I guess, that the issues may be:
    1.Do Israel and Lebannon subscribe to agreements with the EU that would then make them liable to the obligations and rights provided for by EU law?
    2.Can non-EU countries' invoke food product name protection in the EU.
    A bit of research would give us an idea as to whether this fellow is serious or whether he is just grandstanding.


    "...[I]n 1992, the European Union created systems known as PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) and TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) to promote and protect food products. ...

    I hope that Israel is therefore careful when it makes agreements with foreign entities such as the EU.


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