U.S. Embassy: Settlement wine in gift basket was not a policy change


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv sent Rosh Hashanah gift baskets to several Israeli organizations that included a bottle of wine made in a West Bank settlement.

Among the recipients was Peace Now, which is opposed to Israeli settlements, Reuters reported Monday.

The U.S. State Department has consistently condemned West Bank Israeli settlements, calling them an obstacle to peace and a two-state solution.

“This should in no way be interpreted as a change of our policy on settlements, which is long-standing and clear,” an embassy official told Reuters.

The official said the gift baskets had been assembled by an outside company and the embassy did not check the contents before the baskets were delivered.

The gifted wine was a kosher cabernet sauvignon from the Zion Winery, located in Mishor Adumim, a settlement east of Jerusalem, according to the report.

Peace Now told Reuters that the distribution of settlement wine was “an honest mistake” and that the organization would not make a fuss about it.

It is traditional in Israel to send pre-holiday gifts to friends and co-workers.

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