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Canadian charity exposed for funding Israel Defence Force

A large Canadian charity has come under fire for illegally funding army, air and naval bases for the Israel Defence Force

Canadian media has exposed one of the country’s largest charities for funding the Israel Defence Force (IDF) in violation of international laws.

Canada’s Public Broadcaster, the Canada Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), revealed that the Jewish National Fund of Canada (JFN) funded the infrastructure of Israel air, army and naval bases in violation of donation bans and foreign policy laws.

JNF, which says its mission is to “build the social infrastructure of the land of Israel for the benefit of the People of Israel”, insisted to its donors that it stopped funding these projects in 2016. It also disclosed that it was under audit for its spending behaviours.

CBC’s article revealed the charity spent money on a number of defence force projects, including at least one illegal hilltop settler outpost. In an email to the broadcaster, CBC said that its monetary support of the Israel army had ended in 2016.

“To be clear, we no longer fund projects located on IDF land and JNF Canada operates in accordance with CRA regulations governing its status as a charitable organisation,” JNF’s Chief Executive Officer, Lance Davis, told CBC in the email.

In October 2017, a complaint by the Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) under the #StopJNFCanada campaign presented detailed evidence that JNF Canada works in violation of the Income Tax Act and contravenes Canadian foreign policy. It said the funding of IDF was limiting the amount of donations for Canada’s defence force.

In its complaint, IJV said: “JNF Canada is fully aware of the numerous efforts over the years by human rights advocates to expose its activities, yet it continues to promote its controversial agenda unapologetically. As a result of decades of impunity, JNF Canada acts as though the rules simply do not apply to it.”

IJV claimed that the governing and administration requirements to meet the standards of the Income Tax Act were not being met and it is in violation of common law in that it engages in activities that do not meet the public benefit or in charity guidelines.

IJV said if the government did not act to strip the charity of its status, it would have no choice but to conclude that the government is “unwilling to uphold Canadian law”.

“Currently, the Government of Canada is putting the interests of JNF Canada above those of Canadian taxpayers, and above the interests of our country – which has been implicated for fifty years in the discriminatory and oftentimes illegal work of JNF.”

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