July 19, 2019
VANCOUVER – Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) is outraged by the federal government’s refusal to respond substantively to irrefutable evidence of violations of the Income Tax Act by a registered Canadian charity.
Yesterday, the government issued its official response to IJV’s formal, legal Parliamentary e-petition, signed by over 3,500 Canadians, calling on the Jewish National Fund of Canada’s (JNF Canada) charitable status to be revoked due to their numerous, grave, persistent violations of the Income Tax Act. The government’s response was simply a reiteration of the same response IJV and other concerned parties have been receiving from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for decades — that the auditing process is confidential, and that the CRA ensures that registered charities are held accountable for violations of the Income Tax Act accordingly.
“My village is one of three villages that were depopulated in 1967, and with the aid of the JNF, illegally demolished by Israeli forces,” said Dr. Ismail Zayid of Halifax, a signatory to the comprehensive complaint to the CRA which formed the basis of IJV’s e-petition. “Today, lands belonging to my hometown of Beit Nuba, along with the villages of Yalu and Imwas, are covered over by JNF Canada’s flagship project, ‘Canada Park’.”
“For over four decades, defenders of the human rights of Palestinians have been petitioning the CRA to revoke JNF Canada’s charitable status for its appalling discrimination against Palestinians,” said Rabbi David Mivasair, IJV spokesperson, and another signatory to the comprehensive complaint against JNF Canada’s serial violations of the Income Tax Act. “Canadians who see that the CRA refuses to do its job, which, based on the evidence, requires it to revoke JNF Canada’s charitable status, have serious concerns about government bias in favour of certain groups and against others.”
“By failing to apply Canadian tax law to JNF Canada’s support for the Israeli military, entrenchment of Israel’s illegal activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, projects that take Palestinian land and exclude them from it, and other egregious activities,” continued Mivasair, “the Canadian government is sending a clear message: it doesn’t regard Palestinian lives as worthy. This is beyond shameful, and shows a disturbing pattern of systemic racism against Palestinians by this government.”
“IJV is discussing the government’s response with our legal support team, and will consider next steps to ensure that Canada’s tax law is upheld and JNF Canada is held accountable for its actions. If the CRA refuses to uphold Canadian law in light of substantial and irrefutable evidence, how can Canadians be assured that the law of the land is being respected?” concluded Mivasair.
For media inquiries contact: Judith Muster, IJV Acting National Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, (647) 570-3924