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Canada revokes Jewish charity’s tax-deductible status over support for Israeli military

Middle East

Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) welcomes news that Beth Oloth Charitable Organization has had its tax-deductible status revoked by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

According to a Global News story published this morning, Beth Oloth had been funding activities deemed non-charitable under Canadian law, including those that increase “the efficiency and effectiveness of the Israeli armed forces.” The organization had also been funding Israeli projects in the occupied Palestinian territory, which the CRA has noted runs contrary to Canada’s policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“Well-meaning donors to Jewish community foundations may be surprised to learn that they have been funding illegal Israeli settlement activity,” said Rabbi David Mivasair of Hamilton, Ontario. “The CRA doing its job and removing Beth Oloth’s illegitimate charitable status strengthens our confidence that our generosity is not being abused.”

The news about Beth Oloth came just weeks after CBC News revealed that the Jewish National Fund of Canada (JNF Canada) has likewise been under audit for supporting the Israeli army and settlements. JNF Canada has been the subject of CRA-directed complaints for over four decades and is currently the subject of IJV’s “Stop JNF Canada” campaign to have its charitable status revoked. As detailed in an 85-page IJV-supported submission to the CRA in October 2017, JNF Canada has been violating Canadian tax law for over 50 years.

“Not only has JNF Canada been supporting the Israeli military and settlements, it denies access to land for Palestinians and contributes to their displacement,” said Balsam.

“Here’s hoping that CRA’s action against Beth Oloth is a sign that the era of impunity for Canadian organizations that support the Israeli occupation is finally coming to an end. It’s about time the CRA cleaned house and applied its own rules to these organizations” said Balsam.

“Given the wealth of evidence against it and that it is already under audit, we expect JNF Canada to be next.”

To learn more about Independent Jewish Voices Canada visit ijvcanada.org.

About Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Independent Jewish Voices Canada is a grassroots organization grounded in Jewish tradition that opposes all forms of racism and advocates for justice and peace for all in Israel-Palestine. Our strength comes from our members. IJV has active chapters in cities and on university campuses across the country.

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15 Responses

  1. just
    just
    January 28, 2019, 4:21 pm

    Such great news!

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      January 29, 2019, 10:54 am

      @just, et al

      “Great news,” indeed!!

      I know several Canadians. They speak very highly of IJV and tell me that the great majority of Canadians support the Palestinians. I always feel optimistic when I hear that Jews are standing shoulder to shoulder with Palestine’s indigenous inhabitants.

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        January 30, 2019, 9:53 am

        And yet it took 4 decades of complaints to get things started. Canada must suffer what in the USA we suffer from AIPAC and affiliates and a few Z-billionaires, and in UK people suffer from similar well-funded Z-pressure groups.. That’s the bad news. The good news is that lots of Canadians stand with Palestinians.

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    January 29, 2019, 12:39 am

    Agreed, great news!

  3. klm90046
    klm90046
    January 29, 2019, 1:22 am

    The prime minister is blindly supportive of Israel and all its atrocities. So I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  4. Egbert
    Egbert
    January 29, 2019, 8:38 am

    Excellent news. I hope they are required to pay back all the taxes they avoided by claiming to be a charity.

    Ha, ha, Ha. I kill myself laughing!

  5. aloeste
    aloeste
    January 30, 2019, 11:45 am

    beit olot sounds like a great name for a new town over the green line . need to get working on it

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 30, 2019, 12:44 pm

      || aloeste: beit olot sounds like a great name for a new town over the green line . need to get working on it ||

      Sounds like spousal abuse, too. Need to put a stop to both injustices.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        January 30, 2019, 11:17 pm

        A song from the musical Settlers!:

        We’re happy here in Beit Olot.
        Where we can show our hate a lot,
        And make the Arabs wait a lot,
        Outside the checkpoint gate a lot,
        And contemplate their fate a lot,
        While we steal real estate a lot,
        To build our happy Beit Olot.

      • eljay
        eljay
        February 1, 2019, 7:41 am

        || RoHa: A song from the musical Settlers! … ||

        Nicely done!  :-)

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 30, 2019, 12:48 pm

      The illegal expansion to the east has always been your main target to acquire lebensraum, hasn’t it?

  6. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    January 31, 2019, 8:02 am

    Too much celebration at this point. Keep checking on the situation. Trudeau is a diehard zionist. Either there will be legislation changes or this decision will get overturned on a political level and the status restored. Another alternative to hide the politics is to launch a suit against CRA and had the CRA legal team throw the case.

    I’m guessing of course but the perfidy of this government and those involved in it can’t believe this will be allowed to stand.

  7. lonely rico
    lonely rico
    February 1, 2019, 9:05 pm

    Shamefully, Canada has been a fervent supporter of Israel since the foundation of the Zionist state on the blood, tears, and ashes of the Palestinian people.

    The Canadian government of Justin Trudeau backs Israel regardless of its criminality, ignoring the majority of Canadians who believe Canada should have a more balanced approach to the strife in Palestine.

    Yves Engler’s Canada and Israel — Building Apartheid is a critical primer about Canada’s ties to Israel. It is a devastating account of Canadian complicity in 20th and 21st century colonialism, dispossession and war crimes. The book documents the history of Canadian Christian Zionism, Lester Pearson’s important role in the United Nations negotiations to create a Jewish state on Palestinian land, the millions of dollars in tax-deductible donations used to expand Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Canada’s diplomatic cover for Israel in international fora, and more.

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