TORONTO, Monday, August 2, 2021 (WAFA) - A formal legal complaint was submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) demanding revocation of the charitable status of the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association (CZCA) due to its support for the Israeli army’s illegal action in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Canadian Palestinian Khaled Mouammar and Independent Jewish Voices member Rabbi David Mivasair have asked the CRA to investigate whether the CZCA's operations and activities comply with its regulations for registered charities and, if not, to revoke the group’s charitable status. New Democratic Party Critic for National Revenue Matthew Green is also asking the CRA to investigate the CZCA.
The complaint details that organization’s support of the Israeli military in contravention of CRA guidelines for registered charities.
CRA rules state that “increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of Canada’s armed forces is charitable, but supporting the armed forces of another country is not.” Yet, the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) website names CZCA as an organization “authorized to raise donations for the IDF.”
In 2019 CZCA allocated over $1.7 million to YAHAD, which claims to be “100% for the welfare and wellbeing of IDF soldiers” and states that “with all overhead costs financed by Israel’s Ministry of Defense, 100% of all donations are utilized for their objectives without any overhead.”
With the same administrators, phone number and address as the Association of Soldiers Israel–Canada, CZCA appears to be acting as a conduit for that group’s donations. Association of Soldiers Israel-Canada’s website says it is “the only non-profit organization in Canada authorized by the IDF to support Israel's soldiers on active duty. We are the Canadian partner of YAHAD - United for Israel's Soldiers.”
"We believe our complaint demonstrates that the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association is violating Canadian charity law", explains Rabbi David Mivasair. "Canada Revenue Agency rules state clearly that supporting the armed forces of another country is not charitable, yet the Israel Defense Forces website explicitly named the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association as an organization "authorized to raise donations for the IDF."
"The Canada Revenue Agency needs to audit the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association," said Khaled Mouammar. "Taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing the Israeli military in contravention of Canadian law."
"The Canada Revenue Agency needs to investigate whether the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association is complying with its regulations for charities," says NDP revenue critic Matthew Green. "If an audit finds that it is breaking the rules it should revoke the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association's charitable status."
"Canadians don't want to be subsidizing a foreign military violating international law," concluded Mouammar.
In 2018 more than a quarter billion dollars was raised by registered Canadian charities for projects in Israel. It is suspected that tens of millions go to groups that back the Israeli military, racist organizations and West Bank settlements, which should all contravene Canadian charity law.
The CRA must investigate whether CZCA is complying with its regulations for registered charities. If it is violating the law the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association’s charitable status must be revoked.