JNF Canada in violation of Income Tax Act, Canadian policy and International Law
Formal complaint to Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue) and the Canada Revenue Agency. Submitted by David Mivasair, Ismail Zayid, Bill Skidmore & Lorraine Guay (October 2017).
The Jewish National Fund of Canada (JNF Canada) is a registered charity in Canada governed by provisions of the Income Tax Act and subject to oversight by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
We allege that JNF Canada is a fundraising office of an Israeli organization called Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael/Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), an organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Israel, and not an independent charitable organization. By consistently blurring the lines between the activities of JNF Canada and of KKL-JNF, JNF Canada has held itself out as being equivalent to KKL-JNF. As a result, distinguishing between them is often difficult.
JNF Canada is in violation of the Income Tax Act (the Act), official Canadian policy, and international law; it is also in contravention of CRA guidelines and policy statements. The following are the key findings contained in our formal complaint:
1. JNF Canada’s governing document does not meet the requirements of the Act in that it does not disclose a charitable purpose. JNF Canada has never identified a charitable purpose in their governing document, contrary to CRA Guideline Document CG-019, How To Draft Purposes for Charitable Registration.
2. JNF Canada’s administrative practices are in breach of the Act and contrary to CRA policy guidance, CG-002, Canadian Registered Charities Carrying Out Activities Outside Canada, with regard to the direction and control of projects in Israel/Palestine, as JNF Canada appears to be acting as a conduit for funds to KKL-JNF.
3. JNF Canada is in violation of the Act and common law in that it engages in activities that do not meet the public benefit requirement as stated in CRA policy guidance, CPS024, Guidelines for Registering a Charity: Meeting the Public Benefit Test. JNF Canada’s purported intermediary, KKL-JNF, engages in discriminatory practices, as its large landholdings are chartered for exclusively Jewish ownership and lease, and the organization is chartered to exclusively benefit Jews. In the Negev and Galilee regions, JNF Canada has funded projects that are very harmful towards non-Jews, making them unable to result in a net public benefit.
4. JNF Canada is in violation of the Act, common law, and CG-002 as it supports a foreign army. The support includes the building of roads and other infrastructure that is either entirely or primarily for the benefit of the Israel Defence Forces.
5. JNF Canada is in violation of Canadian law and fails to meet the requirements of registration as it is acting contrary to Canadian public policy. JNF Canada contravenes official Canadian public policy – in addition to international law – by providing support for the establishment of changes to the physical character of Occupied Territory; it is thereby helping Israel effectively annex land within Occupied Territory, and in the case of both East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, deepen control over land already annexed illegally.