The Canadian Zionist Cultural Association (CZCA) has launched a formal legal complaint with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) seeking that its nonprofit status be revoked owing to its support for the Israeli army's illegal actions in the occupied Palestinian lands.
Khaled Mouammar, a Canadian Palestinian, and Rabbi David Mivasair, a member of Independent Jewish Voices, have urged the CRA to investigate whether the CZCA's operations and activities meet with its regulations for registered charities and, if not, to remove the group's charity status. Matthew Green, the New Democratic Party's critic for national revenue, has also asked the CRA to look into the CZCA.
The complaint reveals the organization's support for the Israeli military, which is in violation of the CRA's registered charity requirements.
“Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of Canada's armed forces is charitable, but aiding the armed forces of another country is not,” according to CRA standards. Despite this, CZCA is listed on the Israel Defense Forces (IOF) website as an organization “authorized to solicit funds.”
CZCA gave YAHAD over $1.7 million in 2019, claiming that it is “100% for the comfort and wellbeing of IDF soldiers” and that “all overhead costs are funded by Israel's Ministry of Defense, 100% of all donations are used for their objectives without any overhead.”
Phone number and address as the Association of Soldiers Israel–Canada With the same administrators, 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 IOF."
"The Canada Revenue Agency needs to audit the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association," stated 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," reported 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," said Mouammar.
More than a quarter billion dollars was raised by registered Canadian charities for projects in Israel in 2018. 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 have to 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.