JNF Canada audited over donations linked to Israeli military
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JNF Canada audited over donations linked to Israeli military

Canadian national broadcaster says review by local authorities came in response to complaint from Jewish BDS group

Jewish National Fund collection boxs (Wikimedia commons/David Shay)
Jewish National Fund collection boxs (Wikimedia commons/David Shay)

MONTREAL (JTA) — The Jewish National Fund of Canada was audited by Canadian tax authorities for using donor money to fund projects linked to the Israeli military.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported last week that the audit was carried out by the Canada Revenue Agency as the result of a complaint filed in the fall of 2017 by Independent Jewish Voices Canada referring to dozens of JNF Canada projects linked to the Israel Defense Forces, including infrastructure projects on military bases in Haifa and the Negev.

Canadian tax rules prohibit Canadian charities from funding the armed forces of another country.

Independent Jewish Voices Canada, which supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, has tried in the past to have JNF Canada’s charitable status revoked.

JNF Canada informed donors last year of the Canada Revenue Agency audit and said it stopped funding IDF-linked projects in 2016.

Jewish National Fund of Canada CEO Lance Davis (Screen capture: YouTube)

“To be clear, we no longer fund projects located on IDF land,” JNF Canada CEO Lance Davis said. He called the complaint a “rehash.”

It remained unclear what sanctions if any JNF Canada, the nation’s largest and oldest Jewish charity, might face in the wake of the audit.

While the revenue agency revoked the charitable status of a mosque in August for promoting hate, Canadian governments have long supported JNF Canada. In 2013, its Negev Dinner honored then prime minister Stephen Harper.

According to the website charityintelligence.ca, JNF Canada raised $9.5 million in 2017.

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