Revoking the Charitable Status of the Jewish National Fund Canada (JNF)

Code

G16-P010

Resolution Type

Policy

Submitter Name

Corey Levine

Preamble

WHEREAS the JNF practices discrimination against non-Jews in Israel through its bylaws which prohibit the lease or sale of its lands to non-Jews;

WHEREAS the JNF is complicit in the continued dispossession of Palestinians from their lands by creating forests and parks on this land in the name of ‘environmentalism’;

WHEREAS the JNF’s ‘Ayalon Canada Park’ sits in occupied Palestinian territory, covering up the lands of the depopulated and demolished Palestinian villages of Yalu, Imwas and Beit Nuba;

WHEREAS Israel’s Attorney General and the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights have charged the JNF with practicing institutional discrimination against non-Jewish citizens of Israel;

WHEREAS “the CRA is aware that the JNF’s activities contravene Canadian public policy;”

WHEREAS many civil society groups across Canada, including Jewish groups, have called for an end to JNF charitable status;

Operative

BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada calls on the Canada Revenue Agency to revoke the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund for contravening public policy against discrimination and for its failure to comply with international human rights law.

Sponsors

Constantine Kritsonis, Anne Percival, Dr. Adrian Fine, Dr. Leslie King , Miriam Meir, Alex Hill, Ghaith Hannibal El-Mohtar, Elizabeth May, Dimitri Lascaris, Richard Hosein, Tessa Owens, Carolyn L. Herbert, Joe Foster, Saul Bottcher, Diane Wilson, Paul Manly, Tom McLenaghan, Colin Griffiths, Danny Polifroni, Ilan Goldenblatt, John Mullane, Edwin Daniel, Laila Zarrabi Yan, Stefan Kiletsch, Eva Manly, Jim Manly, Temara Brown, Lora Picchi

Background

The Jewish National Fund was created in 1901. Its purpose is to ‘acquire’ land for “the purpose of settling Jews on such land.” Under the JNF’s charter, it is prohibited from selling or leasing land to non-Jews. It operates as a quasi-governmental body in Israel, yet it has charitable status in Canada.

13% of Israel is directly under the control of the JNF and has a great deal of influence over the control of the remaining public lands (80% of all land), which means it has a direct role in implementing Israel’s discriminatory policies against its Palestinian citizens.

Under the guise of ‘environmentalism,’ the JNF has forested over the ruins of Palestinian villages in an attempt to ‘greenwash’ non-Jewish dispossession. This includes ‘Canada Park’ which was built over top 3 destroyed Palestinian villages who more than 9000 residents were expelled from their homes. The JNF today continues to displace Bedouins from their ancestral lands to make way for ‘green space’ as well as Jewish-only settlements.

Because of its charitable status, JNF provides tax credits for donations, meaning that up to 25% of their budget comes from our taxes. In the ‘2010 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada Chapter 7 - Registered Charities,’ the Canada Revenue Agency asks: ‘If a registered charity undertakes illegal activities abroad, what action will the CRA take? Will the CRA investigate or revoke the registered status of the Jewish National Fund? The Auditor General has yet to ask the CRA this question, despite having knowledge of the JNF’s illegal activities abroad.’ 1 http://ijvcanada.org/campaign/the-jewish-national-fund-jnf/ 2 Ibid. 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rZmzIqK6Fc 4 http://ijvcanada.org/campaign/the-jewish- national-fund- jnf/ 5 Ibid.