Both major political parties turned a blind eye to this outrageous tax dodge which circumvented Canadian laws
This is what I was doing on Friday outside Mitzpeh Ya’ir, a militant illegal settlement in the South Hebron Hills:
I was arrested with 16 others for helping Palestinians fill potholes in a miserable old dirt track. The route is the only link to the outside world for about a dozen isolated and endangered Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills, which are under constant violent attack by settlers. You can read more about it here and here.
Today I’m in Bethlehem and I’m writing to ask you to do the single most concrete thing Canadians can do right now to support the Palestinians struggle for their very existence: sign the Parliamentary petition to the Minister of National Revenue to revoke the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund Canada.
The Jewish National Fund acquires land in Palestine for exclusive use by Jews. It overtly and blatantly discriminates against Palestinians. It is largely responsible for the demolition of entire villages. And, it raises tens of millions in tax deductible donations in Canada every year.
Outside Toronto synagogue…Greenwashing!
I am one of 4 Canadians who jointly filed a formal, legal complaint with the Canada Revenue Agency about a year and a half ago. Our complaint–one of many over the span of 4 decades–documents the multiple ways in which JNF Canada violates the Income Tax Act.
In January of this year, Independent Jewish Voices launched a Parliamentary petition to the Minister of National Revenue to revoke the charitable status of the JNF if found to be in violation. The petition is open to be signed only until Thursday, May 9, just before noon. After that, NDP Critic for National Revenue, MP Pierre-Luc Dusseault will present the petition in the House of Commons and the government will be obliged to respond. The more signatures it has, the more seriously it will be taken.
Back in January, we set a goal of 3,000 signatures. We weren’t sure we’d make it, but last night we did it! Thanks to everyone who has signed and shared the petition so far. Now let’s see how far beyond 3k we can get. Who knows, maybe we can even reach 3500? The more the better!
First, please sign the petition now. It’s simple and easy. And, it will make a difference. It’s important. Every Canadian can do this.
Second, please circulate this email to your own networks and circles of people who care about justice. Write your own brief intro asking your friends and colleagues to please take a minute to sign the petition. Think of groups you belong to and any individuals who would be proud to do this. (And, if you don’t mind, cc or bcc me. I’d love to follow the action.)
The situation here in Palestine is dire and getting worse. I have been with people here day after day who are directly suffering in more ways than I can begin to tell you. It’s all around. I imagine you know this already. We can put the brakes on the JNF. If we do, it will make a small difference, but it will also encourage Palestinians and others around the world to take other concrete steps. And, it will directly challenge the until-now-overwhelming dominance of the false Zionist narrative.
I hope you will sign the petition and forward this email widely. Would you please let me know if you will do this?
Thank you so much!
Rabbi David Mivasair, IJV Hamilton