Samidoun is joining with the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute, The Canadian BDS Coalition, Canada Palestine Association, Palestinian and Jewish Unity, Independent Jewish Voices, Palestine House (Palestinian Canadian Community Centre), and Just Peace Advocates to launch a campaign to tell the Canada Revenue Agency that colonialism is not charity.
This week a representative of the Jerusalem-based organization Regavim is scheduled to host a series of fundraisers in the Greater Toronto Area. The Canada Revenue Agency shouldn’t provide a single tax receipt for donations to this racist, colonialist, organization. Regavim is one of the organizations highlighted by the Defund Racism campaign, exposing tax-exempt organizations working to expand illegal settlements.
According to Defund Racism, Regavim “works to expand Jewish control of land across Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories by pushing Israeli administrative, judicial, legislative, and military bodies to dispossess Palestinian and other non-Jewish communities of their land.” To dispossess Palestinians, it spies on them with drones and employs various legal measures. Regavim not only works to expand settlements in the West Bank but also to expand colonialism in the Naqab and Gaililee, including through the forced displacement of Palestinians.
It’s important the CRA takes immediate action regarding Regavim as its influence is set to grow. Regavim was founded by the notorious far-right anti-Palestinian racist Bezalel Smotrich, who was recently granted special power to control the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Amidst these discussion, Israeli paper Ha’aretz recently noted, “The Regavim NGO and Bezalel Smotrich don’t want law and order, they want to use more force against the Arabs.”
Regavim’s website offers tax receipts to Canadian donors. Its fiscal sponsor in Canada is registered charity Mizrachi Canada, which channeled $6 million to Israel in 2021.
According to CRA rules, registered charities are not supposed to assist the Israeli settlement project in the occupied West Bank since Ottawa officially considers it a violation of international law.
A formal complaint detailing why Canadian taxpayers should not be subsidizing Regavim has been submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency.
The Canada Revenue Agency must audit Mizrachi Canada and immediately halt it from granting tax receipts to Regavim donors.