The devastating attacks in Israel have left one federal charity unsympathetic to the suffering of non-combatant Israelis by Hamas, a designated terrorist entity.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East called Israel “sadistic” and “barbaric” after acts of barbarism by Hamas left more than 1,000 dead over the weekend, mostly Jews.
On October 7, Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz ordered the halting of all power to Gaza after the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise terrorist attack on the country.
"I have signed an order instructing (Israel) Electric Company to stop the electricity supply to Gaza," Katz told reporters.
These are among several security measures imposed by the Israeli government to destroy the capabilities of Hamas "for many years," including cutting fuel and prohibiting the entry of goods into the region.
Within hours of the terrorist attacks, Canadians for Peace accused Israel of “brutal daily violence” and ulterior motives.
“Israel appears to be using this crisis as a pretext to escalate its devastating violence on the people of the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip,” it wrote.
In a news release, they called Israel a “racist military occupation” that promotes “apartheid policies” upon the Palestinians.
“Israel is set to cut off electricity to a besieged population of more than two million Palestinians,” they said, calling this “a sadistic act” and “an obvious war crime.”
“What do these barbaric attacks have to do with security?”
According to the Income Tax Act, the federal government prohibits charities from “directly or indirectly” supporting any listed terrorist group.
Canada blacklisted Hamas as a terrorist organization in November 2002.
In filings to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Canadians for Peace has been a registered charity since 2013.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, a 2020 Agency guide cautioned charities that benefit from Income Tax Act credits to avoid inflammatory comments on political issues.
“Charities may provide information to their supporters or the general public related to their charitable purposes in order to inform or persuade the public in regard to public policy,” said the guide Public Policy Dialogue And Development Activities By Charities. “Such information must be truthful, accurate and not misleading.”
“Violent anti-Palestinian racism is a rampant problem in Canada yet it remains entirely unaddressed,” Canadians for Peace wrote on October 8.
“The message could not be clearer that not all lives are equal in the eyes of the Canadian government,” they said.
The CRA rules restrict political commentary by registered charities working “in parts of the world where terrorism and other forms of violence prevail,” according to a 2022 guide, Charities In The International Context.
The charity, in a 2017 submission to the Commons foreign affairs committee, claimed 125,000 supporters in Canada, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
In 2022, they collected $271,942 in donations including contributions from the University of Waterloo and Canadian Council of Muslim Women, records show.
In April 2014, the federal government went after another charity with alleged sympathies towards Hamas, the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN-Canada), reported the Toronto Star.
Between 2005 and 2009 IRFAN-Canada transferred approximately $14.6 million worth of resources to various organizations associated with Hamas, according to Public Safety Canada at the time.
They accused IRFAN of having “met the legal threshold set out in the criminal code,” that it “knowingly participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity.”
Section 83.03 of the criminal code designates it a crime to provide a service for terrorism.
In a separate statement, then RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said “we are determined to stop Canadian funds from getting in the hands of terrorist groups,” and “misusing charitable donations to fund terrorist activity.”
IRFAN-Canada lost its registered charity status in 2011.
B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish human rights organization, for years warned MPs that Canadians for Peace engaged in advocacy unusual for a federally-registered charity.
“B’nai Brith tried unsuccessfully to lay charges in another mischievous act of bias against our community,” testified CEO Michael Mostyn at the Commons Justice committee in 2017.
He also claimed the charity admitted to placing “Boycott Israel” stickers on retail goods.
“Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East or CJPME had placed stickers promoting the boycott of Israel on items for sale in stores across Canada, a clear case of bias based on national origin,” he said.
As of writing, there have been no mischief charges laid against the charity, despite filming themselves doing it.