Write a letter to Canada Revenue Agency: No subsidies for war crimes--investigate HESEG Foundation

Take a moment and send a letter to the Canada Revenue Agency. Let them know that the HESEG Foundation for Lone Soldiers appears to be violating Canada Revenue Agency rules by assisting a foreign military.

The registered charity was established to assist the Israeli military and promote non-Israelis to join that force. But, CRA rules state clearly that “supporting the armed forces of another country is not” charitable.

Established by Heather Reisman and Gerald Schwartz, the HESEG Foundation provides scholarships and other support to non-Israelis (Lone Soldiers) who join the Israeli military. It funds scholarships for members of the Duvdevan, an undercover commando unit known for disguising itself and blending in with Palestinians in the Occupied Territories to carry out operations.

After the IDF killed 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in 2009, HESEG delivered $160,000 in gifts to IDF soldiers who took part in the violence.

The HESEG board has included a handful of top former Israeli military officials. This includes Chief Commander of the Israeli military in Gaza and the West Bank, Yitzhak Eitan, Head of Mossad, Shabtai Shavi, and Commander of the IDF's Southern Command, Doron Almog.

The Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation, a charitable foundation began by the founders of HESEG, has provided over $43 million to HESEG over the last five years.

The Canada Revenue Agency must immediately investigate HESEG and any other charitable organizations or foundations that are donating to HESEG, and revoke their charitable status if found to be operating in contravention of CRA rules.


A recent access to information (ATIP) received by Just Peace Advocates indicated over $10.5 billion of Canadian tax-subsidized charitable funds have gone to other countries over the last five years. At a 30 percent tax rate this is more than a $3B dollars subsidy by the Canadian taxpayer. Each year between 5,000 and 7000 Canadian charities are involved in sending these funds to over 180 countries.

This access (ATIP) request from the Canada Revenue Agency also revealed that Israel received the highest amount of charitable donations from Canadian charities of any country.

On average over the last five years, over 11 percent of the funds donated to other countries by Canadian charities went to Israel, a country that has a GDP per capita equivalent or higher than Canada.

Over 200 charities in Canada each year from 2018 to 2021 reported sending money to Israel.

The CRA has been requested to investigate a number of charities that appear to be donating to entities in Israel that are supporting illegal settlements and the Israeli military. Over thirty organizations are calling for an investigation into Canadian charities that are supporting war crimes.

Co-sponsored by

Canadian Foreign Policy Institute

World BEYOND War Canada

Just Peace Advocates

Palestine House

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Oakville Palestinian Rights Association (OPRA)

The Canadian BDS Coalition

Canada Palestine Association

Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU)

Defund Racism

Good Shepherd Collective