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Charity under fire – Canadian funder linked to Israeli election

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A charitable foundation in Canada contributed more than $186,000 to Israeli charities implicated in a political fundraising scandal that could bring down Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the Globe and Mail reports.

The three Israeli charites – Bessorah, Dor Shalom and Yedid – are closely tied to Barak’s ruling Labour Party. All received donations in 1998 from the Kahanoff Foundation in Calgary, which has assets of more than $100 million, the newspaper says.

Israeli police are investigating all three Israeli charities to see if they engaged in unlawful political activity during last May’s election campaign, Israeli police sources told the Globe and Mail.

Contributions from foreign donors into a group of foundations that backed Barak and the Labour Party are the focus of a criminal investigation by Israeli police.

James Hume, president of the Kahanoff Foundation, told the Globe and Mail he was unaware of any ties between the three Israeli charities and the Labour Party.

Hume said he was confident that almost all the money the foundation contributed went to charitable work in Israel.

Representatives of the three charities refused repeated requests by the Globe and Mail to be interviewed.

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