Thursday, November 25, 2010
IRS Targeting Pro-Israel Groups?
Journolista Ben Smith over at the Politico has an interesting story on how elements of the IRS are apparently targeting pro-Israel groups..to the point where one of them is taking the IRS to court.
A Pennsylvania Jewish group named Z-Street filed the suit against the the Internal Revenue Service claiming the agency is targeting pro-Israel groups.
they introduced a letter in federal court from an IRS agent to another, unnamed organization that tax experts said was likely outside the usual or appropriate scope of an IRS inquiry.
"Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?" IRS agent Tracy Dornette wrote the organization, according to this week's court filing, as part of its consideration of the organizations application for tax exempt status.
"Describe your organization's religious belief system toward the land of Israel."
Z Street testified that a different IRS agent reviewing its own application for tax exempt status told them that the IRS is "carefully scrutinizing organizations that are in any way connected with Israel" and that "a special unit" is determining whether its activities "contradict the Administration's public policies.'"
The IRS has quite a bit of subjective leeway when it comes to approving or denying tax exempt status,merely by stating that a group works against "established public policy."
Given who's currently in the White House, it would hardly be a surprise to find that the IRS has begun applying this policy to pro-Israel groups seeking 501(c)3 staus.
By law, such groups can't advocate for political positions, but I doubt we'd see similar scrutiny for CAIR, J Street, or the NAACP, all of whom are profoundly political in their advocacy but align closely with President Obama's views.
I hope the easily duped Jews that voted for Obama and continue to observe the quaint ritual of lockstep support for the Democrats will take note of this.
Full disclosure..Z Street co-founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus, who is quoted in the piece is a friend and hardly the sort of hysteric given to seeing anti-Semitism behind every bush.
Although, when you look at the comments section on this article, you'll find that something like this certainly brings them out from under their rocks.