web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



FOIA Request: Did IRS Maliciously Audit Pro-Israel Organization?

Several pro-Israel organizations were audited immediately after a New York Times article suggested organizations should not receive tax exempt status if they provide support to Jews living beyond the "Green Line."
HaYovel is a pro-Israel non-profit organization on behalf of which a FOIA request was filed on the IRS.

HaYovel is a pro-Israel non-profit organization on behalf of which a FOIA request was filed on the IRS.
Photo Credit: Hayovel.com

Once again the alleged politicization of the Internal Revenue Service under the current U.S. administration is in the news.

Most of the attention, certainly by those in Washington, D.C., has been on politically conservative organizations such as Tea Party  groups, which claim discriminatory treatment at the hands of the IRS. However, a certain and very specific slice of pro-Israel non-profit organizations have also claimed victimization at the hands of the IRS.

On Wednesday, February 26, legal representatives for HaYovel, filed several Freedom of Information Act requests. HaYovel is a Nashville-based tax-exempt organization which provides volunteers to work in Jewish-owned vineyards in Judea and Samaria.

The FOIA requests were directed to the IRS, the Treasury Department and the State Department, and seek information relating to an oddly-timed and allegedly politically motivated audit by the IRS. The audit came in December, 2010, a few months after the organization was featured prominently in a July 5, 2010 New York Times article titled Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank.

The FOIA requests seek to determine whether there is a connection between the New York Times article, the current administration’s policies with regard to Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, and the 2010 HaYovel audit. There were four other non-profit, tax-exempt pro-Israel organizations which claim to also have received surprising audits shortly after the New York Times article raised the issue of whether U.S. charities which support entities beyond the 1949 Armistice Line (the so-called Green Line) should be entitled to tax-exempt status. The other four have refused to be publicly identified for fear of further alleged retribution by the IRS.

Those five pro-Israel organizations which were subject to allegedly maliciously-motivated audits, and a sixth one, which experienced a different form of treatment it claims violated its constitutional rights, are pro-Israel organizations which recognize and support Jews living in Judea and Samaria, popularly referred to as the “West Bank.”

Unlike many other pro-Israel organizations, and nearly all pro-Palestinian Arab organizations, those six support the right of all people to live in that territory, whether Jewish, Muslim or Christian. And that is the reason the New York Times article was critical of the organizations it named, and similarly situated ones.

The sixth pro-Israel organization which claimed discriminatory treatment by the IRS is Z STREET.* That organization is in a different situation than the others. That is because, as a brand new organization, it had only filed for tax-exempt status with the IRS in December, 2009, and its file was just being reviewed by the IRS agent to whom its file had been assigned, when the July, 2010 New York Times article was published.

Of course the New York Times is not empowered to direct activity by any branch of government, but pundits and others wondered whether the article did influence IRS activity.

Z STREET brought a lawsuit against the IRS in August of 2010, seeking to find out why its application was given “special scrutiny,” and to have the court order that its tax-exempt application be given a constitutionally untainted review.

It is the request for mandated action by the IRS (an untainted review of its request for tax exemption) that prevents a FOIA request from granting relief to Z STREET, unlike the other groups which already had received tax-exempt status.

The law firms which filed the FOIA requests for HaYovel are the Liberty Institute and the Washington, D.C. law firm Bancroft PLLC.

*The author of this article founded and was the president of Z STREET.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

4 Responses to “FOIA Request: Did IRS Maliciously Audit Pro-Israel Organization?”

  1. Gene Ralno says:

    I wonder if the American people will follow Martin Niem√∂ller's words that now have become a bit of a prophecy. Recall he said "First they came for me…" His outrage was against non-Nazi intellectuals who idled themselves in full view of the atrocities. Recall too that his oppression began slowly and was based on democratic elections seeded with seemingly innocuous political maneuvering. Sound familiar?

  2. Is there no depth of slime the Obama administration will not sink to, in order to 'shut up' anyone who does not agree with and march in lock step with its communization and Muslimization of the United States of America and the elimination of the State of Israel.

  3. Judea and Samaria will get used to work themselves although some will suffer for a while. I am sure your government will stand with you!

  4. Stuart Kaufman says:

    In October, we were in Itamar, picking grapes with Tommy Waller, the founder of Hayovel. A more worthy or moral organization I cannot even begin to imagine. Those who try to torment people such as Tommy Waller and others who believe that Judea and Samaria belong to the Jewish people will be cursed and destroyed.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A look inside the IAF war room
IDF to Stop Persecution of Observant Soldiers With Beards
Latest News Stories

The terrorist’s wife will now have to return to the Palestinian Authority, following the decision by Interior Minister Gilad Erdan.

A look inside the IAF war room

The IDF says it will change its policies on soldiers who grow beards for religious reasons.

Riot Hundreds of masked Palestinians carry the body of 16-year-old Palestinian Mohamed Abu Khdeir during his funeral in the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat flash 90

The proposal includes some extreme measures to fight the current wave of terrorism.

The Kinneret rose 3.5 centimeters overnight due to the heavy rainstorm that hit the country.

The father-son team recently gave a check to the family of Druze policeman Zidan Saif for his role in stopping the Har Nof Massacre.

The police fought hard to not have it revealed that Netanel Arami was murdered in a Petach Tikva terror attack, but now a court has lifted the gag order…

The three were walking along the side of the highway when the accident happened.

A device, a gas canister with wires, was left near the Shavei Shomron intersection this morning, designed to look like a bomb.

The ISIS ‘prince’ of Iraq’s Anbar province was killed in a US-led coalition air strike Wednesday.

The Ferguson-related unrest continued across America Tuesday night. Some blamed Israel.

Israeli MK Yuli Edelstein tells Chabad rabbis why he “lost it” over tefillin in a Soviet labor camp.

Turkish legislator proposes Turkey pass law naming Israel a terrorist state.

ISIS reportedly executes by stoning two allegedly gay males in Syria.

World Council of Arameans Now “Looks Specifically to Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon”

Young Israeli women arrive at the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem to donate their hair to create wigs for cancer patients at a fundraiser arranged by “Zichron Menachem”, the Israeli Association for the Support of Children with Cancer and their Families (November 24, 2014). All photos by Gershon Elinson/Flash90

In Lebanon, a pro-Hezbollah vocalist has been arrested for nationalist and sectarian incitement.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Lutfu Turkkan, Turkish legislator, introduced legislation into Turkish parliament to label Israel a terrorist state

Turkish legislator proposes Turkey pass law naming Israel a terrorist state.

The flag of ISIS

ISIS reportedly executes by stoning two allegedly gay males in Syria.

Son of Isaac Bashevis Singer, Israeli author Israel Zalman, dead at 85.

Is the West about to provide Iran with a major concession in order to reach an “historic” (but empty) deal?

Arab pathologist who originally agreed with the findings of Arab bus driver’s autopsy showing suicide, now disagrees.

US can’t understand why the UAE is calling terrorist groups terrorist groups.

The NYPD has increased security for NYC synagogues in the wake of the Har Nof massacre.

Israel’s UN Ambassador called on entire UNSC to confront the reality of the Palestinian Arab barbarity.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/foia-request-did-irs-maliciously-audit-pro-israel-organization/2014/02/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: