web analytics
August 20, 2014 / 24 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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 Niemöller'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
Ben Gurion Airport
Live Updates: Hamas Tells Airlines – Keep Away (Last Update: 8:12pm)
Latest News Stories
Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, former Field Marshal and Minister of Defense

Don’t you feel just a tad jealous of Egypt right now?

Ben Gurion Airport

8:12pm Eshkol 7:47pm Eshkol 7:44pm A Hamas spokesperson has warned airlines to not fly into Ben-Gurion starting 6am tomorrow (Thursday), according to a YNet report. It’s actually things like that that makes Israel hit Hamas even harder. 7:35pm Kerem Shalom 7:32pm Ashkelon targeted a few times. We’re going to guess that Deif my have been eliminated today, […]

Israel’s Security Cabinet is meeting in a marathon session to decide the next step in Operation Protective Edge.

More than 1,550 individuals have immigrated to Israel from Ukraine in the first five months of 2014 alone, more than double the 693 who arrived in the corresponding period last year.

Signs that Islamic State (ISIS – Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) terrorists have arrived in Egypt have appeared in the Sinai Peninsula.

Shlomy Zachary, an Israeli human rights lawyer, noted that Israeli cooperation with previous UN investigations has helped mitigate criticism of Israel – for example, in a 2010 UN investigation of the so-called flotilla incident.

Israelis may have to blame Qatar for the current round of lethal rocket fire, if a report published in Arab media is true.

So imagine, you’re working in the field harvesting cucumbers (or whatever is in season right now) and suddenly the siren goes off – Hamas is shooting rockets at you.

Another miracle for the Jews in Israel — this time in Ashkelon, where a missile exploded directly on a house but hurt no one.

An international media outlet has caught Britain’s Consul-General to Jerusalem, Alastair McPhail in a photo wearing the PA logo scarf.

Sapir College in southern Israel has canceled classes and exams for the day due to resumption of rocket fire from Gaza.

Israeli pilots attacked a terror cell in Zeitoun, Gaza on Wednesday morning. One terrorist was killed and five were injured.

Longshoremen pulled a fast on anti-Israel picketers and are unloading the Zim ship that was blocked from unloading last week.

Deif may, or may not, have escaped the bombing raid. His wife, at least one of them, was killed. Is Haniyeh next?

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Steven Sotloff is believed to be the journalist in the IS video who is threatened with beheading unless Obama stops interfering with the terrorist group.

Islamic State allegedly beheaded one American journalist, has threatened another with the same fate.

Jewish Voice for Peace member arrested for participating in a sit-in at the Los Angeles office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for supporting military sales to Israel. Aug. 18, 2014

Protesters were removed and arrested after staging an anti-Israel sit-in at Sen. Feinstein’s office.

Home of man believed to be kidnapper, murderer of Our Boys about to be demolished.

Hamas deported and threatened journalists from covering its terrorist activities in Gaza.

Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nuri Al-Maliki, has agreed to step down and to support the designated new leader.

The Wiesenthal Center detailed for Ban Ki Moon Hamas’s as well as the UN’s grievous wrongs in Gaza.

“My Zionism” is a project to energize American youth about Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people.

Three senators condemn UNRWA activities in Gaza and demand investigation, with answers from Kerry.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: