web analytics
August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


What do you expect from donkeys and elephants?

Republicans and Democrats Ignore IRS Abuse of Pro-Israel Group

Unless an organization has political juice, neither the Democrats or the Republicans care when a group of Americans have had their constitutional rights violated by a U.S. government agency.
Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans expressed any interest in the abuse of a pro-Israel group by the IRS.

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans expressed any interest in the abuse of a pro-Israel group by the IRS.

Two Republican chairs of congressional committees which have been investigating for the past several months what some have called IRS-Gate, penned an opinion piece which appeared in the Washington Post on Tuesday, August 6.

Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Dave Camp (R-Mich.) are the chairmen of, respectively, the House committees on Oversight and Ways and Means. In their opinion piece, “The IRS Scandals Inconsistencies,” the members of congress criticize the Internal Revenue Service for targeting politically conservative groups for discriminatory treatment.

The Republican congressmen also criticize their colleagues from the Democratic party and this Democratic administration for changing their story repeatedly about what happened, who was responsible, and who then tried to convince the American people that this was “not much of a scandal,” and then they attempted “to smear the inspector general” by “falsely equating routine scrutiny of progressive groups to tea party applications.”

But the Democrats aren’t the only ones who repeatedly refuse to ignore admissible evidence produced by the IRS itself, that the tax agency clearly, unequivocally and blatantly engaged in viewpoint discrimination.

The Republicans have also been ignoring or hiding a group that was wronged, perhaps because that group – unlike the Tea Party organizations – does not have a set of political defenders.   Unlike every other entity involved in this entire scandal and its investigation, this other group is truly apolitical.  The ardently pro-Israel organization Z STREET (of which this reporter is the president) was demonstrably discriminated against by the IRS, yet every member of congress has thus far ignored the group’s plight.

Z STREET brought a lawsuit against the IRS in August, 2010, claiming that the IRS had engaged in viewpoint discrimination, thereby violating the group’s First Amendment right to free speech.  The basis for the lawsuit were the statements made by the IRS agent in charge of Z STREET’s application to Z STREET’s tax lawyer that one, “the IRS had to give special scrutiny to organizations connected to Israel” and that two, some organizations’ applications had to be “sent to a special unit in Washington, D.C. to determine whether the activities of the organization contradicted the public policies of this Administration.”

While the Justice Department, which represents the IRS in litigation, concocted several defenses to Z STREET’s claims, they ultimately came up with a justification they deemed so bulletproof they offered a set of sworn statements by IRS officials why the IRS applied special scrutiny to Z STREET’s application.  The justification?  It is because Z STREET supports “Israel, which is a country with a higher risk of terrorism,” and therefore Z STREET might be funding terrorists.

The IRS stuck to its guns on this “Israel as a terrorist state” defense.  However, they could not have predicted that the ranking member of the Democrats for Cong. Camp’s own committee – Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich) of the House Ways and Means Committee – was going to blow its cover.

That happened on June 24, when Cong. Levin released a series of documents produced by the IRS which he thought proved the IRS had targeted groups that were politically liberal (the term on the chart was “progressives”), and therefore the admitted targeting of politically conservative groups could not have been politically motivated.

But, as the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George explained, and as becomes clear by merely reviewing the charts, the “progressives” were listed as an historical issue of concern, and the motivation for the interest was whether or not those organizations should have filed a 501(c)(4) application which is for politically active groups, rather than for a 501(c)(3) application which is for groups engaged in educating the public.

However, those same charts created and produced by the tax agency itself reveal that the IRS created a category called “Occupied Territory Advocacy,” which dealt with groups which discuss the “disputed territories in the Middle East.” This category did show up on the IRS BOLO (Be on the Look Out) tab of the charts, unlike the “progressives” category.

Whatever the heck the IRS is supposed to be doing when it examines applicants for tax exempt status, it should not be looking at the ideological positions the organization takes with respect to the Middle East conflict.  Especially when the organization is engaged solely in educating about the issues, and doesn’t use donors’ funds to give grants to anything, anywhere, for anything.

And, despite the sworn statements by IRS officials, the word “terrorism” is nowhere to be found on any of the charts created by the IRS to show what kinds of organizations received additional scrutiny of their applications for tax exemption.

But somehow that slam dunk example of blatant viewpoint discrimination, delivered with a ribbon and a bow from Cong. Levin, escaped the notice of everyone who claims to be “servants of the people.”

Nope, unless an organization has political juice, it appears neither the Democrats or the Republicans care when the constitutional rights of a group of Americans have been violated by a U.S. government agency.

A pox on both their houses.

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. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


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.

3 Responses to “Republicans and Democrats Ignore IRS Abuse of Pro-Israel Group”

  1. Levin has been anti-Israel since he has been in Congress. Glad he is leaving.

  2. Jacob Alperin-Sheriff says:

    The federal government has the explicit constitutional power to levy taxes, therefore they have the constitutional power to scrutinize applications for tax exemption. No constitutional violation.

  3. Benjamin Fox says:

    It's called enslavement of every person on earth and the IRS helps out as much as possible, can't trust anyone in government these days on the left of right.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Swiss Amb. to Iran Giulo Haas presents his credentials to Iranian Pres. Rouhani
‘US and Iranian Cartoon Doves’ Shown Defecating on Bibi by Swiss Amb to Iran
Latest News Stories
Swiss Amb. to Iran Giulo Haas presents his credentials to Iranian Pres. Rouhani

Swiss Ambassador Portrays U.S. and Iran as doves of peace defecating on Netanyahu.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton.

He will arrive Sunday and will be “updated on strategic issues,” meaning Iran.

Orthodox Jews fixing an eruv pole in Israel.

The boundary, enabling Jewish students to carry on Shabbat, will be made of plastic “lechies” on utility poles.

The former "Shanghai Ghetto" area, where Jewish refugees lived, in 1943.

The café opened in 1939 and was closed n 1949.

A growing number of Arabs in Gaza are calling on people to burn down Hamas institutions.

An Oxford University professor’s new book uncovers what most Israelis know – that the Americans are not “Wild West” cowboys.

A report by the entity responsible for ensuring the peaceful development of nuclear energy worldwide and the one upon which the world depends for monitoring Iran’s nuclear activity revealed that over the past few months Iran has been working on and adding to a building at its Parchin site. Parchin is an Iranian military complex located southeast of Tehran. It […]

Israeli artists build an ice wall at the Davidson Center, near the Kotel in Jerusalem. The wall was based on a piece by American artist Allan Kaprow who built something similar in Israel, in 1980, perpendicular to the Temple Mount. Photos by Yonatan Sindel / Flash90.

About 30 protesters from the Jewish Defense League on Wednesday evening stood at a picket line holding Israeli and Canadian flags outside billionaire Bernard (Barry) Sherman’s north Toronto home during his cocktail fundraiser for the Liberal party.

Mughassil, 48, is believed to be the leader of the Iran-supported Hezbollah Al-Hejaz group.

The Donald and the Cruz together against Iran on Sept. 9 at D.C. rally.

Iranian born Tennor Ramtin Ghazavi, a frequent performer at Italy’s La Scala, on Tuesday told San Jose Mercury News that the Islamic revolution that removed the Shah in 1979 “takes a dim view” of most musical forms, including opera.

For a state that goes out of its way to discriminate in favor of one group, Israel receives high grades in treatment of immigrants of all colors and creeds, beating out the UK, the US and Saudi Arabia.

If the administrative orders weren’t undemocratic enough, police raided a conference discussing those orders, arresting a number of the participants.

DM Ya’alon advises “zero tolerance” in dealing with violence against hareidi-religious IDF soldiers.

Maloney said that despite the administration’s diplomatic efforts, she could not support the Nuclear Iran Deal.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Swiss Amb. to Iran Giulo Haas presents his credentials to Iranian Pres. Rouhani

Swiss Ambassador Portrays U.S. and Iran as doves of peace defecating on Netanyahu.

State Department Spokesperson John Kirby. Aug. 27, 2015.

A report by the entity responsible for ensuring the peaceful development of nuclear energy worldwide and the one upon which the world depends for monitoring Iran’s nuclear activity revealed that over the past few months Iran has been working on and adding to a building at its Parchin site. Parchin is an Iranian military complex located southeast of Tehran. It […]

The Donald and the Cruz together against Iran on Sept. 9 at D.C. rally.

Maloney said that despite the administration’s diplomatic efforts, she could not support the Nuclear Iran Deal.

190 military officers signed a letter to the Congressional leadership, warning against the Nuclear Iran Deal.

Billboards up in Baltimore calling on Maryland Senators Cardin and Mikulski to vote against the Nuclear Iran Deal.

Tehran ‘rejects the existence of any Israeli on Earth’ and told the P5+1 that during JCPOA negotiations.

How they vote in September (on the Iran deal) will be remembered in November, is the message to US legislators.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/republicans-and-democrats-ignore-irs-abuse-of-pro-israel-group/2013/08/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: