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December 2, 2015 / 20 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘IRS’

IRS: We Targeted Supporters of Israel’s Disputed Territories

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Ever since the beginning of the scandal concerning the United States Internal Revenue Service and the claims that it had a policy of treating differently – as in worse – organizations seeking tax exemptions if those organizations held positions in conflict with this US administration, there have been doubters.

And, of course, the way the story has been spun fans the flames of doubt – yes, the IRS finally admitted, after years of denial, that it had targeted certain groups and subject some groups to extra scrutiny, but there was no political impetus for the inappropriate action, there was just poor oversight of overworked civil service employees who were just trying to streamline their jobs.  Heck, the claim went, that was wrong, but what we now recognize as inappropriate actions weren’t taken for political purposes. That was the claim.

The IRS is trying desperately to make glib admissions, have some heads roll, even parade some of those heads around to show how seriously the IRS takes its need to be punished.  But now, it’s time to move on.  The IRS is even providing a kind of amnesty for many of the politically conservative groups that complained – they are getting hand-delivered approval letters, and future applicants will be assured of an easier time going forward.

So, maybe it is time to move on?

Well, one little organization (the one this reporter founded and of which she is the president) refuses to go flying no matter how hard the IRS is shaking its leg to free itself.

Z STREET claimed when it filed its lawsuit for viewpoint discrimination against the IRS in August, 2010, that the IRS treated Z STREET differently subjecting it to additional scrutiny, because of its ideological views.

Two things happened on Monday, June 24, that proved, finally, that Z STREET – and others similarly situated – was correct.

First, the IRS released its 83 page document, “Charting a Path Forward at the IRS,” in response to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General who found that the IRS had engaged in inappropriate targeting of certain groups which had sought tax exempt status from the IRS.

The IRS Path Report begins:

The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention.

Well, there you have it.  The IRS admitted that it made decisions based on policy positions, rather than on prohibited activity.  That is exactly what Z STREET claimed – that it had been discriminated against because it holds positions that “contradict the Administration’s public policies.”

The second revelation was one made by Bloomberg News.  That media agency obtained IRS documents revealing that, in addition to the terms Tea Party and 9/12, other terms were used in flagging organizations seeking tax exempt status for additional scrutiny.  While the headline of the article, and what was the object of most media attention, was that terms that suggested not just conservative groups, but also liberal or progressive groups were given the IRS evil eye – words such as “occupy” and “progressive” were allegedly triggers, as was the word “Israel.”

But far down in a long article the Bloomberg reporter explains that, “Disputed Territories” was considered problematic.  To wit:

‘Disputed Territories”

The November, 2010 [BOLO – Be On the Look Out] list also has terms that could be related to Israel, looking for applications that ‘deal with disputed territories in the Middle East’ and ‘may be inflammatory.’

Well, golly!  What kind of a group calls a particular area of land “disputed territories,” which the vast majority of people, either for ideological or simply conformity refer to as the “West Bank?”  Yes, that would be strong Zionist groups such as Z STREET.

That the IRS chose to handle Z STREET’s application in a particular way on the basis of our organization’s position on this issue, and the fact that someone within the IRS even took the time to think such a position might ‘be inflammatory,’ is about as close as can be to a smoking gun revealing the IRS engaged in naked viewpoint discrimination.

That foul activity cannot be waved away.  Its stench is one that will only dissipate after there is a thorough investigation into how the  decision was made to use this particular criterion for evaluating an application.  Who approved that decision?  How many people knew about it?  How many organizations were subjected to it?

IRS and Mas Hachnasa to Increase Cooperation

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

According to the Mas Hachnasa (Israel Tax Authority) website, senior members of the IRS, met yesterday in Jerusalem with the Tax Authority director, Moshe Asher and other senior tax officials, to discuss strengthening cooperation between the authorities. The meeting placed an emphasis on the exchange of information between the two tax authorities and the authorities’ commitment to mutual assistance.

Make Room for Islamistgate: the Obama Administration’s New Scandal

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Up to now the Obama Administration has faced three big scandals—the IRS, the bugging of AP and Fox, and Benghazi. And now here is scandal Number 4:

For the last four years the Obama Administration has conducted a major “outreach” program to Islamic groups in the United States and in the Middle East. Patrick Poole has been investigating this project and in a comprehensive article now presents the full scoop and scope of what’s been going on. His article, “Blind to Terror: The U.S. Government’s Disastrous Muslim Outreach Efforts and the Impact on U.S. Policy” in the new, Summer, issue of MERIA Journal is a gamechanger

You may think that you know about this subject but it goes far beyond what you have heard about. The majority of groups and individuals promoted by the Obama Administration have been radical Islamists, particularly Muslim Brotherhood cadre, and more than occasionally people involved in terrorist activity.

Moderate Muslims have been neglected and isolated by this project which has helped the radicals, Islamists, and pro-terrorists gain hegemony in the Muslim community in America.

Again, you may think that you know this story but it is far more extensive than has ever before been revealed. Often, the White House and FBI have granted access and worked with those who were simultaneously being investigated on serious charges of terrorism.

The whole “outreach” program has been a farce and it would be charitable to describe it as incompetent on the part of the Obama Administration.  Patrick Poole pulls all of the material together for the first time and shows serious flaws that have endangered Americans in scores of cases.

Radicals have been given credentials as moderates, been provided with information that should have remained secret, been allowed to advise and influence U.S. policy. The kind of government mishandling of terrorist threats that characterize the Fort Hood case and the Boston bombing has been business as usual.

Here is a portion of Patrick Poole’s article:

“When President Obama hosted his annual Iftar dinner in August 2010 to commemorate the Muslim celebration of Ramadan, the list of invitees published by the White House was curiously missing the names of several attendees – all of whom were top leaders of organizations known to be purveyors of jihadist ideology and implicated by federal prosecutors in financing terrorism.[

“But it wasn’t like they had crashed the party. In fact, one of the individuals missing on the official White House list, Mohamed Majid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), was pictured in a news service photograph sitting at the front table just a few feet from the president as he spoke When Majid was hailed by Time Magazine in November 2005 as a “moderate Muslim cleric” that was helping the FBI fight terrorists, he quickly published an open letter to his congregation on the mosque’s website assuring his congregants that he was doing no such thing stating that his relationship with the FBI was a one-way street only to communicate Muslim community concerns – not to report on individuals suspected of terrorist activity.

“It was just a few years ago the Attorney General of the United States was canceling Muslim outreach events for the sole reason that Majid would be present at the meeting, because the Department of Justice had just named ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history.

“But Majid’s connection to terrorism goes back even farther than that, since the offices of the mosque he leads, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, were raided by U.S. Customs authorities in March 2002 in a wide-sweeping terror finance investigation. In an affidavit requesting a search warrant for the raids, Customs Agent David Kane testified that Majid’s mosque was being used to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars for the targeted terror finance network that shared offices with ADAMS. An appendix to the Customs Service affidavit also names eleven ADAMS Center officials as targets of their terror finance investigation.And yet Majid and the ADAMS Center are still considered legitimate outreach partners by the FBI.

“This was just the most recent episode in the disastrous attempts at outreach to the Muslim community since the 9/11 attacks. And with the release in 2011 of President Obama’s strategic plan to combat “violent extremism” to expand outreach to these same terror-tied groups, the present administration seems intent on compounding the disaster wrought by previous administrations.”

Political Financial Interference: The IRS Scrutiny of Charities in Judea and Samaria

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

If you are an American, there is nothing illegal about contributing money, as a donation to a charitable cause, to a project abroad.

But in the eyes of an American administration, funding educational, social welfare, recreational sports or other such projects in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria is a pain, a political pain and not an illegal pain.

So what do they do?

From the Wall Street Journal:

Why the special scrutiny for pro-Israel groups? A New York Times article in July 2010 provided a clue: Tax-exempt groups were donating to West Bank settlers, and State Department officials wanted the settlers out. “As the American government seeks to end the four-decade Jewish settlement enterprise and foster a Palestinian state in the West Bank,” the Times wrote, “the American Treasury helps sustain the settlements through tax breaks on donations to support them.”

Did the T-men take their political cues from such stories, or did Administration officials give them orders? Either explanation would be a violation of public trust.

This would also suggest a pattern: Washington officials sent a message for tougher scrutiny of certain 501(c) groups, and the IRS coincidentally adjusted its enforcement regime…There’s still much we don’t know about the scandal of politicized tax enforcement.

Will someone sue the government?

US Treasury Openly Fighting Settlements, Pro-Israel Groups (Video)

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Did the IRS also target tax-exempt groups that opposed Administration policy priorities? The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday mentioned the case of Z Street, a Pennsylvania pro-Israel group whose president is none other than The Jewish Press’ Lori Lowenthal Marcus.

Z Street (you get the idea behind the name, right? Z for Zionist versus J Street for Jews who hate Zionism) filed for 501(c)(3) status in December 2009, as an educational group. According to Lori, their tax attorney called the IRS in July 2010 to find out why it was taking so long to receive the status, and the IRS auditor on the case, Diane Gentry, said the application was taking so long because auditors were supposed to give special scrutiny to groups “connected with Israel.”

Folks, this is nightmare territory, except, it turns out, all your nightmares have been real. The U.S. may declare its friendship to “the Jewish State” night and day, but when it comes down to the reality of tax exemptions, you’ll get a better treatment if you’re associated with Hamas than with right-wing issues in Israel.

Lori told the WSJ that Gentry, the auditor, explained that many applications related to Israel had to be sent to “a special unit in D.C. to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.”

This is Venezuelan style democracy, folks. And the fact that the IRS auditor was citing it mater-of-fact like, suggests it was actual policy, and, as such, a blatant violation of every known democratic principle.

Z Street filed suit in August 2010 in federal court in Pennsylvania on the grounds of “viewpoint discrimination,” and its case has since been moved to Washington, D.C.

The WSJ cites a New York Times article published July 2010, that stated: “Tax-exempt groups were donating to West Bank settlers, and State Department officials wanted the settlers out.”

“As the American government seeks to end the four-decade Jewish settlement enterprise and foster a Palestinian state in the West Bank,” the NYT wrote, “the American Treasury helps sustain the settlements through tax breaks on donations to support them.”

The hearing of the Z Street case is scheduled for July 2, in Washington DC. Bring your placards!

Below are two of Lori’s TV appearances, most recently with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg, and a few days earlier with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.

Are Haredi Orgs Being Singled Out in Israel?

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

I can’t think of too many things more disgustingly discriminatory than a government agency singling out a group for special scrutiny. The Internal Revenue Service has been found to be doing exactly that. Conservative political groups like the Tea Party that have applied for tax exempt status have had one stumbling block after another thrown at them while filing all the forms and dealing with all that red tape in trying to get that exemption.

Organizations with names like “Patriot” in them were flagged for extra review by by over-zealous agents. It remains to be seen how high up the flagpole of responsibility this goes. Lois Lerner, the IRS official who inadvertently exposed this activity pleaded the 5th amendment when she testified before congress yesterday.

This is one of those rare situations that unites people on both sides of the political aisle. Both conservatives and liberals in congress were outraged and both have condemned this practice at the IRS. The President was no less outraged and he too condemned it and promised to get to the bottom of it. One thing is certain. There is a lot we don’t yet know. But this is the stuff of totalitarianism… of the type found in the former Soviet Union. Truly scary stuff for the United States of America.

Which brings me to an article at YWN. It appears that Israeli government is doing the same thing. They are not targeting political opponents. They are instead targeting Haredi businesses and Yeshivos to see if they are complying with the law.

I have no problem with an over-all goal of making sure that businesses comply with the law. Assuming the laws are just and fair, they ought to be complied with. And there is nothing wrong with a government agency seeing to it that they are – as long as that kind of scrutiny is evenly applied to all businesses. But when a single group is targeted, it smacks of an agenda to harass that community. The title of the document leaked to the media makes it clear that only Haredim will be targeted. It is entitled:

“Directives- Initiated activity in the Haredi community – May 2013″

Can’t get much clearer than that.

I hope this is just an over-zealous Economic Affairs Ministry agent and not the over arching policy of the Ministry itself. If it is she ought to be fired immediately and replaced with someone who is not biased against Haredim… or anyone else. One thing is certain. Just like the U.S. is holding congressional hearings on this in order to get to the bottom of their scandal – so too must Israel have a thorough investigation of the matter so that Israel too can get to their scandal.

What kind of country is America going to be? What kind of country is Israel going to be? Will they be democratic and fair? Or will they become more like dictatorships that target people and groups they don’t like?

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Is Daniel Werfel Jewish?

Friday, May 24th, 2013

President Obama will be appointing senior White House budget officer Daniel Werfel (42) to be the acting commissioner of the IRS.

But the question our readers are asking us is, is Daniel Werfel a member of the Tribe? And is there another Jew in charge (after Jack Lew) of the U.S. finances?

Werfel certainly is a (German) Jewish sounding name.

The anti-Semites certainly think he’s Jewish.

But no one around here recalls going to his Bar Mitzvah or seeing him at any of the secret Elder meetings.

The door is still open on this one.

We’ll let you know as soon as we find out for sure.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/is-daniel-werfel-jewish/2013/05/24/

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