The Left’s crusade against Israel supporters gained so much traction at the time of George W. Bush’s administration that renowned journalist Caroline Glick declared that all of the Jews on the Bush national security team were under “constant and deep scrutiny.” This paved the way, continued Glick, “for Barack Obama’s wholesale use of antisemitic undertones to defend his nuclear deal with Iran.”
She cites Omri Ceren, who had tweeted that when Obama and his team were pushing for the Iran deal, they continuously contended that “lobbyists” and Israel were attempting to sway senators to be supportive of the Jewish State to the detriment of America’s interests. In no time, these accusations descended to vintage trope.
Jewish neocons and supporters of the war against Islamic totalitarianism were charged with the go-to accusation of “dual loyalty.” It was their support for Israel, allegedly, that brought these men to delude America into believing that the global jihad is a threat to U.S. national security.
But ten years later this trope had gained so much momentum that none other than Valerie Plame of Plamegate fame – she’s the CIA employee who claimed she was outed as retribution for her husband’s critique of Bush’s war in Iraq – shared on her Twitter feed the outrageous antisemitism of her former CIA colleague and blatant antisemite Philip Giraldi. Giraldi’s spewings are unworthy of any publicity, but suffice it to say that he headlined “America’s Jews are Driving America’s Wars.” His follow-up assertion, all but lifted from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was that Jews control U.S. foreign policy, the media, and culture, but compel non-Jewish dupes to fight wars for Israel, to which the treacherous Jews of America are loyal.
Giraldi recommended barring Jews from serving in government positions and participating in public debates related to the Middle East. If an American Jewish Israel-backer refuses to recuse himself, Giraldi suggested, the media should duly label him on the bottom of the TV screen, “Jewish and outspoken supporter of the State of Israel.” Such a label, he contended, “would be kind of a warning label like on a bottle of rat poison.” Goebbels could not have said it better.
Plame later issued an apology for circulating Giraldi’s anti-Jewish screed, claiming that she had only skimmed it, but apparently with enough depth to label it “thoughtful.” She also added, “Many neocon hawks ARE Jewish.”
Factually, such outrageous accusations are never totally dismissed, and bring in their wake erosion of Israel’s or American Jewry’s status in one respect or another. In this column we shall explore how as a consequence of innuendo and allegations, there was a practical withering of support for Israel with what Professor Eugene Kontorovich labeled “a tax inquisition.”
From 2009 to 2016, the IRS stalled the tax-exempt applications of several pro-Israel organizations, which effectively neutered the work of at least one of those groups: Z Street. Z Street’s own investigations and 2010 lawsuit against the IRS revealed that the IRS had delayed and withheld tax-exempt status for several pro-Israel organizations, including Z Street, allegedly because Israel was a country associated with terrorism and the IRS had to investigate whether Z Street was funding terror.
Ultimately, the IRS admitted that the true reason Z Street and other organizations were selected for special scrutiny was because their viewpoints on Israel conflicted with that of the Obama Administration. By contrast, the IRS waived scrutiny for groups donating to Gaza, as Lori Lowenthal Marcus demonstrated in her Wall Street Journal piece, “The IRS Campaign Against Israel,” on February 2, 2018. This discriminatory effort to deny or delay applications for tax-exempt status is prohibited viewpoint discrimination under the First Amendment.
Lowenthal Marcus opined:
[W]ithin weeks of President Obama’s inauguration, IRS and State Department officials began considering whether they could deny or revoke tax-exempt status for organizations that provided material support to Jews living across the Green Line – the non-border that delineates pre-1967 Israel from the territories Israel acquired in the Six-Day War. The theory was that a Jewish presence in those areas is inconsistent with U.S. policy. The IRS drew up lists of such organizations based on information from anti-Israel websites such as Electronic Intifada and MondoWeiss.
The New York Times and The Washington Post ran articles that advanced the policy espoused by the Obama administration and its non-profit ally, J Street. Unnamed “senior State Department officials” were quoted as saying that Jewish activity over the Green Line isn’t “helpful” to peace efforts.
Z Street never recovered from the seven-year loss of its First Amendment rights to fundraise and advocate as a non-profit organization. Lowenthal Marcus further wrote:
To learn the truth, we fought in the courts for seven lonely years – defeating IRS arguments that it didn’t have to obey the First Amendment, that it was immune from the suit, and that it wasn’t obliged to produce in discovery any documents revealing why its employees did what they did. During the seven years Z Street’s application was frozen, it couldn’t raise funds. If my husband and I weren’t lawyers, able to pursue justice without getting paid, there’s no way we could have succeeded.
When Z Street’s creation was announced, thousands sought to join. Then the IRS attempted to kill us. No lawsuit can remedy that assault, as the IRS knew. The settlement gives us the truth, but we can’t get back our seven years.