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Emet m'Tsiyon

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Obama's IRS Discriminated against Pro-Jewish, Pro-Israel & Conservative Non-Profit Organizations

Additional info
see below:

The United States is supposed to be the land of a free marketplace of ideas. The freedoms of speech and press are very broad in the United States compared to the major European countries, for instance. And the Internal Revenue Service [IRS] is supposed to give tax exemption to non-profit groups or bodies advocating for any sort of ideological or political or social position.

However, the Obama Administration clearly did not believe in the free marketplace of ideas. It discriminated, surreptitiously to be sure, against a variety of pro-Israel and conservative bodies. One such group was Z Street which found out that its application for tax exemption was being deliberately held up by the IRS under instructions from Washington. We present below an exposition by Z Street founder, Lori Lowenthal Marcus, of the development of her group's case until finally overcoming IRS obstruction:

It took seven years for Z Street to learn the truth about why our tax-exempt status was delayed.

The first IRS viewpoint discrimination case to be filed, Z Street v. IRS, has been settled, with disturbing revelations about how the Internal Revenue Service treated pro-Israel organizations applying for tax-exempt status.
I founded Z Street in 2009 to educate Americans about the Middle East and Israel’s defense against terror. We applied for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code in December 2009—a process that usually takes three to six months.
Instead, the application languished. In late July 2010, an IRS agent truthfully responded to our lawyer’s query about why processing was taking so long: Z Street’s application was getting special scrutiny, the agent said, because it was related to Israel. Some applications for tax-exempt status were being sent to a special office in Washington for review of whether the applicants’ policy positions conflicted with those of the Obama administration.
So in August 2010 we sued the IRS for violating Z Street’s constitutional rights, including the First Amendment right to be free from viewpont discrimination—government treatment that differs depending on one’s political position. [article in WSJ continues here] [also see here on Z Street website]
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Additional info
2-7-2018 See Jonathan Tobin here.

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