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IRS Sued For Denying Tax Exempt Status to Group Because it Disagrees With Obama Policies On Israel
Z Street website ^ | August 25, 2010 | Z Street

Posted on 08/25/2010 4:23:56 PM PDT by JOHN ADAMS

IRS SUED FOR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ORGANIZATIONS THAT DON’T SHARE ADMINISTRATION’S POSITIONS ON ISRAEL

Z STREET, a pro-Israel non-profit corporation, filed a lawsuit in federal court today charging that the IRS violated the organization’s First Amendment rights. The suit was filed after Z STREET was told by an IRS official that its application for tax-exempt status has been delayed because an IRS policy requires consideration of whether a group’s views on Israel differ from those of the current Administration.

“Not only is it patently un-American but it is also a clear violation of the First Amendment for a government agency to penalize an organization because of its political position on Israel or anything else,” said Z STREET president Lori Lowenthal Marcus, a former First Amendment lawyer. “This situation is the same as if the government denied a driver’s license to people because they were Republicans or Democrats. It goes against everything for which our country stands.”

Z STREET filed for tax-exempt status in January of this year and, despite having met all of the requirements for grant of this status, the application has been stalled. An IRS agent told Z STREET’s lawyers that the application was delayed because of a Special Israel Policy that requires greater scrutiny of organizations which have to do with Israel, in part to determine whether they espouse positions on Israel contrary to those of the current Administration.

Z STREET is a Zionist organization that proudly supports Israel’s right to refuse to negotiate with, make concessions to, or appease terrorists. Z STREET’s positions on Israel and, in particular, on the Middle East “peace process” differ significantly from those espoused by the Obama administration.

If Z STREET had tax-exempt status, its donors would be able to deduct contributions from their taxable income. The IRS's refusal to grant tax-exempt status to Z STREET has inhibited the organization‘s fundraising efforts, and therefore impeded its ability to speak and to educate the public regarding the issues that are the focus and purpose of Z STREET.

The lawsuit, Z STREET v. Shulman, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, was filed today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Israel; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bhofascism; constitution; democrats; freedomofreligion; islam; israel; jews; liberalfascism; military; muslims; obama; palin; tyranny; zionism; zstreet

1 posted on 08/25/2010 4:24:03 PM PDT by JOHN ADAMS
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To: JOHN ADAMS

The full complaint is available on the Z Street website.


2 posted on 08/25/2010 4:24:45 PM PDT by JOHN ADAMS
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To: JOHN ADAMS

This sounds like one of those classic stories where there is more out there. If you look at the complaint, they want 501(c)(3) status. That’s for public charities, not political groups. There are fairly strict rules about how much time and dollars can be spent on political issues. I suspect that has more to do with the IRS questions than the group’s Zionism.


3 posted on 08/25/2010 4:29:26 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: JOHN ADAMS

Shockingly unsuprising.

And impossibly illegal.


4 posted on 08/25/2010 4:30:16 PM PDT by TheThirdRuffian (Nothing to see here. Move along.)
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To: colorado tanker
If they are lobbying or asking their members to support specific candidates, then they shouldn't be a non-profit. However, having strong views on a subject, even a subject with political implications, doesn't mean they can't be a non-profit group. Otherwise no organization could be a nonprofit group.

Any issue that a lot of people feel strongly about ends up being a political issue.

There is nothing wrong with a public charity made up of zionists. However, if the organization actively engages politicians or directs it's members to do so, then it isn't a charity.

5 posted on 08/25/2010 4:46:01 PM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: colorado tanker

If you read the Complaint carefully, you’ll see that Z STREET is not a political group at all - it does no lobbying, it doesn’t support any candidates, and its purposes cannot be accomplished through legislation. A public charity is a whole separate issue, This group is an educational organization (a public charity is yet a different category. IRS regulations are strict, but they are not allowed to consider and make distinctions based on viewpoints, which the IRS agent said was what was holding up the application. And the First Amendment sure as hell doesn’t allow that!


6 posted on 08/25/2010 4:47:03 PM PDT by JOHN ADAMS
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To: untrained skeptic
I agree with your statement.

I'm just suspicious the IRS would really look at substantive political beliefs in relation to the White House view to approve a nonprofit. That would be outrageous and obviously illegal. Not that I have any love lost for the IRS, mind you.

7 posted on 08/25/2010 4:50:54 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: JOHN ADAMS
You may be right, JA, but when I read their press release they sounded political to me.

I agree with you that the IRS cannot legally consider political points of view in approving an application and if they really are doing that the courts should come down on them.

8 posted on 08/25/2010 4:55:03 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: AdmSmith; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; bigheadfred; blueyon; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; ...

Z Street. Thanks JOHN ADAMS. G’night all.


9 posted on 08/25/2010 4:57:17 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Democratic Underground... matters are worse, as their latest fund drive has come up short...)
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To: JOHN ADAMS

The very same IRS that is headed and run by a tax cheat? No way; say it ain’t so...... /s =.=


10 posted on 08/25/2010 5:53:28 PM PDT by cranked
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To: untrained skeptic
Now I didn't read much, but it seems they are an advocacy group, so to speak. Not, for instance, a PAC for candidates that I can see. I rather like their blunt attitude.

Israel is the Jewish state. Now there’s a revolutionary proposition. Of course, it’s not revolutionary at all — the UN recognized Israel that way in 1948. The idea of a safe homeland for the Jewish people, in the land of Israel — that’s Zionism. But that idea has been effectively stolen and delegitimized by people peddling fashionable politics.

Z STREET, the new Zionist organization (See? Did you cringe a little at the use of the word Zionist? That’s what we need to fix.) was created to solve this problem.

First, let’s drill down to understand what’s happened.

As the world becomes more hostile to Israel, the Jews hostile to Israel play an increasingly larger role in the public debate.

I don’t call them self-hating Jews; that’s not what they are. I call them self-loving, not-too-Jewish Jews. You know, the self-important intellectuals and the well-moneyed, honey-tongued groupies currently whispering into the eager ears of the White House. They label themselves “pro-peace and pro-Israel.” But they don’t really care about protecting Israel from terrorism and extinction. What they really want is to avoid being embarrassed by Israel — embarrassed by a genuinely Jewish state (how parochial and intolerant!) and embarrassed by Israel doing the hard work of defending itself from terrorists (how brutal!). It’s not nice to win, or at least for Jews to win.

Their way of protecting themselves from that discomfort is by advocating a “peace process” that has never led and will never lead to peace in the Middle East. The same holds true for the non-Jews who call themselves pro-peace but are really just anti-Israel.

There are others who share our view. Scholars write books and articles. Advocates go to Washington attempting to forestall the latest demand by an American administration that Israel give up this particular security measure, or abandon that particular piece of land, or release this particular band of murderers, in the name of “peace.”

Sometimes a pro-Zionist letter to the editor gets printed or a handful of pro-Israel op-eds are published. But the current political fashion of “tolerance” has fooled or shamed too many into opposing the steps needed to create and defend a safe state for the Jews. And most mainstream media are too fashion-conscious to do anything other than dress themselves in the fashionable ideology. Careful explication of the factual and legal reality is a lot less sexy. A principled defense of the entire enterprise — the full-throated advocacy of Zionism, a safe state for the Jewish people in the land of Israel — is about as unfashionable as you can get.

Yes, you can, as some do, explain that Israel does not “occupy” territory, citing the legal requirement that the prior state had sovereignty over the land, which neither the Palestinians nor the Jordanians did. But who remembers that legal fine point the second after they hear or read it? And the obvious fact that the “West Bank” is only west if you are in Jordan doesn’t seem to penetrate. So the entire world condemns Israel for asserting control in parts of Israel — even if legally acquired — including in Jerusalem, and even if Muslims are permitted to live, work, and worship there freely (as of course they are).

How will Z STREET change the terms of the debate? First, we’re proud, not embarrassed, to advocate out loud the first principles of Zionism: Yes, a Jewish state! And second, our approach is devoted to changing the terms of the public debate. Our tools will include humor — more about that in the coming months — straight talk, and physical energy to imprint the facts we believe will make clear who is grounded in the historical, legal and moral side of the debate about Israel, and which side is historically, legally and morally committed to peace and which side is not.

In practice, how will Z STREET do this? By firmly asserting our “three No’s”: No compromises. No negotiations. No concessions to terrorists. And we refuse to use the vocabulary of those who have delegitimized and stolen the Zionist idea. Words like “occupation,” “West Bank,” and “settlers” are weapons pointed at the heart of Zionism, not neutral instruments. The sooner people see that, the faster we’ll all attain clarity.

Instead, Z STREET uses accurate words and historical facts currently eschewed for fear of offending: that there never was an actual Palestinian state and Jews have an irrefutable centuries-long religious and historical attachment to Jerusalem while the Arab Palestinians have none. We must say frankly that all Arab Palestinian party leaders — the moderate terrorists in neckties and the nasty ones in kaffiyehs — endorse terrorism. Not nice? What’s not nice – the language or the facts? Until the terms of the debate and the strategy for changing those terms are employed, the world will continue to abuse Israel.

The time is now and Z STREET, using straight talk, physical energy, and humor, is the vehicle to sweep aside years of mind control successfully practiced by the anti-Israel crowd.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the co-founder of Z STREET.

11 posted on 08/25/2010 6:55:24 PM PDT by visualops (Proud Air Force Mom)
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To: JOHN ADAMS

Well, you know how this administration loves Jews. /s


12 posted on 08/26/2010 12:55:19 AM PDT by TheThinker (Communists: taking over the world one kooky doomsday scenario at a time.)
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To: JOHN ADAMS

From a tweet...politico had a piece on this topic.

Pro-Israel group Z- street claims IRS persecution since its criticized the Obama administration policies politico.com/blogs/bensmith…

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0810/ProIsrael_group_claims_IRS_persecution.html


13 posted on 08/26/2010 6:49:47 AM PDT by Whenifhow
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To: JOHN ADAMS

Totalitarian dictators use the full force of the secret police on their enemies. In the USA, it’s the same thing, with a different name.


14 posted on 08/26/2010 8:25:28 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged (Annoying liberals is my goal. I will not be silenced.)
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To: JOHN ADAMS

The federal government has unlimited funds to defend lawsuits like this.

Obama can do this to thousands of groups and be sued by every one of them and it won’t matter. Congress has to get into this and flex some muscle. Which isn’t going to happen.

Hey Mitch McConnell, let’s hear another one of your mealy mouthed protests.


15 posted on 08/26/2010 8:35:14 AM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s, you weren't really there.)
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To: colorado tanker
If you look at the complaint, they want 501(c)(3) status. That’s for public charities, not political groups.

They are not a political organization. JStreet, the pro-Obama (pro-Hamas, self-hating Jewish) group got fast 501(c)(3) approval. This is yet more Nuremberg Special Laws for Jews who don't obey The One.

16 posted on 08/26/2010 9:01:41 AM PDT by montag813 (http://www.facebook.com/StandWithArizona)
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To: untrained skeptic
However, if the organization actively engages politicians or directs it's members to do so, then it isn't a charity.

Untrue. Even 501c3's are permitted a certain amount of lobbying and political activity. that activity must be specified on their returns, and are non-exempt.

17 posted on 08/26/2010 9:05:35 AM PDT by montag813 (http://www.facebook.com/StandWithArizona)
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To: cranked

lol


18 posted on 08/26/2010 10:17:37 AM PDT by Deo confidimus
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To: colorado tanker

“Not that I have any love lost for the IRS, mind you.”
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
I lost ALL my love for the IRS a long time ago!


19 posted on 08/26/2010 10:57:14 AM PDT by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: visualops
Now I didn't read much, but it seems they are an advocacy group, so to speak. Not, for instance, a PAC for candidates that I can see. I rather like their blunt attitude.

It's not that simple. Don't pretty much all 501c3 organizations advocate something and work to influence public opinion? Having a goal and a public outreach program does not make it a political organization.

Most tax exempt nonprofit organizations work to influence the public. It's when they try to tell their members and others how to vote that they get into trouble.

There is a lot of gray area. That's due to the nature of our ridicules tax system. It's one of the reasons I believe we need a far less complicated flat tax system with large per person deductions, and basically no other tax deductions.

The government has decided that because they forgo taxing an organization they can infringe upon their freedom of speech and freedom of religion. That is to me a ridicules interpretation of the constitution. If the only way to reconcile it is to remove the tax exempt status for all organizations, I believe we would be better off with that solution than to have the government authorized to trample freedom of speech and religion.

It would have to be done as part of simplifying the tax system and reducing the tax rate, which is something I don't see politicians allowing to happen any time soon. So the best we can hope for is for the government to limit it's infringment on people's rights.

20 posted on 08/27/2010 4:52:35 AM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: montag813
Untrue. Even 501c3's are permitted a certain amount of lobbying and political activity. that activity must be specified on their returns, and are non-exempt.

Thanks for the clarification.

21 posted on 08/27/2010 4:54:48 AM PDT by untrained skeptic
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