Special Policy For Israel
Vol: 107 Issue: 31 Tuesday, August 31, 2010
A recently-filed lawsuit claims the existence of a special IRS unit charged with using tax-exempt status selectively to enforce compliance with the administration’s Israel policy. If the application comes from a pro-Israel group, they can forget about it.
According to the lawsuit, the special unit is responsible for examining the political positions of pro-Israel non-profit groups. The suit claims that one group, known as “Z Street” was denied tax-exempt status under a ‘special policy’ for Israel.
“Z Street was informed explicitly by an IRS Agent on July 19, 2010, that approval of Z Street’s application for tax-exempt status has been at least delayed, and may be denied because of a special IRS policy in place regarding organizations in any way connected with Israel. . . And further that the applications of many such Israel-related organizations have been assigned to ‘a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the administration’s public policies.’ “
Z Street quoted an IRS agent who told them that the refusal was based entirely on the fact that Z Street’s pro-Israel advocacy was at odds with the administration’s Israel policy.
Neither the White House nor the IRS has yet admitted the existence of the ‘special unit’ or acknowledged any ‘special policy’ for Israel’s supporters. The lawsuit hopes to force the administration to come clean.
“We don’t know if there are other organizations that have received the same treatment or even if this is a new policy,” Z Street president Lori Lowenthal Marcus said. “People don’t talk about this. But I can guarantee you that they didn’t establish this unit just for Z Street.”
The suit, filed law week, lists IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman as defendant. demands tax-exempt status as well as full public disclosure of what Z Street termed “the application of Israel special policy.”
“These statements by an IRS official that the IRS maintains special policies governing applications for tax-exempt status by organizations which deal with Israel, and which requires particularly intense scrutiny of such applications and an enhanced risk of denial if made by organizations which espouse or support positions inconsistent with the Obama administration’s Israel policies, constitute an explicit admission of the crudest form of viewpoint discrimination, and one which is both totally un-American and flatly unconstitutional under the First Amendment.”
In January, Z Street applied for a 501(c)(3) exemption as an educational organization. The IRS responded with requests for personal information about Z Street’s board members instead.
According to the lawsuit:
“On July 19, 2010, Z Street’s corporate counsel called again, and this time spoke with IRS agent Gentry who advised Z Street’s counsel that she had two concerns regarding the application. . . “
“One: the advocacy activities in general; and Two: the IRS’s special concern about applications from organizations whose activities are related to Israel, and that are organizations whose positions contradict the U.S. administration’s Israeli policy.”
The IRS said it denied the application because Z Street could be termed an “action organization dedicated to lobbying rather than education,” — which would be all well and good except that policy does not exist for other lobbying organizations.
The lawsuit quoted IRS Agent Diane Gentry saying the IRS would scrutinize the methods used by the organization to develop and present its views.
“Agent Gentry also informed Z Street’s counsel that the IRS is carefully scrutinizing organizations that are in any way connected with Israel.”
It is hard to say which is creepier; that the IRS is letting the White House use it to censor political opposition or that it is using something called the “Israel Special Policy” to accomplish it.
It isn’t as if Obama’s anti-Semitism should surprise anybody. Obama’s 20-year relationship with his rabidly anti-Semitic and anti-white race-baiting pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright wasn’t merely a clue – it was a giant billboard warning.
Recall last March when Obama humiliated the Israeli Prime Minister by walking out of a meeting but inviting Netanyahu to stay at the White House, consult with advisors and “let me know if there is anything new” — dumping him while the Obamas had dinner in private.
One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.
Obama appointed Hannah Rosenthal as his anti-Semitism ‘czar’ naming her the State Department’s new special envoy to combat anti-Semitism.
Rosenthal serves on the board of “J Street” a lobby group that claims to be pro-Israel but supports talks with Hamas, opposes sanctions against Iran and is harshly critical of Israeli anti-terrorism efforts.
(It is worth noting at this point that J Street’s 501(c)(3) application sailed by the IRS so quickly that Z Street’s lawsuit singled out J Street’s IRS experience by name.)
A typical example of Rosenthal’s anti-Semitic efforts is found in her speech to the OSCE High Level Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination in Kazakstan. The entire speech was about what she saw as the troubling rise of Islamophobia!
“We welcome the opportunity to speak here today, as the problem of intolerance and discrimination against Muslims is an issue across the OSCE region. The United States strongly supports combating all forms of discrimination and intolerance against Muslims and is taking efforts to build mutual respect between people of all faiths.”
At a time when Jews have begun to leave Europe in fear of a rising tide of anti-Semitism unseen since the 1930’s, Obama’s anti-Semitism czar’s speech did not mention Israel or Jews even once.
Israel’s Ambassador to Washington refused an invitation to J Street’s annual dinner on the grounds that Jerusalem “fears J Street policies could impair Israel’s interests.”
The United States and Israel have always had a ‘special relationship’ that everybody in officialdom recognizes, even as they refuse to admit it, is based on the Biblical relationship between Christians and Jews.
Most presidents have respected that relationship — until this administration came to power. It is clear that, whether or not Obama is himself a Muslim, that is certainly where his sympathies are.
According to Bible prophecy, in the last days two major political shifts take place. The first is already well underway. The Scriptures say that eventually, Israel will stand alone against the whole world.
Indeed, it isn’t until they stand completely alone that the Lord takes up the battle on their behalf.
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:3)
The second political shift is that Israel’s current protector, the United States, is totally absent from the prophetic record. Neither of these scenarios was even remotely likely even two decades ago when George Bush the Elder was taking a victory lap after the first Gulf War.
America was at the zenith of its power and prestige. Israel, having just endured thirty-nine Scud attacks without responding in order to keep the coalition together, was being hailed for its courage under fire.
Just twenty years later, America’s future has never been bleaker. Her infrastructure is crumbling, her economy is in shambles, the population is so polarized that words like ‘revolution’ and ‘civil war’ are being bandied about as real possibilities.
Israel has been pushed back inside the 1948 Armistice Lines, totally surrounded and in the weakest strategic position she has been in since the 1948 War of Independence.
It would take a miracle for her to survive Syria’s chemical and biological arsenal, Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ rockets, Iran’s nuclear threat and America’s indifference – and that is exactly the scenario that Bible prophecy outlines. A miraculous one.
Israel’s future is outlined by Zechariah.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:9)
America’s is outlined in 2nd Timothy 3:1-7. Unless you are a Blood-bought child of the King, it isn’t a very cheerful one.
It begins; “This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come.” Things go downhill from there.
“And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” (John 14:29)
It’s all pretty scary, but it would be a lot scarier — if we didn’t know, in advance, how it all turns out in the end.