Caveat: I am affiliated with Z Street and was also
a board member of the Israel Communities Development Fund
In a REVIEW & OUTLOOK column in the Wall Street Journal, entitled The IRS''s Foreign Policy
, we read that "Emails show a political motivation behind tax-exempt scrutiny" by America''s tax authorities. The actions of the IRS should be found a crime, to be punished.
As the article explains,
In 2009 the Pennsylvania group Z Street applied for tax-exempt status for its mission of educating people about Israel-related issues. In 2010 an IRS agent told Z Street that its application was delayed because the tax agency''s Washington, D.C. office was giving special scrutiny to groups whose missions might conflict with Administration policies. The IRS''s "Be On the Lookout" list that November also included red flags for groups referring to "disputed territories." Z Street sued in August 2010 for viewpoint discrimination and its case is headed for discovery in federal court.
What has developed is that, as now known,
In an April 16, 2009 email, Treasury attache to the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem Katherine Bauer sent IRS and Treasury colleagues a 1997 JTA News article sent to her by State Department foreign service officer Breeann McCusker. The subject was whether 501(c) groups buying land in Israel''s disputed territories were engaged in "possible violations of U.S. tax laws." The article chronicles the controversy and whether "ideological activity" can "legally be financed with the help of U.S. [tax] dollars."
"Thought you might find the below article of interest—looks like we''ve been down this road before," Ms. Bauer wrote. "...I thought it was worth flagging the 1997 investigation mentioned below for you..."
I think that "before" may have been in reference to the ICDF (see here
). The ICDF was a
community-wide philanthropy for the humanitarian concerns (medical, cultural, social welfare, etc) for the residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (YESHA). International Chairman: MK Ron Nachman, Mayor of Ariel Israel Chairman: L. Marc Zell, lawyer, Alon Shvut Israel Board: Bob Lang (Efrat), Yisrael Medad (Shiloh), Jay Schapiro (Ginot Shomron), Dina Shalit (Ariel), Sondra Baras (Karnei Shomron). Founded in 1990.
In 1994, it dissolved and was replaced by the One Israel Fund.
There is nothing criminal in engaging in such social, cultural, medical, educational, recreational, artistic, etc. activity. To seek to undermine such charity work is anti-Jewish behavior, assisting ethnic cleansing and apartheid. it violates the rights of Jews, recognized in international law by the League of Nations to closely settle on the lands between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, at the least. This administration''s anti-Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria is being more than inimical. It is not prosecurial but persecutional.
To return to the present, the article currently notes that
...The State-IRS emails reveal a political motivation for IRS scrutiny that gives Z Street powerful evidence for its suit charging IRS bias.
On Monday the IRS filed an appeal of the judge''s decision denying its motion to dismiss Z Street''s case. The government says the action stops all discovery while the appeal is pending, a process that could take months or even years. By filing the appeal on the last possible day, the Justice Department is running out the clock on discovery during the remainder of the Administration. This is a whole lot of effort to prevent discovery in a case that is not even seeking damages. Ways and Means uncovered the email exchange between State and the IRS only after Treasury was forced to turn over documents it had previously withheld. What else did it lose in the ether?
There is a stink here. Nixon, I could say if I was a liberal, would have been proud.
But Americans should be ashamed.