No evidence 'pro-Israel' groups targeted by IRS

May 16, 2013 18:45
1 minute read.

NEW YORK -- 'Tea Party' and 'patriot' were two of several special terms flagged inappropriately among applications for tax exemption status by the Internal Revenue Service since 2010, according to initial watchdog reports. But no evidence exists that 'pro-Israel' was among those terms, despite some media reports claiming otherwise.

A recent story from Politico-- which was picked up by the Drudge Report-- cites complaints from Z Street, a small pro-Israel organization, that the IRS has been asking them intrusive questions beyond what is normal since at least 2010. That complaint has been conflated with the current scandal coming out of the IRS, in which the tax collecting body applied heightened scrutiny in its auditing of conservative political groups.

In the Treasury inspector general's report out this week, there was no finding that 'pro-Israel' or 'Jewish' were classifications that were specifically targeted for political purposes. In other words, no evidence has thus far been discovered that an organization like Z Street would have been singled out because of its allegiance to Israel or because of specific Israeli government policies.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told The Jerusalem Post that he has neither seen nor heard of any evidence to the contrary, though he admits that, if a group represented by the conference were being audited, he might not be the first to know.

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