I am so sick of hearing the Democrat talking point about Obama being such a “great friend to Israel.”
The reality is that under Obama’s IRS, Islamic groups with ties to terrorists had no trouble getting a tax-exempt status, groups such as Gaza’s Hope, Friends of Al-Rowwad USA Inc, American Charities for Palestine, and Institute for Palestine Studies USA Inc.
But Z Street, founded in 2009, to “educate Americans about the Middle East and Israel’s defense against terror, ” did not receive the tax-exempt status. Why? Because the IRS determined that Israel was “a country with terrorists” and they needed to investigate if Z Street was “funding terrorism.”
When Z Street mounted a lawsuit, IRS froze their application.
Finally, Z Street has now won their lawsuit, and Obama’s anti-Zionism has been revealed.
Although this story was reported on Fox News and the WSJ, the MSM basically ignored it.
I guess it didn’t fit the old Dem “Obama is such a great friend to Israel” narrative.
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 viewpoint discrimination—government treatment that differs depending on one’s political position.
Now we know the truth, and it’s exactly as bad as we thought. IRS documents—those they didn’t “lose” or otherwise fail to produce—reveal the following:
• Our application was flagged because Z Street’s mission related to Israel, a country with terrorism. Therefore, an IRS manager in our case said in sworn testimony, the IRS needed to investigate whether Z Street was funding terror….
Our own investigation disclosed that between 2009 and 2016, while Z Street’s application was stalled, the IRS needed no special scrutiny to grant numerous applications for tax-exempt status that explicitly proclaimed donations would be spent in Gaza—a territory formally under the jurisdiction of Hamas, which the U.S. State Department designates as a terror organization….
To learn the truth, we fought in the courts for seven lonely years—defeating IRS arguments that it didn’t have to obey the First Amendment, that it was immune from the suit, and that it wasn’t obliged to produce in discovery any documents revealing why its employees did what they did….
When Z Street’s creation was announced, thousands sought to join. Then the IRS attempted to kill us. No lawsuit can remedy that assault, as the IRS knew. The settlement gives us the truth, but we can’t get back our seven years.