IRS also targeting Jewish groups for extra scrutiny?

posted at 10:41 am on May 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Duane linked an earlier report on the travails of the pro-Israel lobbying group Z Street and the IRS in the Green Room, but now Politico has also picked it up as part of the expanding IRS scandal.  Unlike the Tea Party/conservative targeting where evidence shows a widespread effort to harass political opposition to the Obama administration, the Z Street story only involved one application …. at least at first.  Politico’s Josh Gerstein hints that there was a pattern here, too:

The same Internal Revenue Service office that singled out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny also challenged Israel-related organizations, at least one of which filed suit over the agency’s handling of its application for tax-exempt status.

The trouble for the Israel-focused groups seems to have had different origins than that experienced by conservative groups, but at times the effort seems to have been equally ham-handed.

A leader of one of the organizations involved, Lori Lowenthal Marcus of Z Street, said Monday that she was convinced the added attention her group got was no accident.

The IRS initially responded to a lawsuit filed by Z Street that it was applying extra scrutiny to tax-exempt applications for groups ties to the Middle East because of the heightened risk of assisting terror-related groups.  For some reason, this included Israel, at least in this initial response:

“Israel is one of many Middle Eastern countries that have a ‘higher risk of terrorism,’” wrote Jon Waddell, manager of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Determinations Group. “A referral to TAG is appropriate whenever an application mentions providing resources to organizations in a country with a higher risk of terrorism.”

However, Z Street and other groups reported getting unusual inquiries from the IRS. A Z Street lawyer was contacted by a Jewish religious group, which detailed inquiries from the IRS that the group’s leaders thought had treaded too far.

“Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel? Describe your organization’s religious belief system towards the land of Israel,” the IRS asked in a letter sent to the religious group, which asked not to be named.

It’s possible that question was intended to screen out organizations opposed to Israel, and therefore at least theoretically more likely to be affiliated with terrorist groups.  But asking about religious beliefs as the basis of evaluating tax-exempt status would be a bridge too far, as would be predicating approval on only those political positions the IRS sees fit to endorse.  And we’re certainly seeing that in the main scandal, where the IRS targeted conservative groups on the basis of their politics.

Now, however, the IRS denies they told Z Street any of the above:

In court papers, the IRS denied that its personnel ever told Z Street that there was a special review for groups that might be at odds with Obama administration policy. The tax agency contended that the issue was whether the groups might violate “public policy” — a legal term of art for the notion that the government shouldn’t bestow a benefit on an individual or organization engaged in illegal activity like terrorism, or in an officially disfavored activity such as racial discrimination.

“The application was not transferred to TAG because of an ‘Israel special policy’ or because Z Street’s views on Israel contradict the Obama administration’s views on Israel,” the Justice Department wrote in a brief seeking dismissal of Z Street’s lawsuit.

Yes, and we should believe this, because, er … the IRS has been so honest about their actions so far.

It’s yet another evidence set showing that the IRS has become so politicized that it presents a grave threat to political speech and liberty.  Next question: how do we solve the problem?  Hint: Sensible campaign finance reform that eliminates artificial categories and limits for donations and instead requires full and immediate disclosure to parties and candidates would be a great start.

Update: Did the IRS also target pro-life groups for harassment?  I’d say that these kinds of questions will be popping up for the next few weeks.


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TP’ers, Israeli supporters, pro lifers; those low level staffers sure seem to be able to get away with a lot in the IRS. Where is the oversight from their own command structure, unless….noooo….that can’t be it…

Bishop on May 14, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Flood gates bigger than Katrina!

hillsoftx on May 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM

What a bunch of momzers.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on May 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM

OY VAY!

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM

TP’ers, Israeli supporters, pro lifers; those low level staffers sure seem to be able to get away with a lot in the IRS. Where is the oversight from their own command structure, unless….noooo….that can’t be it…

Bishop on May 14, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Bishop!

Sorry, just had to do that.

CBP on May 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Pro-Israel Organizations…aaaand….

IRS also targeted Christian Traditional Marriage Activist organizations…

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 10:48 AM

More proof the unconstitutional IRS and federal tax system should be eliminated.

TX-96 on May 14, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Now that this is coming out in the open, how many more groups who applied for this status are going to think back over the process and see their application had the same roadblocks. Possibility for a class-action lawsuit here, even though I hate to think of such a thing?

CBP on May 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Of course a mooooslem prez would target the jews.

Chicago way

txdoc on May 14, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Nice concise summary by Drew at AOSHQ as well…

Obama Scandal Scorecard

Headings:

1) Obama Sics IRS On Conservatives and Jews

2) Obama’s Health And Human Services Secretary Is Extorting Money From HealthCare Industry To Support ObamaCare

3) Super-Scandal Obama

4) Benghazi Cover-Up

5) AP Phone Records

Dishonorable mentions:
Fast and Furious/Pigford

link:

http://ace.mu.nu/

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

There is no pattern here.

This was the work of a lone wolf.

The President knew nothing about it.

The GOP is working on making this a political scandal when millions are out of work.

I personally know three Lois Lerner’s.

This is just the result of Fox News, Drudge, and Limbaugh trying to get people all wee-wee’d up.

After all, if it saves the political career of just one Democrat, it’s worth it.

Chris of Rights on May 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

More proof the unconstitutional IRS and federal tax system should be eliminated.

That it should. Stinkin’ commie concept.

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Well, Obama did tell his people to “get in their faces”, didn’t he.

OldEnglish on May 14, 2013 at 10:56 AM

This is just the result of Fox News, Drudge, and Limbaugh trying to get people all wee-wee’d up.
Chris of Rights on May 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Rush Limbaugh…The Patron Saint of Wee-wee’d up

I’ll tweet the Pope on that one…

*snicker*

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Yet 70% of American Jews blindly vote Democratic.

bw222 on May 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

The IRS should be giving groups like CAIR a hard time….
And other Muslim organizations.

Don’t worry Muslims – your time is coming and the majority of Americans
will welcome the worm turning…

Screw the left and their Muslim sympathizers.

redguy on May 14, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Attention: Jewish voters . . .

60% Jewish voters for Obama instead of the usual 70-75% for the D candidate could have swung the election. Now you are stuck with him.

mwbri on May 14, 2013 at 10:58 AM

After all, if it saves the political career of just one every Democrat, it’s worth it.

Everything is justified in the protection of party members and achieving political objectives, the ends justifies the means and all that.

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Yet 70% of American Jews blindly vote Democratic.

bw222 on May 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

The key word here is “blindly”. A leftist first, jew second.

redguy on May 14, 2013 at 10:58 AM

“A referral to TAG is appropriate whenever an application mentions providing resources to organizations in a country with a higher risk of terrorism.”

But somehow there are no reports of Islamic organizations complaining about targeting. Must be an oversight.

Curtiss on May 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Obama Sics IRS On Conservatives and Jews

Ed himself just cited Douglas Shulman, the IRS commissioner in 2001, as a Bush appointee. So you’re claiming that Bush people were part of a concerted effort to single-out conservative groups as well?

Once again, the right is making absurd accusations based on fantastical evidence.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

“Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?”

What business does the IRS have asking any kind of question like that?

farsighted on May 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Yet 70% of American Jews blindly vote Democratic.

Because in their view, the GOP is full of antisemetic Baptists and the party isn’t liberal enough for them.

/s

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Next question: how do we solve the problem?

Answer: The Flat Tax…the 1040 is now a post card, the IRS is essentially eliminated & the tax code is reduced from 7500 to ten pages…

PatriotRider on May 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM

More proof the unconstitutional IRS and federal tax system should be eliminated.

TX-96 on May 14, 2013 at 10:48 AM

.
I SECOND THE MOTION.

listens2glenn on May 14, 2013 at 11:01 AM

What business does the IRS have asking any kind of question like that?

Because it can…..or so its been led to believe.

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2013 at 11:01 AM

I would love to be able to provide a typical (non-TP, prolife, jewish) application for exempt status for comparison to a couple of libs giving me grief.
Do I have to click into the IRS site, or can anyone provide it, and spare me that ?
They’d probably require more info than I’m willing to provide, just to see the danged thang.

pambi on May 14, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Ed himself just cited Douglas Shulman, the IRS commissioner in 2001, as a Bush appointee. So you’re claiming that Bush people were part of a concerted effort to single-out conservative groups as well?

Once again, the right is making absurd accusations based on fantastical evidence.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Idiot. Douglas Shulman was appointed in 2008, because the Demcorats controlled the Senate.

Shulman is a partisan Democrat, gave money to the DNC.

sentinelrules on May 14, 2013 at 11:02 AM

“Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?”

The IRS question next year will be “How much Ice Cream did you eat this year?”

PatriotRider on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Ed himself just cited Douglas Shulman, the IRS commissioner in 2001, as a Bush appointee. So you’re claiming that Bush people were part of a concerted effort to single-out conservative groups as well?

Once again, the right is making absurd accusations based on fantastical evidence.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Sure are.

Wow, that must have come as a shock to you, people being critical of government overreach and criminality without regard to party affiliation. I know, it’s alien to you, which is why a tax cheat was once head of the Treasury and leftists didn’t utter a peep about it.

Bishop on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Ed himself just cited Douglas Shulman, the IRS commissioner in 2001, as a Bush appointee. So you’re claiming that Bush people were part of a concerted effort to single-out conservative groups as well?

Once again, the right is making absurd accusations based on fantastical evidence.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Booooooooosh…..

sandee on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Yet 70% of American Jews blindly vote Democratic.

bw222 on May 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Do you even understand this story?

It’s possible that question was intended to screen out organizations opposed to Israel, and therefore at least theoretically more likely to be affiliated with terrorist groups. But asking about religious beliefs as the basis of evaluating tax-exempt status would be a bridge too far

Interesting, how many HA readers would actually be opposed to the IRS singling out Islamic groups and making their 501c application procss more rigorous and difficult.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

IRS offices in Ohio…California…Washington DC…

spreads like a virus

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Once again, the right is making absurd accusations based on fantastical evidence.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

The evidence is fantastic, you’re correct. And speaks for itself. There’s no need for any accusations, absurd or otherwise, at this point.

Chris of Rights on May 14, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Yet 70% of American Jews blindly vote Democratic.

Because in their view, the GOP is full of antisemetic Baptists and the party isn’t liberal enough for them.

/s

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM

The Democratic Party is a coalition and conglomeration of largely single (or narrow) issue special interest groups many of which would start ripping each others throats out if the GOP disappeared tomorrow and the Democratic Party monopolized all power.

Their common enemy is the GOP and conservatives. They cooperate, support each other’s special interests, and refrain from attacking each other in the common interest of advancing their special and limited interests.

For an example of what happens when socialists of various stripes no longer have a common enemy and start fighting amongst themselves see Russia, post-1917 through Stalin’s purges.

farsighted on May 14, 2013 at 11:07 AM

So Reuters knew about this for a year and didn’t report it…is that right?

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Shulman is a partisan Democrat, gave money to the DNC.

sentinelrules on May 14, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Many Wall Street execs, like Shulman, donate to both parties. When a millionaire donates $500 to a political party, that isn’t the sign of ‘partisanship’. He was appointed by Bush, the Senate only approved his nomination. (2011 is correct date though.)

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Hey, let’s let loose another scandal. EPA admits they waived fees for lib orgs while charging conservative groups for the identical service. I M P E A C H.

hillsoftx on May 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Amazing, over the past 8 to 18 months we’ve had…

Benghazi cover up
IRS targeting Tea Party Groups & Jews
DOJ targeting journalists

And all of this info just now coming out..6 months after the election. How convenient.

HumpBot Salvation on May 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Interesting, how many HA readers would actually be opposed to the IRS singling out Islamic groups and making their 501c application procss more rigorous and difficult.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Let’s see if that drops out of the hat first as all these other things have and then we can talk. I mean you wouldn’t want to be accused of jumping the gun and making fantastical accusations before proof has been presented, would you?

Bishop on May 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Let’s not talk about the IRS profiling, singling out, and targeting selected groups.

Let’s change the subject to Islam and talk about my goofy hypothetical.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Edited for clarity.

farsighted on May 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Interesting, how many HA readers would actually be opposed to the IRS singling out Islamic groups and making their 501c application procss more rigorous and difficult.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Never mind that many are known to send money to jihadists. Nah — not something about which to be concerned.

I LOVE THE IRS!!! HOW CAN A POLITICAL ORGANIZATION BE CALLED A NON-PROFIT THAT PROMOTES GENERAL WELFARE??

Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) May 14, 2013

And, from David Plouffe:

Shorter @davidplouffe: The IRS was wrong for targeting Tea Party groups. But, someone had to stop them from raising so much money.

Hair (@SHannitysHair) May 13, 2013

Liam on May 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Crickets from msdnc on but they don’t want you to forget about the NAACP audit iunder W

cmsinaz on May 14, 2013 at 11:13 AM

“Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?”

The IRS question next year will be “How much Ice Cream did you eat this year?”

PatriotRider on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

It’s surprising to see so many knee-jerk reactions against the IRS trying to weed out anti-Israeli groups. The feds are determined to stop terrorist-supporting organizations from obtaining nonprofit status, and while the questions were inappropriate, I don’t understand why the right is so offended by the spirit of the policy. Anything goes when it furthers your fantasies of victimization?

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Let’s see, so far we’ve heard about the IRS in a Dem administration going after:

small government groups

pro-Israel groups

pro-life groups

pro-traditional family groups

The only ones missing (as of today) are pro-right-to-work groups and anti-affirmative action groups. Then every group that opposed a Dem special interest would have been targeted.

But it’s still early here; not even noon yet.

Wethal on May 14, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Interesting, how many HA readers would actually be opposed to the IRS singling out Islamic groups and making their 501c application procss more rigorous and difficult.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

.
If we just ABOLISH the IRS, that would solve that problem.

listens2glenn on May 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM

So, the IRS is Obama’s “Civilian National Security Force”?

d1carter on May 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Ed himself just cited Douglas Shulman, the IRS commissioner in 2001, as a Bush appointee. So you’re claiming that Bush people were part of a concerted effort to single-out conservative groups as well?

Once again, the right is making absurd accusations based on fantastical evidence.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Yes. Even after 5 years the really smart people knew that it was all George Bush’s fault.

Time for a new “narrative” moron — you know, blame House Republicans for wanting to cut funding to the IRS or something.

ironbill on May 14, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Gentlemen, I have a solution.

This is a CRISIS! The IRS and the President have abused their power and has demonstrated that the current government cannot be trusted.

It is time we do something NOW so that this abuse will never happen again. When a crisis such as this arises, we should never let it go to waste. Its time we implement the flat tax. We must pass a flat tax immediately to avoid any abuse in the next elections!

With the flat tax in place, no longer will the powers that be use this agency for tyranny, we can solve this crisis, this is not a crisis that has to ever happen again.

It is time we turn the tables on government using crisis to thwart liberty, this time, crisis will be used to thwart tyranny.

For the children.

Are you listening Rand? Marco? Ted? Boehner?

Are you all listening? Do you understand what we have here?

A Crisis…a real one.

Alinsky on May 14, 2013 at 11:18 AM

So, the IRS is Obama’s “Civilian National Security Force”?

d1carter on May 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM

.
The IRS is the “Civilian National Security Force” of ALL socialists/communists in America.

listens2glenn on May 14, 2013 at 11:18 AM

The feds are determined to stop terrorist-supporting organizations from obtaining nonprofit status, and while the questions were inappropriate, I don’t understand why the right is so offended by the spirit of the policy. Anything goes when it furthers your fantasies of victimization?

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Denial isn’t going to make this thing go away you worthless troll. The right has been crying foul for over two years at the way they were being singled out for harassment by their government. It took Congressional scrutiny for the IRS to even investigate and the rot was so bad that they tried to hide the truth in a Friday afternoon dump (with the talking heads presumably parroting the idea that this was a few low level employees in Ohio).

But the proof is out there now and like a blue dress stained with biological material the scandal is not going to go away quietly if folks like you just keep repeating “what scandal?”

Happy Nomad on May 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Many Wall Street execs, like Shulman, donate to both parties. When a millionaire donates $500 to a political party, that isn’t the sign of ‘partisanship’. He was appointed by Bush, the Senate only approved his nomination. (2011 is correct date though.)

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Really? Where’s his donation to the RNC? All i can find is Schulman’s donations to Democrat organizations.

The only reason he was appointed by Bush was that the Democrat-controlled Senate would only accept Democrats.

And 2011 is the correct date of what? Schulman donated to Democrats in 2004 and was appointed to the IRS in 2008.

sentinelrules on May 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Yet 70% of American Jews blindly vote Democratic.

bw222 on May 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

it is unbelievable. But most of them have been indoctrinated in the progressive beliefs that Israel really doesn’t deserve to exist anyway. Like most college students that can’t think for themselves.

kirkill on May 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:14 AM

You should keep up with current events…The IRS will have full access to your medical records next year. Will they abuse them the same way they are abusing the info they have now?

PatriotRider on May 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM

, and while the questions were inappropriate, I don’t understand why the right is so offended by the spirit of the policy. Anything goes when it furthers your fantasies of victimization?

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Agreed. The spirit of leaving 4 men to die in Benghazi was benign, we shouldn’t be offended. The spirit behind seizing phone records of a private media company was also innocent.

And truthfully even though the IRS created a secret insider group to track and monitor conservative TP organizations, then lied about it at every level, the spirit of their malfeasance is what counts. We don’t know what that spirit is exactly since everyone is LYING, but I’m sure when the full truth finally comes out we will all have a good laugh over it.

Bishop on May 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Interesting, how many HA readers would actually be opposed to the IRS singling out Islamic groups and making their 501c application procss more rigorous and difficult.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Let’s see if that drops out of the hat first as all these other things have and then we can talk. I mean you wouldn’t want to be accused of jumping the gun and making fantastical accusations before proof has been presented, would you?

Bishop on May 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM

It’s very old news- after 9/11, the Feds shut down a number of Islamic organizations in the US; groups that were actively raising funds for known terrorist organizations under the guise of ‘humanitarian nonprofits’.

The Jewish community fully supports this federal policy, so the right can stop it’s fantasy of victimization that included Jews.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Shorter @davidplouffe: The IRS was wrong for targeting Tea Party groups. But, someone had to stop them from raising so much money.

Liam on May 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM

IOW, it was purely a political decision and an attempt to do to political opposition using the Executive powers of the IRS what could not be done via the legislative process, because there was insufficient support amongst the people’s elected representatives and it could be unconstitutional.

This admin has shown a fascist dictatorial-like pattern of trying to use the Executive and extra-constitutional power to ignore and bypass the Legislative branch.

If there was an ‘R’ next to the name of the current occupant of the WH we would have heard the word “Nixonian” about ten thousand times in the past week.

farsighted on May 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM

“Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel? Describe your organization’s religious belief system towards the land of Israel,” the IRS asked in a letter sent to the religious group, which asked not to be named.

Why did they ask about support for “the land of Israel”? Why not “the country of Israel”? The way the questions are worded, it would be like asking about a group’s support for the existence of, say, the Rocky Mountains.

aunursa on May 14, 2013 at 11:22 AM

First, they came for the Tea Partiers,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Tea Partier.

Then, they came for the ‘Patriots,’
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a ‘Patriot.’

Then they came for the supporters of Israel,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a supporter of Israel.

Then, they came for lovers of the Second Amendment,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a lover of the Second Amendment.

Then, they came for the lovers of the First Amendment,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a lover of the First Amendment.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Sucks to be ‘me,’ eh, Bette Midler?

Resist We Much on May 14, 2013 at 11:22 AM

What a bunch of momzers.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on May 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM
They’re a bunch of goniffs too.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 14, 2013 at 11:23 AM

So, the IRS is Obama’s “Civilian National Security Force”?

d1carter on May 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM

true. He can make up any law or organization that he needs, and the media just walks along with it. And where the hell is John Boner? He’s the worst speaker ever…and I thought it was Pelosi…

kirkill on May 14, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Although only 30% of American Jews voted for Romney, it’s the highest percentage of Jews voting Republican since Reagan. And 85% of Americans living in Israel voted for Romney.

aunursa on May 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

The Jewish community fully supports this federal policy, so the right can stop it’s fantasy of victimization that included Jews.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Which must be why members of the Jewish community sued the IRS for its discriminate use of the policy in 2010…

Resist We Much on May 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Interesting, how many HA readers would actually be opposed to the IRS singling out Islamic groups and making their 501c application procss more rigorous and difficult.

The IRS isn’t a law enforcement agency idiot. If the Justice Department was to give more scrutiny to say CAIR, or ISNA, I’d be all for it given the fact that both these groups have leadership connected to Islamic terror groups (google “Holy Land trial” and CAIR).

When was the last time a member of Americans for Israel, the Kentucky Tea Party , or some taxpayers rights organization flew a plane into a building or brought a nail bomb to a public event?

This was out-and-out political harassment by a government regulatory agency. And you think that’s a good thing.

You are an idiot.

ironbill on May 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

annoyinglittletwerp on May 14, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Funny. I just think that they’re all schmucks.

kingsjester on May 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

“Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?”

The IRS question next year will be “How much Ice Cream did you eat this year?”

PatriotRider on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

It’s surprising to see so many knee-jerk reactions against the IRS trying to weed out anti-Israeli groups. The feds are determined to stop terrorist-supporting organizations from obtaining nonprofit status, and while the questions were inappropriate, I don’t understand why the right is so offended by the spirit of the policy. Anything goes when it furthers your fantasies of victimization?

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Ehemmm…

Why state Land of Israel in this bogus question anyway…

Last I checked Israel was a country.

Does your organization support the existence of The Land of the United States?

Does your organization support the questionable acquisitions by the Land of the United States of the disputed territories of California,Arizona,Utah,New Mexico,Texas and Oklahoma?

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Be interesting to see the White House press briefing today. I’m sure after the AP story and all the rest of this the reporters will be in the mood for more of that Carney smugness and lying.

Happy Nomad on May 14, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Yet 70% of American Jews blindly vote Democratic.

bw222 on May 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

it is unbelievable. But most of them have been indoctrinated in the progressive beliefs that Israel really doesn’t deserve to exist anyway. Like most college students that can’t think for themselves.

kirkill on May 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM

That’s incredibly offensive. American Jews strongly support the state of Israel although some view the policies of the current Israeli administration as short-sighted and misguided.
I wish the right would stop using the history of the Jews as a reference point for its own dreams of victimization.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

“Israel is one of many Middle Eastern countries that have a ‘higher risk of terrorism,’” wrote Jon Waddell, manager of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Determinations Group.

Except that Israel is the one Middle Eastern country that doesn’t sponsor or harbor terrorists.

rbj on May 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

“Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel? Describe your organization’s religious belief system towards the land of Israel,” the IRS asked in a letter sent to the religious group, which asked not to be named.

Why did they ask about support for “the land of Israel”? Why not “the country of Israel”? The way the questions are worded, it would be like asking about a group’s support for the existence of, say, the Rocky Mountains.

aunursa on May 14, 2013 at 11:22 AM

The IRS used the UN sanctioned meme.

And we all know how effective the UN is…Iran is heading up UN dis-armament sessions.

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Interesting, how many HA readers would actually be opposed to the IRS singling out Islamic groups and making their 501c application procss more rigorous and difficult.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

I’ll go on record right now. I’m opposed to any abuses of power by the IRS.

I’m also emphatically opposed to any arm of the federal government trying to suppress free speech.

Try again, cupcake.

Chris of Rights on May 14, 2013 at 11:27 AM

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM

oh, that would have been Bush’s administration that did that…not so fast there with Zer0. How can you defend what is happening with this imploding administration? The Obama Youth these days…have they distributed to you your brown shirt yet?

kirkill on May 14, 2013 at 11:27 AM

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

It’s not offensive, it’s like Jews for Hitler.

sentinelrules on May 14, 2013 at 11:29 AM

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

I’m just stating exactly the facts, as that is what my friend believes. He told me so himself, and his last name is Goldstein. He went to the Univ. of Wisconsin, where progressivism originated.

kirkill on May 14, 2013 at 11:31 AM

The key word here is “blindly”. A leftist first, jew second.

redguy on May 14, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Non-leftist here.
Until the day after Reagan won in 1980, I thought that ALL Jews voted like my parents. That day, I came into Hebrew school all smiley,and ended up being harassed/hazed by my classmates-WITH THE TEACHER’S PERMISSION-because my parents voted ‘wrong’. As far as she was concerned-my parents weren’t ‘real’ Jews. They were Kapos. They were collaborators.
I had just turned 10.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 14, 2013 at 11:31 AM

The IRS used the UN sanctioned meme.

And we all know how effective the UN is…Iran is heading up UN dis-armament sessions.

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 11:27 AM

To evoke the desired response from terrorist groups, how terrible!

Interesting, how many HA readers would actually be opposed to the IRS singling out Islamic groups and making their 501c application procss more rigorous and difficult.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

I’ll go on record right now. I’m opposed to any abuses of power by the IRS.

I’m also emphatically opposed to any arm of the federal government trying to suppress free speech.

Good for you, I suppose those pro-terrorism, Islamic groups have been persecuted by the feds for too long, in your mind.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:32 AM

You know, one of our leftist commentators here reminds me of a Monty Python skit.

Ali Bayam… stark… raving… mad.

either orr on May 14, 2013 at 11:32 AM

This is just the result of Fox News, Drudge, and Limbaugh trying to get people all wee-wee’d up.

Chris of Rights on May 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

“Wee-Wee’d up” means high on marijuana, so, -no.

slickwillie2001 on May 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Yet 70% of American Jews blindly vote Democratic.

bw222 on May 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

it is unbelievable. But most of them have been indoctrinated in the progressive beliefs that Israel really doesn’t deserve to exist anyway. Like most college students that can’t think for themselves.

kirkill on May 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM

That’s incredibly offensive. American Jews strongly support the state of Israel although some view the policies of the current Israeli administration as short-sighted and misguided.
I wish the right would stop using the history of the Jews as a reference point for its own dreams of victimization.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Whining much?

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM

More about Ali Bayam... (NSFW)

either orr on May 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Interesting, how many HA readers would actually be opposed to the IRS singling out Islamic groups and making their 501c application procss more rigorous and difficult.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

I’ll go on record right now. I’m opposed to any abuses of power by the IRS.

I’m also emphatically opposed to any arm of the federal government trying to suppress free speech.

Try again, cupcake.

Chris of Rights on May 14, 2013 at 11:27 AM

This shows us how little our Canadian banker knows about conservatives.

slickwillie2001 on May 14, 2013 at 11:35 AM

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

It’s not incredibly offensive. It’s the truth
As a cradle-conservative Jew-I’m an anomaly.
I’m conservative parents were also anomalies.
Most Jews have become behold to leftism-and they’ll ‘bow’ which ever way is the farthest left.
Truth.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 14, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Ed himself just cited Douglas Shulman, the IRS commissioner in 2001, as a Bush appointee. So you’re claiming that Bush people were part of a concerted effort to single-out conservative groups as well?

Once again, the right is making absurd accusations based on fantastical evidence.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Dude, get this through your bloody head: The IRS has ADMITTED that it wrongly targeted conservative groups.

Got it?

* Senior IRS officials were in on the scheme and directed intrusive questioning of conservative groups.

* It was NOT limited to Cincinnati. The Washington, El Monte and Laguna Niguel officers were also involved.

* Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organisations, was told of the illegal and inappropriate targeting at a meeting on 29 June 2011, despite what she said on Friday.

* Details of the IRS’s efforts to target conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency in May 2012.

* The White House was informed no later than 22 April 2013.

These are FACTS and, yet, no one – NO ONE! – did anything until Lerner off-handedly admitted the IRS’ impropriety during an ABA conference. NO ONE HAS BEEN FIRED FOR BREAKING THE LAW.

If the IRS was ‘just doing its job,’ then why did it fail to look into:

‘Organizing for America,’ a 501(c)(4) organisation?

‘Media Matters for America,’ a 501(c)(3) organisation?

‘Center for American Progress.’ a 501(c)(3) organisaion?

‘The Center for American Progress Action Fund,’ a 501(c)(4) organisation?

‘Priorities USA,’ a 501(c)(4) organisation?

‘MoveOn.org,’ a 501(c)(4) organisation?

NONE of those organisations was targeted by the Internal Revenge Service, you ignorant, partisan, bloody hack.

Resist We Much on May 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Next question: how do we solve the problem? Hint: Sensible campaign finance reform that eliminates artificial categories and limits for donations and instead requires full and immediate disclosure to parties and candidates Eliminating the IRS would be a great start.

FIFY

More proof the unconstitutional IRS and federal tax system should be eliminated.

TX-96 on May 14, 2013 at 10:48 AM

You do know about the 17th Amendment, right? (Which, IMO, should be repealed.)

Ed himself just cited Douglas Shulman,

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Where? I don’t see Shulman mentioned in the post anywhere. (Nor in the Green Room post, earlier.)

Interesting, how many HA readers would actually be opposed to the IRS singling out Islamic groups and making their 501c application procss more rigorous and difficult.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

I wouldn’t. Just like I wouldn’t object to the Westboro “Baptist” Church’s status being audited. Nor would I object to auditing any organization that endorses terror groups. Several “charities” have been caught doing nothing more than laundering money for terror groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. So far, none of them have been Christian Scientists, DAR, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, or Boy Scouts.

GWB on May 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

That’s incredibly offensive.

I am really offended. You people are really, really offensive. That’s why I keep coming here. I like to say how offended I am. And really enjoy accusing you people of being incredibly offensive.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Edited for clarity.

farsighted on May 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

kingsjester on May 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

That too.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Good for you, I suppose those pro-terrorism, Islamic groups have been persecuted by the feds for too long, in your mind.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:32 AM

I don’t believe that the IRS has targeted any of these. If you have evidence of such, bring it forward, and I’ll denounce it. If you don’t, then stop whining.

Have LEAs targeted them? Yes. Has the State Department? Yes. Am I happy about either of these groups casting a wide net? No. But that’s why we have oversight for both groups. It’s why there are FISA courts.

I’m on record for saying that Bush’s wiretaps were abusive. Because he didn’t go through FISA to get them. As long as the First and Fourth Amendments are observed, then I understand that LEA and State will have to do what is necessary to protect the lives of Americans.

It’s when they work around FISA, or lie to their oversight committees, or exceed their purview in any way that I will happily join you in leaping down their throats.

I’m entirely consistent in my beliefs in the Constitution and in freedom for all Americans.

Of course, so is Obama. Merely because he doesn’t believe in either.

Are you ready for another round, or have you run out of sanctimonious drivel?

Chris of Rights on May 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Dude, get this through your bloody head: The IRS has ADMITTED that it wrongly targeted conservative groups.

You sound woefully out of touch with the facts in contention. No one is doubting the outrageous and unacceptable nature of the IRS behavior.
The stature of Sherman as a Bush appointee is only relevant when the wild accusations start flying about an effort to harass groups orchestrated from the White House. Obviously the role of Bush appointees in the process makes those accusations suspect.

The other major point of contention is that the IRS policy intended to identify Islamic, anti-Israeli groups someone represents the harassment of Jews. In reality, Jews strongly support the federal effort to prevent terrorism-funding organizations from obtaining nonprofit status.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:43 AM

The stature of Sherman as a Bush appointee is only relevant when the wild accusations start flying about an effort to harass groups orchestrated from the White House. Obviously the role of Bush appointees in the process makes those accusations suspect.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Not relevant as Schulman is a Democrat partisan.

sentinelrules on May 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM

That’s incredibly offensive. American Jews strongly support the state of Israel although some view the policies of the current Israeli administration as short-sighted and misguided.
I wish the right would stop using the history of the Jews as a reference point for its own dreams of victimization.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

See Noam ‘It’s perfectly true that Israel wants peace…so did Hitler’ Chomsky, Richard ‘[t]he war drums are beating at this moment in relation to both North Korea and Iran, and as long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy’ Falk of Princeton University, John ‘Israel is an apartheid state; Israelis in danger of becoming the Nazis their ancestors feared’ Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, Peter Beinart, MJ Rosenberg, Joe Levine, Professor of History at Ohio State University, Joshua Schreier at Vassar College, etc.

Resist We Much on May 14, 2013 at 11:46 AM

You sound woefully out of touch with the facts in contention. No one is doubting the outrageous and unacceptable nature of the IRS behavior.

The stature of Sherman as a Bush appointee is only relevant when the wild accusations start flying about an effort to harass groups orchestrated from the White House. Obviously the role of Bush appointees in the process makes those accusations suspect.

The other major point of contention is that the IRS policy intended to identify Islamic, anti-Israeli groups someone represents the harassment of Jews. In reality, Jews strongly support the federal effort to prevent terrorism-funding organizations from obtaining nonprofit status.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:43 AM

You do not even seem to know the facts, dear.

Who are you to speak for American ‘Jews,’ Brayaming at the Moon?

Resist We Much on May 14, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Has Obama called a single conservative group to apologise or does he just call the Flukes & Collinses of the world?

Resist We Much on May 14, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Where? I don’t see Shulman mentioned in the post anywhere. (Nor in the Green Room post, earlier.)

Kindly refer to the lead story

Then-Commissioner Douglas Shulman, a George W. Bush appointee who stepped down in November, received a briefing from the TIGTA about what was happening in the Cincinnati office in May 2012, the aides said. His deputy and the agency’s current acting commissioner, Steven T. Miller, also learned about the matter that month, the aides said.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM

The stature of Sherman as a Bush appointee is only relevant when the wild accusations start flying about an effort to harass groups orchestrated from the White House. Obviously the role of Bush appointees in the process makes those accusations suspect.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:43 AM

There’s so much wrong with this paragraph that I barely know where to begin.

1) The stature of Sherman as a Bush appointee is entirely irrelevant. No matter what. Only people interested in obfuscating the argument would even bring it up. Maybe he has an axe to grind against the Tea Party. Maybe he was always a leftie, and Bush didn’t care, because he personally liked the guy. Or maybe a thousand different things. I don’t know, and I don’t care. As I said, it’s irrelevant to the discussion.

2a) I’ve yet to here any “wild accusations” regarding the IRS. Merely speculation and question. It appears that this was not an isolated event. Was it due to a specific directive, or an unofficial one? Or merely due to the culture inside the IRS? These are questions I want answered. As would any sane person. I may start making accusations depending on the answers, but for now, I’m perfectly willing to let the story unfold.

2b) If you think it’s “wild accusations” being thrown at the IRS, and high ranking members thereof, then you haven’t been paying attention. Unless the stories being reported are factually incorrect (which is always possible), then we have a mountain of evidence and admission of guilt.

3) The role of Bush appointees in the process, again, has nothing to do with anything, and makes nothing suspect. Repeating once again, it’s irrelevant, and even bringing it up is a deliberate attempt at obfuscation. Please stop doing this. It’s infantile and annoying.

Chris of Rights on May 14, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Then-Commissioner Douglas Shulman, a George W. Bush appointee who stepped down in November, received a briefing from the TIGTA about what was happening in the Cincinnati office in May 2012, the aides said. His deputy and the agency’s current acting commissioner, Steven T. Miller, also learned about the matter that month, the aides said.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM

For whom were both working in 2012?

Obama

What did either do?

Nothing.

Need I remind you that Justice David Souter was appointed by Bush the Elder and he didn’t turn out to be a fan of conservatism?

Resist We Much on May 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM

I wish the right would stop using the history of the Jews as a reference point for its own dreams of victimization.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

*shakes my head* It won’t even do any good to say anything about how asinine this is. *walks away*

GWB on May 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM

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