Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

IRS continues constitutional violations against pro-Israel groups

Three months ago, I posted about a lawsuit filed by the pro-Israel organization Z Street, which claimed that the IRS is withholding tax exemptions from pro-Israel organizations whose politics they don't like. On Monday, Z Street issued a press release with an update on the case.
Z STREET: IRS continues Constitutional violations concerning Israel

Z STREET, an organization devoted to pro-Israel public education, today filed in federal court its Opposition to the government’s effort to continue violating the US Constitution by discriminating against the organization because its views on Israel and the Middle East differ from those of this government. On August 25, 2010 Z STREET filed a Complaint in federal court charging the Internal Revenue Service with constitutional violations by subjecting Z STREET’s application for tax exemption to a discriminatory process.

In its response to Z STREET’s Complaint, the government did not deny that it engaged in this First Amendment violation. Instead, the government’s position is that (1) it can violate the Constitution whenever it wants and the only way to stop it is if the government agrees to be stopped, and (2) Z STREET should go to a different court to get something it should already have - tax exempt status - were it not for the constitutional violation the government has inflicted upon it.

“As every American knows, the US government is bound by the Constitution, and it can be hailed into court and ordered to cease unconstitutional action whether it consents or not,” said Lori Lowenthal Marcus, president of Z STREET. “This evasive measure simply compounds the unconstitutional process by which our effort to achieve tax-exempt status has been, and is being, reviewed.”

Marcus added, “we have provided evidence that another applicant for charitable exemption was asked by the IRS, in writing, in connection with its application, whether it supports the existence of Israel, and what that organization’s religious beliefs are about Israel. The other organization is a Jewish one with a religious focus and has nothing to do with Israel at all,” she said. “There is something very serious, and very wrong, in the process the IRS is using to allocate tax exempt determinations, and Z STREET is committed to exposing and righting that wrong.”
You can see the full 18-page document filed by Z Street (it's a memorandum in opposition to a motion by the IRS to dismiss the claim for failure to state a cause of action) here.


Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home