Sunday, May 12, 2013

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U.S. Administration Targets…the Jews

Several years ago a few Jewish charities I was involved in were interested in opening “Friends of (Jewish Charity operating in Israel)” organizations in the U.S.  We were advised by our financial professionals and others who had been doing such things that it was a bad idea at this time, because the IRS (U.S. tax authority) was doing “intense scrutiny” of any Jewish organization operating in Israel and denying most such applications.

To me it sounded like a conspiracy theory, but we were not going to chance the investment necessary (money and time) when the professionals were saying it would probably be a loss.  (Note this was a loss of charity assistance to the needy in Israel AND a loss of jobs in the U.S. – as we would have set up a local office with staff and banking).

Today’s headline news…

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(National Review) Along with targeting tea-party groups, the IRS may also have given extra-special attention to the tax-exempt status of some Jewish groups for political reasons.

From the Jewish Press:

The passionately pro-Israel organization Z STREET filed a lawsuit against the IRS, claiming it had been told by an IRS agent that because the organization was “connected to Israel,” its application for tax-exempt status would receive additional scrutiny.  This admission was made in response to a query about the lengthy review of Z STREET’s tax exempt status application.

In addition, the IRS agent told a Z STREET representative that the applications of some of those Israel-related organizations have been assigned to “a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.” . . .

And at least one purely religious Jewish organization, one not focused on Israel, was the recipient of bizarre and highly inappropriate questions about Israel.  Those questions also came from the same non-profit division of the IRS at issue for inappropriately targeting politically conservative groups. The IRS required that Jewish organization to state “whether [it] supports the existence of the land of Israel,” and also demanded the organization “[d]escribe [its] religious belief system toward the land of Israel.”

So, if you were a Jewish charity out to help needy Jews in Israel, your cause could and would be denied because of it’s religious beliefs (believing, as is written directly in the Torah aka Bible aka Old Testament, that Israel is the Holy Land and G-d’s gift to the Jewish people).

Direct U.S. government discrimination, and dare I say it, persecution.

Note there are no such reports from Islamic religious groups out to help poor Muslims in Pakistan, Indonesia or Islamic charitable religious support for Saudi Arabia.

Hmm…

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