August 26, 2010, - 1:35 pm

OUTRAGE: IRS Delays Pro-Israel Charity’s Status B/c “Differs w/ Obama”

By Debbie Schlussel

**** UPDATE: Thanks to you readers, Z Street’s Paypal Account is back up. Please donate to the Z St. v. IRS suit @ Z Street’s website, linked below. ****

I am proud to personally know Lori Lowenthal Marcus, the smart, Harvard-educated lawyer who heads up Z Street, a pro-Israel, pro-America charity.  She is a warrior, whose courage and energy to fight for what’s right knows no bounds.

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With her latest battle for justice, it’s simply an outrage that she must fight at all.  Thanks to reader Shy Guy, Israeli blogger Batya Medad/Shiloh Musings, and Lori, herself, for the tips on this absurdity in 2010 United States of America–that a charity’s request for tax-exempt status is delayed because it is pro-Israel and “differs” with Barack Obama’s view on the country.  It’s incredible.  The U.S. has several tax-exempt Muslim charities which raise money for HAMAS, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda, including for attacks on American soldiers.  Those charities had no problem getting the exemption.  But, with Z Street, well, it’s another story, and the group has been forced to file suit. It’s blatant discrimination and a clear double standard.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 25, 2010
CONTACT: contact@zstreet.org

IRS SUED FOR DISCRIMINATION
AGAINST ORGANIZATIONS
THAT DON’T SHARE ADMINISTRATION’S POSITIONS ON ISRAEL

Z STREET, a pro-Israel non-profit corporation, filed a lawsuit in federal court charging that the IRS violated the organization’s First Amendment rights. The suit was filed after Z STREET was told by an IRS official that its application for tax-exempt status has been delayed because an IRS policy requires consideration of whether a group’s views on Israel differ from those of the current Administration.

“Not only is it patently un-American but it is also a clear violation of the First Amendment for a government agency to penalize an organization because of its political position on Israel or anything else,” said Z STREET president Lori Lowenthal Marcus, a former First Amendment lawyer. “This situation is the same as if the government denied a driver’s license to people because they were Republicans or Democrats. It goes against everything for which our country stands.”

Z STREET filed for tax-exempt status in January of this year and, despite having met all of the requirements for grant of this status, the application has been stalled. An IRS agent told Z STREET’s lawyers that the application was delayed because of a Special Israel Policy that requires greater scrutiny of organizations which have to do with Israel, in part to determine whether they espouse positions on Israel contrary to those of the current Administration.

Z STREET is a Zionist organization that proudly supports Israel’s right to refuse to negotiate with, make concessions to, or appease terrorists. Z STREET’s positions on Israel and, in particular, on the Middle East “peace process” differ significantly from those espoused by the Obama administration.

If Z STREET had tax-exempt status, its donors would be able to deduct contributions from their taxable income. The IRS’s refusal to grant tax-exempt status to Z STREET has inhibited the organization‘s fundraising efforts, and therefore impeded its ability to speak and to educate the public regarding the issues that are the focus and purpose of Z STREET.

The lawsuit, Z STREET v. Shulman, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, was filed today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Read the lawsuit here.  It’s interesting:  as I noted above, the IRS has granted tax-exempt status to many charities, which don’t share the US view–the official Obama view–on HAMAS, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda.

Why is that, and why is Z Street held to a different standard, when it supports America and its ally Israel, not America’s sworn enemies?

If Barack Obama doesn’t want Americans to believe he’s a Muslim, he’s sure doing a heckuva job at convincing them.

**** UPDATE: Several readers and commenters noticed that Z Street’s Paypal donation account isn’t working. Lori Lowenthal Marcus responds:

Unbelievable! Our account status was fine as of a month ago (we spent months sending Paypal the same documentation over and over again) and now, as your reader discovered – the account has been yanked! Any connection to the lawsuit? I don’t know, but it sure smells funny. The only way to donate now is by sending a check snail mail to: Z STREET, P.O. Box 182, Merion Station, PA 19066. And now we REALLY need help! Thanks Debbie and your fans.

Thank YOU, Lori.

**** UPDATE #2: Thanks, readers, for notifying Lori and me. Thanks to you, the Z Street Paypal donation button is back up and running, if you want to donate to the suit against the IRS.

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41 Responses

I am very shocked and angry that Z St. was forced to file suit. I’m furious that this blatantly egregious double standard is coming directly from the federal level. I have never believed that Obama is a Muslim, until now. Lori Lowenthal Marcus is very impressive. Thanks for posting this.

NancyB on August 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    This is EXACTLY what you can expect, voters, when you put a muzzie in the Whitehouse. We are at war with Muslims and voters put the enemy in the Whitehouse.

    What MORE can Barry Sotero do to prove to you that he is in fact a muzzie??

    As goes on August 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    you go to YouTube and look up obama’s interview’s after he was voted in 2008 you can find several of them that let you see and hear him say he is “a muslim…oh no i mean Christian.” and the other was “in Kenya where i was born, oh i mean Hawaii” ……. just think about it.. how many people can’t answer those questions one time when asked where were you born or what is your faith? no one forget’s that.. no one says they were born over here or there..can’t remember.. now i can see people saying yes once i was a muslim, but now i am a Christian. but you don’t forget it..

    teriD on August 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Thanks Deb. Please post where/how we can give money to Z Street. Since you posted this, I am going to donate $100.

Deb, keep up the good work. I forward you column to so many different people to let them know about the Muslim threat.

Jgrant on August 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Z-Street contact info.

    It seems that their Paypal account is not valid. Mention that to them when you contact them.

    Shy Guy on August 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Oops, that should be I forward your column to so many different people to let know about the Muslim threat.

I guess you get me so excited that my grammar and spelling go out the window! Must be your picture on the website.

Jgrant on August 26, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Jon and Debbie, what the IRS is doing is illegal.

But that hasn’t stopped the Administration from using the IRS as a political tool against its domestic foes.

We can only wish with Lori Lowenthal Marcus and Z Street all the best in their efforts to put a stop to this raw abuse of government power for transparently political ends.

NormanF on August 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Huh? you are all just too funny.

It was obvious to anyone who did not have their head in the ground that Obama was going to do this sort of thing, and over 70% of Jews along with the majority of everyone else (If you took away all the Jewish votes Obama received he still would have won by plenty) voted for him. That is where the outrage should be.

That Obama only practices after the election what he openly and obviously advertised he would do prior to the election and the fact we knew who his friends and associates were prior to the election means everyone who voted for him is to blame.

I hope Lori’s lawsuit succeeds (I have communicated with her via email and she is everything Debbie claims she is). However I am laughing at all of you.

I_AM_ME on August 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    That Obama only practices after the election what he openly and obviously advertised he would do prior to the election and the fact we knew who his friends and associates were prior to the election means everyone who voted for him is to blame.

    I_AM_ME on August 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Me, the sentence that you wrote above is so true. I think of this everyday. For those who wanted to see this wolf in sheeps clothing from the get-go…it was all there to see.

    It’s gonna take so much work to get America back. Trouble is, there are still millions who are fooled by this Marxist charlatan!

    Skunky on August 26, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Unbelievable! Our account status was fine as of a month ago (we spent months sending Paypal the same documentation over and over again) and now, as your reader discovered – the account has been yanked! Any connection to the lawsuit? I don’t know, but it sure smells funny. The only way to donate now is by sending a check snail mail to: Z STREET, P.O. Box 182, Merion Station, PA 19066. And now we REALLY need help! Thanks Debbie and your fans.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus on August 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Lori, try using GPAL. We buy items for buckskining and historic war re-enactments and encampments. They are items that use black powder and LEAD. Pay pal has some issues with firearms and related goods… GPAL does not. As long as you are doing only legal things YOU CAN USE THEIR SERVICE. And YOU ARE, so go for it. PAYPAL is useless to us.

    Check it out:

    https://www.gpal.net/

    Sewsalot on August 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm

      Last time I checked, Gpal would only accept credit cards. We couldn’t link it to our debit card or bank account. We don’t have a credit card. For anyone else who doesn’t, you’ll have to do the snail mail route.

      mk750 on August 26, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Try AlertPay. A lot of people have been having problems with Paypal so you might want to look into another online payment processor. Until then, good old-fashioned snail mail check always works! :)

    NormanF on August 26, 2010 at 7:28 pm

      AlertPay looks pretty good. They take most World Currencies. NO Shekels but that could be Bank of Israel’s doing not theirs. BOI was pretty tough on PayPal coming in and linking Israeli bank accounts. AP takes bank transfers and debit cards so I may register and see. I don’t use this often or regularly but sometimes money needs to move. For US and CA banks, there is no fee.

      mk750 on August 27, 2010 at 7:15 am

Well, there is another avenue here. Call your Congressman and both of your senators, as well as your home town newspapers, and complain how the IRS has been turned into a tool of Obama’s political positions. COMPLAIN POLITELY, BUT FIRMLY.

The telephone number to call for the Capitol is (202)-224-3121/

It is great to read Deb’s columns, but we must do more than grumble amongst ourselves. Send Deb’s column, with the above listed telephone number, to at least 20 different people. MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD!

Jgrant on August 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm

I don’t know if Z Street plans to sue Paypal if this is not resolved. But as most readers know, there is a history of behavior of this type by Paypal, Google and similar internet organizations. Maybe a few lawsuits will get this sort of thing straightened out.

Little Al on August 26, 2010 at 5:17 pm

so JEWISH orgs are terror supporters according to OBUMBLER and he makes a grand effort to make ZAKAT that WE KNOW GOES TO ENEMIES—easier–and then wonders why people think he is a MUSLIM JEWHATER…

-the REAL OBAMA and the DEMBO admin———–ugly and uglier every day

Isahiah62 on August 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm

This story is so nauseating that I’m still in shock.

I can, however, tell you that paypal is probably not in cahoots with the Obama thugs. Meg Whitman, former ebay (ebay owns Paypal) CEO and ebay billionaire, is running for (R) governor of California and has her eye on the White house as the first female president, eventually.

Even though she is no longer an ebay executive, paypal has been shutting down accounts with great zeal since her candidacy to protect her from political opponents having any fodder for “attack ads”, such as when they were insinuating that she was a pornographer because ebay had an extensive adult-items category.

As long as the account in question is not blatantly politically-correct (such as benefitting gays, blacks, muslims, etc.), all it takes is an anonymous email to Paypal asserting that an entity is engaged in some questionable activity and Paypal will “limit” the account.

I also believe that paypal wouldn’t be doing this unless their counsel has determined that they are essentially judgement-proof from their actions by virtue of the TOS contract Paypal members agree to when they sign-up, e.g., that Paypal reserves the right to limit an account for any reason as long as they aren’t showing a pattern or policy of discrimination based on a certain class.

Quorum on August 26, 2010 at 6:03 pm

The IRS is a political tool of a Political “Tool”, eh?
No surprise in that. But it’s another good reason why we need less government, a flat federal tax and to dissolve the IRS, along with a few other useless govt. agencies.
Obama may not be a religion practicing mussie but when it comes to personal beleifs and politics there’s absolutely no doubt where his priorities lie.

theShadow on August 26, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Richard Nixon used the IRS to go after his political enemies and this was one of the charges in the impending impeachment the Democrats pursued against him in 1974.

    Obama is now doing the same thing and there is thundering silence from the Left.

    The IRS is supposed to collect federal taxes not to investigate Americans’ political views.

    NormanF on August 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm

      Norm- you forgot about the worst abusers of the IRS, Slick Willy and Shrillary.

      Debbie, you had better be watching your back. BHO doesn’t agree with you either.

      Jarhead on August 26, 2010 at 8:53 pm

There is no doubt that the Obama administration is trying to crack down on any opposition to its Mideast policy. This issue is especially volatile now with the Sept. 2 talks, the upcoming elections in November, and Obama still smarting from his support of the muslim mosque by the WTC.

What is especially disgusting though is that the administration has the support, in so many words, of at least some Jewish liberals. The NYT brought this issue to public view earlier this year, and the Forward amplified the issue immediately. They just came out with another article essentially defending the IRS, saying that if there were political issues involved (and there was a prelude of nay-saying by Jewish officials and former officials) it could be justified because after all, Z Street is said to support West Bank settlements, and the Bob Jones 1983 Supreme Court decision barred tax exemption for groups opposed to public policy, such as racial discrimination. So support for the West Bank settlements is comparable in these Jewish liberals’ eyes to racial discrimination.

Z Street’s published aims are worded very broadly, e.g. the right of Jews to live anywhere. So the Forward and the Obama administration are apparently in the company of the Nazis, the Communists, and the muslim bigots in challenging this basic right which many of us thought was part of an enlightened belief system.

I have no doubt that prior to yanking Z Street around, the administration arranged for Jewish organizations like the Forward to give it political cover. It as routine for the Jewish establishment to sabotage militant Zionist organizations during World War II, and this is really the same thing.

Little Al on August 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm

>Obama is now doing the same thing and there is thundering silence from the Left.

Z Street is not an enemy of anyone.

J'Kel on August 26, 2010 at 7:36 pm

THE ARMY COMING FROM THE EAST 2012 .ZIONIST BACK TO Poland Germany where debbie mother born starving

KARAR on August 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm

KARRAR KARRAR KARRAR

KARAR on August 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

    Striker…. german 1940’s vintage technology in Iran, 2010.

    HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

    Psycho Phreak on August 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm

GOOD NEWS! Thanks to an alert from you guys, we quickly began calling and emailing Paypal and guess what? They re-activated us. With some ridiculous reason for having de-listed us. But, in any event, thanks again guys!

Lori

Lori Lowenthal Marcus on August 26, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Great news Lori, so much for the lefts argument about religious freedom in this country, blah,blah,blah,.. we know the truth.

sharon on August 26, 2010 at 9:09 pm

The so-called “liberal”, “progressive” “members of the in-crowd”, J-Streeters should come to Z-Street’s aid. But, Z- Street shouldn’t hold its breath, nor should they wait for any assistance of the similarly liberal, progressive, in-crowd bunch from the A.C.L.U., as they’re all a bunch of fake, phony frauds, and everyone knows it.

Neil on August 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm

God bless Israel and the People Israel.

Mack Hall on August 26, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Amen, Mack Hall.

JeffE on August 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Thanks for the link.
This isn’t the first time the US govt has played anti-jewish politics with tax status of donations to Jewish and Israeli groups.
Lori is doing the right thing by suing. They shouldn’t get away with it. We must not be silent!

Batya on August 27, 2010 at 12:04 am

This is crazy! The IRS has no business delving into the beliefs of an organization like that! What’s next? Are they going to deny our charitable contributions if they don’t line up with the administration’s beliefs?

Ryan on August 27, 2010 at 9:38 am

Wow… sad to say but if this comes as a shock to you, then you are in for one rude awakening!

If you knew just who Barack Obama and his administration really is you would not only expect this but be doing everything you could to expose him.

Let’s just say you don’t have to got to Iran to see one of those lynchings and dismemberment episodes they have in Muslim countries like Iran. Courtesy of Obama and Company you can witness the same right here in the United States led by black-mailer Alfred Sharpton. Sharpton even has his lynching / silencing Jews campaigns financed by billion dollar corporations like AT&T.

Sharpton and his group of punish-the-Jews-and-Christians go around beating up Jews and Christians, covering it up by stealing medical records, involving corrupt law enforcement, and going after the victims friends and family.

It’s too bad conservatives like Glenn Beck go on national TV and radio praising con-man Alfred Sharpton. I don’t know if Debbie will censor this comment or not, but one thing I know is Sharpton and company and their systematic lynch mob need to be stopped, or we won’t like the outcome.

T on August 27, 2010 at 11:47 am

this bad lil muslim obama tryin to make dumb debbie angry?

Osman on August 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm

This is why I prefer the Fair Tax . Away with the IRS, repeal the 16th amendment, and pay a federal tax on new stuff (not used) that you purchase at the retail level. Our current tax system is about wielding political power over our lives as evidenced by this article, not funding constitutionally legitimate functions of government. The Fair Tax, I believe, will shift that power away from corrupt politicians and unaccountable bureaucrats back into the hands of the taxpayers. Imagine not having to account for what you did year after year to the IRS, and YOU decide WHEN you pay your tax and YOU decide HOW MUCH you pay. Imagine April 15th as just another sunny day in the Spring season! I’m not spammin’ here-I’m just sharing what I believe is a great idea that can lead us to a more perfect union. So many other benefits can be realized under this system. Disregard the detractors and check it out for yourself at FairTax.org.

T. Y. on August 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm

From the law cited in the lawsuit:

…the presence of any of the following factors in the presentations made by the organization is indicative that the method used by the organization to advocate its viewpoints is not educational:
1. The presentation of viewpoints unsupported by facts is a significant portion of the organization’s communications;
2. The facts that purport to support the viewpoints are distorted;
3. The organization’s presentations make substantial use of inflammatory and disparaging terms and express conclusions more on the basis of strong emotional feelings than of objective evaluations; or
4. The approach used in the organization’s presentations is not aimed at developing an understanding by the intended audience or readership because it does not consider their background or training in the subject matter.

That pretty much describes Z Street to a T. The lawsuit is frivolous.

They should register as a 501(c)4 like other advocacy organizations.

Tom Betz on August 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Update at Isral Matzav:

IRS won’t answer questions about Z Street

Shy Guy on August 28, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Well, looks like we’ve finally heard from the IRS (Tom Betz). He obviously is conversant, in a rote sense with the law, by his reference to 501(c)4 organizations, so probably he squelches free speech for the IRS to make a living, although he might also be a Muslim lawyer, or a lawyer for the Forward.

Really disgusting. Why does it describe Z Street to a T?

Second, and obvious to all of his, he uses loaded, subjective terms like “viewpoints unsupported by facts”, “distorted facts”, “inflammatory, disparaging terms” “not considering background or training”.

Of course no substantiation. While I understand that there are some intelligent, competent and ethnical IRS agents, usually the IRS gets the dregs, people who don’t have enough on the ball to get jobs in private industry.

And, of course, the government is in bad financial straits because of the endless bailouts and socialist redistribution programs. The IRS is going to be doing more and more harassment of legitimate organizations and taxpayers to try to extort more and more money for socialism. This, unfortunately, is just the beginning.

Little Al on August 29, 2010 at 8:38 am

Of course I meant ‘ethical’ IRS agents, although unconscious use of the term ‘ethnical’ does describe Government affirmative action very well these days.

Little Al on August 29, 2010 at 9:48 am

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