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Dec 15

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:32 PM 

The blog Yid with Lid reports this week on the most outrageous intrusion of the Obama administration into free speech in America to date: The IRS's "Israel Special Policy," which kicks in to deny tax-exempt status to non-profits whose policies "espouse or support positions inconsistent with the Obama administration’s Israel policies."

Since when does the "Obama administration" determine tax status according to "correct" political beliefs? Since at least this summer when the pro-Israel non-profit Z-Street was informed by an IRS agent that its non-profit tax status had been delayed if not ultimately denied due to its political beliefs.

What we are witnessing is a massive power grab, chilling effect and abuse of power all rolled up into one.

From the pro-Israel non-profit group Z-Street's suit against the IRS:

The plaintiff in this case, Z STREET, is a nonprofit organization devoted to educating the public about the facts relating to the Middle East, and that relate to the existence of Israel as a Jewish State, and Israel’s right to refuse to negotiate with, make concessions to, or appease terrorists.  The case is brought because, through its corporate counsel, Z STREET was informed explicitly by an IRS Agent on July 19, 2010, that approval of Z STREET’s application for tax-exempt status has been at least delayed, and may be denied because of  a special IRS policy in place regarding organizations in any way connected with Israel, and further that the applications of many such 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.”

Thought Police, anyone?

These statements by an IRS official that the IRS maintains special policies (hereinafter the “Israel Special Policy”) governing applications for tax-exempt status by organizations which deal with Israel, and which requires particularly intense scrutiny of such applications and an enhanced risk of denial if made by organizations which espouse or support positions inconsistent with the Obama administration’s Israel policies, constitute an explicit admission of the crudest form of viewpoint discrimination, and one which is both totally un-American and flatly unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

Z STREET brings this case seeking a Declaratory Judgment that the Israel Special Policy violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; and for injunctive relief barring application of the Israel Special Policy to Z STREET’s application for tax-exempt status or to similar applications by any other organization; and to compel full public disclosure regarding the origin, development, approval, substance and application of the Israel Special Policy.

If Z-Street doesn't get swift justice, we will have entered an unimagineably frightening era.

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