US pro-Israel organization claims discrimination by IRS

Z Street says it has been denied tax exempt status for political reasons.

A right-wing Jewish organization in the US called Z Street claims the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is examining pro-Israeli organizations to determine whether their views are in line with the stance of the Obama administration on Middle East policy. Yesterday, the organization filed a lawsuit against the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in Washington, asking the court to declare that the special treatment of pro-Israel organizations was in violation of the First Amendment.

The organization's president, Lori Lowenthal Marcus, told "Globes", "The administration is discriminating against certain organizations because of their views. It's unconstitutional; it's not American behavior."

The lawsuit was filed after a senior IRS official told the organization's lawyer that its application for tax-exempt status for contributions to it would be delayed. The reason the official gave, as cited in the claim, was that IRS policy required consideration of whether a group’s views on Israel differed from those of the current administration.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 26, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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