Report: Urged by Palestinians and Anti-Israel Groups, IRS Targeted Five Pro-Israel Orgs
Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon ties several strands together and adds some additional details to provide a fuller picture of the IRS's apparent targeting of pro-Israel groups and Jewish charities. Goodman reports that as many as five pro-Israel groups were targeted as the Obama administration attempted to crack down on non-profit groups whose activities in Israel may have benefited Israelis living in the West Bank.
Adding to reporting at Commentary and Breitbart News, Goodman notes that the IRS was specifically asked to investigate such charities at the behest of Palestinian diplomats and the far-left lobby group J Street. She adds that the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, a radical group close to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, filed legal complaints with the Treasury and IRS over pro-Israel groups.
Goodman adds that the mainstream media also played a role through articles in both the Washington Post and the New York Times that targeted U.S.-based Jewish charities providing services to Israelis who happened to live across the 1967 border (the "Green Line"), insinuating that such groups were fueling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by supporting Israeli settlements and making territorial compromises more difficult.
As Breitbart News noted earlier this month, J Street--itself a tax-exempt, non-profit organization--urged the Treasury to investigate Jewish charities operating in the West Bank with a view to revoking their tax-exempt status. When challenged as to why J Street had not made similar requests regarding Muslim charities working overseas, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami responded: "I don't give a shit about Islamic charities."
Similarly, the many Democratic Senators who wrote to the IRS on several occasions urging them to investigate conservative 501(c)4 organizations failed to demand the same scrutiny for left-wing non-profit organizations. The degree to which the Obama administration coordinated these campaigns remains to be seen. Former IRS chief Douglas Shulman's frequent visits to the White House have come under increasing scrutiny.