In 2010, the IRS refused to process Z Street's application for tax
exemption, Middle East Newsline reported. The IRS was said to have acknowledged that it operated a unit that
investigated pro-Israeli groups.
"Engaging in clear viewpoint discrimination, the IRS has explicitly told
Z Street, the plaintiff in this case, that it is making this inquiry to
determine whether the organization's viewpoints about Israel conflict with
positions taken by the current presidential administration," Z Street said
in a motion in U.S. federal district court in Philadelphia. "The complaint
identifies this practice as the IRS's 'Israel Special Policy.' "
Ms. Marcus said another unidentified Jewish group has also been
questioned about its attitude toward Israel. She said the other group
Judaism rather than politics and was not involved in lobbying for Israel.
"The other organization is a Jewish one with a religious focus and has
nothing to do with Israel at all," Ms. Marcus said. "There is something very
serious, and very wrong, in the process the IRS is using to allocate tax
exempt determinations, and Z Street is committed to exposing and righting
The Z Street motion said the unidentified Jewish group was asked whether
it supports "the existence of the land of Israel." The IRS also demanded the
"organization's religious belief system towards the land of Israel."
On Nov. 22, Z Street filed a complaint in federal court that charged the IRS
with violation of the constitution. The government, in its response, was
quoted as saying that it could violate the constitution until it chooses
"As every American knows, the U.S. government is bound by the
constitution, and it can be hailed into court and ordered to cease
unconstitutional action whether it consents or not," Ms. Marcus said. "This
evasive measure simply compounds the unconstitutional process by which our
effort to achieve tax-exempt status has been, and is being, reviewed."