Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Obama Used IRS to Target Pro-Israel Orgs Based on Anti-Israel Hate Sites

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Obama Used IRS to Target Pro-Israel Orgs Based on Anti-Israel Hate Sites

The release of the memo is very important. But we also need to investigate and expose the various abuses of Obama Inc. And one of those was using the IRS to target political opponents. The most blatant case involved a pro-Israel group named Z Street.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, a talented journalist whose work regularly appears at the Jewish Press, created Z Street. Now the case has been settled. And the material is damning.

In late July 2010, an IRS agent truthfully responded to our lawyer's query about why processing was taking so long: Z Street's application was getting special scrutiny, the agent said, because it was related to Israel. Some applications for tax-exempt status were being sent to a special office in Washington for review of whether the applicants' policy positions conflicted with those of the Obama administration.

The "honesty" made the Z Street case so crucial. Here was direct evidence of political targeting.

In August 2010, three other Jewish organizations applying for tax-exempt status were asked by the IRS to "explain their religious beliefs about the Land of Israel."

Remember all the protests by Obama Inc. that we can't screen refugees by religion? But they can certainly screen non-profit groups that way. As long as they're pro-Israel.

Within weeks of President Obama's inauguration, IRS and State Department officials began considering whether they could deny or revoke tax-exempt status for organizations that provided material support to Jews living across the Green Line—the nonborder that delineates pre-1967 Israel from the territories Israel acquired in the Six Day War. The theory was that a Jewish presence in those areas is inconsistent with U.S. policy. The IRS drew up lists of such organizations based on information from anti-Israel websites such as Electronic Intifada and MondoWeiss.

Those are both extreme hate sites. I don't think I need to say much more about a site with "Intifada" in its name. Mondoweiss, despite its attempts at JVP-like efforts at adopting protective coloration by playing up some figment of Jewishness, is even worse.

One Mondoweiss editor said, "I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, but I can understand why some are."

One of its writers has claimed that Israel was behind September 11 and even DailyKos banned Mondoweiss for its recurring anti-semitism.

While it has been revealed that the Kansas City shooter used anti-semitic material from Max Blumenthal, who is often promoted on Mondoweiss, a Mondoweiss editor, Annie Robbins, suggested that Israel was behind it all.

Imagine the Trump administration using the IRS to target black groups based on lists drawn up by the KKK and Neo-Nazi groups. That's what Obama Inc. was doing.

While no formal policy was released barring U.S. tax-exempt entities from supporting Jewish activity over the Green Line, Obama IRS officials tried three times between 2009 and 2012 to create such a policy, and IRS employees made sure the effort wasn't documented. One emailed her supervisor saying that she would answer his questions about IRS policy relating to Israeli settlements only orally. "Not doing email on this," she explained.

That alone should merit an investigation. When a government employee insists on discussing a policy in a way that won't leave records, that's a blatant abuse.

The memo is important. But the abuses began much earlier. And while the settlement is a good thing, settlements aren't enough. The only way to make an impact is to make all the information public and hold the perpetrators accountable. If we don't, the swamp wins.

A Different WeddingBy Rabbi Simcha Weinberg - 23 Shevat 5778 – February 8, 2018


The guests had been at tens of weddings and were familiar with the religious ceremony. The story of the bride and groom was the stuff of legends, and everyone expected something special, but this wedding was an experience!

The bride was born into a difficult situation. People treated her as a slave. The groom loved her and saved her. He provided for her; food, water and clothing. He even saved her life on more than one occasion. He was her hero, and now wanted to marry her in a unique ceremony.

Although the Ketuba, or marriage contract, is usually ceremoniously signed before the Chupah, the groom insisted that it be treated as a real contract. When both she and he stood at the Chupah, he listed all his obligations to her. The female guests were mesmerized by a groom so aware of, and sensitive to, his obligations and her needs. The men were uncomfortable and squirmed as the groom spoke. "I have detailed my obligations. I will now list my expectations of you." The men relaxed. The women began to fidget. The groom wanted the bride's actions to reflect well on their relationship even outside of their home.

The already different ceremony became even stranger when the groom said, "Yes, I have high expectations. I know that there will be times when you fail to meet them. I will withdraw at such moments, but I want you to continue to listen for my voice calling to you even when you don't see me. I want every moment of our lives together to connect with this moment. Will you do as I ask? Will you forever hear my words?"

"I will do and I will hear!"

The wedding, of course, was Sinai. The Sages teach that God held the mountain above the heads of the Children of Israel as a wedding canopy, a Chupah. He listed His commitments to His bride. He then articulated His expectations of her, and then said, "Behold! I send an angel before you to protect you on the way." (Exodus 23:20) Rashi explains that God alluded to the future sin of Israel, and said that He would withdraw His Presence from them. Rabbeinu Zerachia teaches that the promised "Angel" would be God's voice eternally calling to Israel even when they feel Him distant.

The bride, the Children of Israel responded, "We will do as You ask, and we will always listen for Your voice calling us back to You. We will do and we will listen."

How sad it is to observe a person fulfilling all his responsibilities as obligations, without a sense of relationship or love. The spouse who does all she 'must,' absent the connection she felt under the Chupah. The parent who will do everything a parent 'should' without the magical connection experienced the first time he held his child in his arms. The religious person, meticulous in observance, the "We will do," without listening for God's Voice that lovingly calls out from each commandment. Each prayer, each Shabbat, each festival, each mitzvah, is an opportunity to reconnect to that very different wedding. When we take advantage of those opportunities we will hear that same Voice calling for us, and, we too, will be able to say, "We will do and we hear."

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​The freedom to agree with "them".  The freedom to go along to get along.  The freedom to be free from freedom.  Is that clear? 

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