Jewish groups may be receiving additional scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service for having views on Israel that are contrary to those of the Obama administration and for possible connections to Israel, according to The Jewish Press.
The pro-Israel group Z STREET filed a lawsuit in 2010, claiming one of its representatives was told by an IRS agent that their tax exempt status application was receiving additional scrutiny since their organization was "connected to Israel." The representative was also told that some groups supportive of the Jewish state were assigned to "a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization's activities contradict the Administration's public policies," The Jewish Press reports.
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The Jewish Press also reported that at least one other nonpolitical religious Jewish religious organization claims it received odd questioning during the application process for tax-exempt status, asking "whether [it] supports the existence of the land of Israel" and for the organization to "describe [its] religious belief system toward the land of Israel."
The questions came from the same IRS office that recently admitted to targeting conservative groups, the Jewish Press said.
The first hearing on the Z STREET lawsuit is scheduled for July 2 in Washington, D.C. federal district court.
According to the Jewish Press, the IRS has claimed that the additional scrutiny Z STREET received was appropriate since Israel is a state "where terrorism happens," and the additional time was necessary to be sure that the nonprofit was not funding terrorism.
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