John R. Houk
© May 8, 2015
I’m about to embark on a post that is essentially very pro-Z Street. Which should be distinguished from another organization known as J Street. Both organizations claim to be Pro-Israel with a Jewish-American background. Both claim to be Pro-Jewish State. The thing is Z Street recognizes that the Arabs that call themselves Palestinians are dedicated to destroy Israel. J Street is dedicated to establishing a Palestinian State even if that creation leads to the demise of Israel.
Now in full disclosure I am not Jewish. My love for Israel and its existence is based on my Christian Right Biblical faith which would label me as a Christian Zionist. That means for me Israel’s restoration to their land and having full sovereignty of that land is a sign that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be sooner rather than later.
From a Christian Zionist’s perspective Eretz Israel was promised by God Almighty to the descendants of Abraham and on through the child of Promise – Isaac and on through Isaac’s son Jacob and the descendants of his 12 sons who aggregately is the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel).
As I was saying I am not Jewish, but since I became a Born Again Christian at age 20 I recall a story told to me in hushed tones when I was a teenager. I can’t remember how this conversation between myself and my Grandmother had taken of the topic of Jews. I do remember my Grandmother (a young woman in the Great Depression era) nearly whispered and I have to rely on a paraphrase:
“John, you know we have Jew in our background. Those Jews in our background were German Jews who immigrated to America ….”
As a teenage I didn’t pay too much attention to family stories as I should have. I was more interested in going outside with my pals to play pick-up games of football and basketball back in the early 1970s. My Grandmother’s understanding of “Jews” was something she still felt the stigma to mention. Antisemitism had not entered America’s national guilt culturally really too slowly after the horrors of the Holocaust became a confirmed public knowledge until after WWII. Thus the stigma of her generation still led to revealing a Jewish ancestry in hushed tones.
Again I have to be honest about the Jewish family tree. My Grandmother was a bit of a stinker. Sometimes she would make up tales as a learning exercise. In my teen days, to put it nicely, I had developed a personality trait of frugality. In those days there was still an abundance of racial slurs of people who were a bit tight with their money or possessions; viz. the Scottish (often spoke of being Scotch in the pejorative sense), the Dutch and – wait for it – the Jews. So in actuality, largely to my teenage inattentiveness, I am not sure was speaking of a family history or telling be more of sharing person.
Some years later my Uncle (Grandma’s oldest son, Mom’s eldest brother) had undertaken the hobby of family trees with his second wife (he was widowed). He spoke of our family being related some German Jews that settled in Pennsylvania with the surname Zonhiser (or Zonizer or Zohnizer or etc. – not at all sure of a spelling, my guesses are all my memory of phonetic sounds). Ironically a brief search at forbears.io shows 9 instances in Pennsylvania all in Mercer County. My Uncle would not elaborate especially by time his 3rd marriage (widowed again). Anyway, moving on … back to Z Street.
Z Street has gone one step closer to winning a lawsuit against the IRS for refusing to give the Pro-Israel group a non-profit status based on their views; viz. being Jewish and Pro-Israel. From American Thinker:
The IRS was almost laughed out of court yesterday when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case Z Street v. Koskinen [Blog Editor: IRS Commissioner]. Z Street, founded by AT contributor Lori Lowenthal Marcus, is a pro-Israel educational group that applied for tax-exempt status, only to encounter delay. When it inquired as to the progress of its application, an agent told it that auditors had been instructed to give pro-Israel groups special attention, and that its application had been forwarded to a special IRS unit for additional review.
Z Street sued for viewpoint discrimination, a constitutional no-no, and the IRS went to U.S. District Court in D.C., seeking dismissal of the case. A year ago, a federal judge rejected that dismissal, and the IRS appealed, which landed the case on the docket of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest court in the land other than the Supreme Court. The appeal, critically, had the effect of halting discovery in the case, which would have allowed Z Street to examine IRS officials, under oath, and to receive internal communications from the agency regarding the special unit and special procedures for handling pro-Israel groups.
The Wall Street Journal’s Review & Outlook column reports on the incredulity with which the three-judge panel greeted the IRS’s arguments. This was a truly extraordinary event, for it is a rare day that a high-level court reacts so negatively to the positions taken by the federal government.
The IRS still has the option of appealing to the Supreme Court, further delaying discovery. Obviously, the game is to delay disclosure of embarrassing IRS policies until after the 2016 election. But the strong language used by the Fifth Circuit makes it less likely that SCOTUS will hear the appeal. READ ENTIRETY (IRS arguments draw derision from D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; By Thomas Lifson; American Thinker; 5/7/15)
Here is Lori Lowenthal Marcus, the founder of Z Street, on the Leftist agenda of J Street:
We see J Street as being very similar to the Arab leadership. This means that they are very happy to say one thing in English and something completely different in Arabic. J Street says something for general consumption; they say that they are pro-Israel. They say that they are Jewish. However, in fact Judaism seems to play almost no role. They talk about Jewish values but they use a scalpel and remove any of the Judaism part of Jewish values. What is left are simply "social justice" issues. That’s a huge concern. It is appealing to lots of people if you say the word Jewish but remove the Jewish content. I think that is very dangerous because you are allowing people to think that they are acting on Jewish impulses when in fact they are taking actions that are anti-Israel and actually contrary to Judaism. We believe in defending the Jewish state as a pro-Israel Jewish viewpoint and value. J Street is sending the opposite message. I think that is very dangerous. The reason they are still around, the reason they burst on the scene in such a huge way and at such a high level is because of the millions of dollars behind them. J Street had the backing of people with enormous amounts of money. By that I mean George Soros. He gave money later but he did provide his reputation early on. That is why they have staying power. It is very hard to compete with millions of dollars, fancy parties and lots of attractive glossy advertising, mailing and promotional material. All of that is very seductive. J Street is a very seductive organization that is devoid of Jewish values and pro-Israel sentiment. (Z Street: A Pro-Jewish Pride Organization in the Spirit of the Bergson Boys; By Jerry Gordon; New English Review; 4/2011)
Even though this Jerry Gordon post was written in 2011, a little further down the post Gordon asks a question that should give you a clue for the IRS has lumped Z Street with Conservative and Tea Party organizations seeking a non-profit status from the IRS:
Gordon: Why do you believe that the Obama White House views J Street as the “go-to American Jewish Organization” and not AIPAC?
Marcus: Because J Street reflects the views of the Obama Administration and not what is best for Israel. AIPAC is all about promoting a strong Israel- U.S. relationship. J Street is all about promoting a strong Barack Obama. (Ibid.)
American Action News Alert sent me an email that enabled me to do an email about the Z Street vs. Koskinen (i.e. the IRS) to my Congressman and two Oklahoma Senators. I am cross posting that link. To participate in a support Israel situation and support Z Street situation click the link I’ll provide. Then scroll down toward the bottom and put in the appropriate information which will include your zip code. American Action News will send emails to your Congressman and Senators at NO CHARGE.
Judges Destroy IRS Defense in Political Targeting Case
By Alana Goodman
Original Source: Washington Free Beacon
May 7, 2015 06:54 PM
The Internal Revenue Service stunned a panel of D.C. Circuit Court judges on Monday by implying that it could discriminate against certain groups seeking nonprofit status for up to 270 days, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The three-judge panel was hearing a case related to Z Street, a pro-Israel group that is suing the IRS for discrimination after its nonprofit application was held up by the agency. Last May, a federal judge tossed out the IRS’s motion to dismiss the suit, but the agency is appealing the decision.
The IRS’s legal strategy has been to claim Z Street is suing to obtain non-profit status. According to government rules, a nonprofit applicant has grounds to sue the IRS if it doesn’t act on an application within 270 days—a waiting period the IRS says Z Street did not meet.
Z Street has repeatedly stated that it is suing the IRS for discrimination, not to obtain non-profit status. An IRS official reportedly told the group during its application process that the agency was singling the organization for extra scrutiny.
Take Action - Action Alert
Abolish the IRS
As Senator Ted Cruz said, "the single most important tax reform" we can accomplish is to abolish the IRS.
Not only does the United States have one of the most progressive tax systems in the world, but its tax collection agency, the Internal Revenue Service, has been hijacked by the current administration and used as a weapon against anyone who disagrees with Obama's radical agenda. While at the same time, they allow tax cheats like Al Sharpton, who owes millions in back taxes, to roam free and host a show on MSNBC all because he spews the White House approved propaganda.
Recently, when Lois Lerner and the IRS came under subpoena of the United States House of Representatives for targeting conservatives and limited-government supporters, they managed to "lose" tens of thousands of possibly incriminating emails.
Enough is enough.
It's time for everyday Americans to take a stand against this crony institution.
Tell Congress to "Abolish the IRS" today!
Support Z Street Non-Profit Status
John R. Houk
© May 8, 2015
Judges Destroy IRS Defense in Political Targeting Case