IRS joined a coordinated effort by Obama administration against groups supporting Israeli settlements

Washington Free Beacon:
A Washington Free Beacon investigation has identified at least five pro-Israel organizations that have been audited by the IRS in the wake of a coordinated campaign by White House-allied activist groups in 2009 and 2010.

These organizations, some of which are too afraid of government reprisals to speak publicly, say in interviews with the Free Beacon that they now believe the IRS actions may have been coordinated by the Obama administration.

Many of the charities openly clashed with the Obama administration’s policy of opposing Israeli settlement construction over the so-called “Green Line,” which marks the pre-1967 boundary between Israel and the West Bank and West and East Jerusalem.

After the Obama administration took up the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as one of its most prominent foreign policy priorities in early 2009, and made a cessation of Israeli settlement construction the cornerstone of its approach, the nonprofits were subjected to a string of unflattering media reports.

White House-allied lobbying groups joined the media criticism by challenged the nonprofits’ tax-exempt status, arguing that they undercut President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies.

“Our concern at that time was that these articles weren’t just appearing by happenstance, but may have reflected an evolving policy shift in the Obama administration to scrutinize charitable giving by organizations on behalf of Jewish communities and institutions over the Green Line,” said Jerusalem-based attorney Marc Zell, who convened a private meeting of pro-Israel groups in August 2009 to discuss these concerns.

Tax-exempt charities that support Israeli settlements have been the subject of controversy for years. But the issue came to a head after Obama made opposition to settlement construction a focus of his Middle East policy in 2009 and demanded Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu halt all construction beyond the Green Line, including in the Israeli capital of Jerusalem.

While it is not illegal for these charities to contribute to groups and individuals across the Green Line, critics say that they should not receive tax-exempt status because they support communities the administration views as antagonistic to administration policy.

The media scrutiny began as early as March 26, 2009, when the Washington Post’s David Ignatius published a column questioning the groups’ tax-exempt status.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) announced the next day that it would begin a campaign of filing legal complaints with the IRS and the Treasury Department to investigate groups “allegedly raising funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.”

ADC is closely tied to the Obama White House. The president recorded a video greeting to the group’s annual conference and sent two senior administration officials to attend.

The ADC announced in October 2009 that it had expanded its legal campaign against pro-Israel charities and was “working with a number of coalition partners, both nationally and internationally, in conducting this ongoing campaign.”

The chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority raised the issue two days later during a meeting with U.S. Consul General Daniel Rubenstein, according to a State Department cable revealed by Wikileaks.
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There is much more.

The IRS did not stop with just holding up approval of tax exempt status.  It also began auditing some of the groups or the people who ran the groups.  This looks like they were taking orders from the administration to make life miserable for people who had a different policy perspective on how to deal with the Palestinians.

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