Various American Jewish civil rights organizations don’t hesitate to have their voices heard on distinctly un-Jewish issues when it comes to perceived crossing of boundaries by the American government.
For example, the liberal ADL has opposed prayer in school, defended the U.S. Court of Appeals decision declaring Section 3 of the 1996 “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) unconstitutional, “praised President Barack Obama for his administration’s decision not to seek deportation for as many as 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, calling the move “a responsible and important step in the right direction,”, and in January 2012 the head of the ADL, Abraham Foxman said “religious appeals to voters are simply unacceptable and un-American.” OK.
With the chilling confession from the IRS week that conservative organizations were unfairly targeted and audited during the 2012 election, thus far Jewish civil-rights organizations haven’t yet commented on this travesty. Undoubtedly if it were to be a Republican Administration they would have already. While the IRS originally absurdly claimed it was low-level agents in one office, now The Washington Post has revealed that there were multiple offices involved, including targeting from IRS headquarters in Washington, DC. Clearly there is something majorly amiss here.
And now, it’s also been revealed that there may have also been Pro-Israel organizations targeted. The right-wing counterpart to J Street, Z Street sued the IRS, claiming the IRS told them because they were “connected to Israel” its application for tax-exempt status would receive additional scrutiny. Z Street further claims that applications of some of Israel-related organizations have been assigned to “a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies,” and the IRS required Jewish organization to state “whether [it] supports the existence of the land of Israel.” Sounds quite similar to questions asked of Tea Party organizations.
Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law & Justice said this is “McCarthyism” – and he is right. These policies are clearly a deliberate targeting and harassment of people because of certain beliefs. It is discriminatory and a violation of free speech. American Jewish civil-rights organizations should speak out loudly and clearly against this attack upon freedom of liberties.
There’s a New York PR agency who’d be more than happy to help you reach the media – if of course it’s as important as a Christmas tree in a town square somewhere.