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December 30, 2010

The last 2 weeks have seen significant developments, both here at home and in the Middle East.  This week we are highlighting:
  • The UN has voted to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Durban Conference - Israel and other countries are boycotting it.
  • Tests of Roe v. Wade have been on the increase since the late-term abortion ban was upheld in 2007.   
  • A look at the 2004 decision that stated "Intelligent Design" is a religious view in Dover, PA and what that has meant in the classroom.
  • A review of the "Lame Duck" session that was anything but lame.
  • A year in review of amazing innovations and inventions from Israel.


Remember to check out our blog to keep up with current events, op-eds, reproductive rights information, sort fact from fiction in your inbox about Israel, and Presidential Ponderings - Gail's thoughts and observations.

Go-it-alone lessons hard learned
Two years ago this week, the Middle East once again reached boiling point when Israel launched a military incursion into the Gaza Strip.
The operation marked the breaking point of Israel's patience, having absorbed more than 6000 rocket and mortar attacks on the towns and cities of the south since withdrawing from Gaza in August 2005.

"How Can You Defend Israel?" by David Harris
I was sitting in a lecture hall at a British university. Bored by the speaker, I began glancing around the hall. I noticed someone who looked quite familiar from an earlier academic incarnation. When the session ended, I introduced myself and wondered if, after years that could be counted in decades, he remembered me.

durbanAfter U.N. votes for Durban III, battle lines are drawn
When the original U.N. anti-racism conference, held in Durban, South Africa in 2001, devolved into an anti-Israel hate fest, Jewish groups around the world were caught unawares.
So when the Durban Review Conference was called for Geneva in 2009, Jewish activists started their fight early, convincing numerous countries to boycott the conference, dubbed Durban II, effectively blocking it from becoming a repeat of Durban I.

Abbas vows: No room for Israelis in Palestinian state
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Saturday that when a Palestinian state is established, it will have no Israelis in it.
"We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won't agree to the presence of one Israeli in it," Abbas told reporters in Ramallah.

roeTests of 'Roe' more frequent since justices upheld late-term abortion ban in '07
Mike Flood, the 35-year-old speaker of Nebraska's legislature, had a problem: He wanted to stop the state's well-known abortion provider from offering late-term abortions.

Abortion fight at Catholic hospital pushes ACLU to seek federal help
The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday asked federal health officials to ensure that Catholic hospitals provide emergency reproductive care to pregnant women, saying the refusal by religiously affiliated hospitals to provide abortion and other services was becoming an increasing problem.
doverFive years ago, "intelligent design" ruling in Dover case set a legal landmark
In 2004, almost 80 years after Tennessee teacher John Scopes attempted to resolve the battle between teaching evolution and creationism in U.S. classrooms, parents in a central Pennsylvania school district filed a suit that reignited the debate.

Ark Encounter Creationist Theme Park Gets Preliminary Approval for Kentucky State Funds
Ark Encounter, a creationist theme park slated for construction in Northern Kentucky, may soon be eligible for state tax incentives that would allow its planners to recoup up to $37 million of building costs. The attraction has already received preliminary approval from the state tourism board.

Souix City pastor who openly violated tax law confident he'll beat the IRS
The Rev. Cary Gordon garnered his fair share of headlines in the run up to the November election for his open defiance of federal law prohibiting tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in elections in support of or opposition to any candidate. And the Sioux City pastor says he's confident he will prevail.
lameduckLame Duck Session Culminates With Big Accomplishments for Democrats
This is the story of a "lame duck" congress that wasn't.

Two new rules will give Constitution a starring role in GOP-controlled House
When Republicans take over the House next week, they will do something that apparently has never been done before in the chamber's 221-year history:
They will read the Constitution aloud.

'Resisting the Green Dragon': Religious Right Attacks Environmentalism As 'Deadly' And 'Destructive' In New DVD Series
Various conservative Christian leaders have united with the Cornwall Alliance for the release of a shocking new 12-part DVD series, "Resisting The Green Dragon," that attempts to debase and discredit the environmental movement by portraying it as "one of the greatest deceptions of our day" that is "seducing your children" and "striving to put America and the world under its destructive control."

israel20102010 in review - the top 10 stories of the year
Despite political upheaval, Israel's economy is booming, the innovations coming thick and fast, and the country's culture winning accolades. ISRAEL21c takes a look at the top stories of the year.
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If you have not renewed your membership, please consider doing so today, to help us pursue a strong US-Israel relationship, reproductive choice, and separation of religion and state.  Together we can make this a better world!
Gail Yamner, President
Marcia Balonick, Executive Director
Joy Malkus, Executive Research Director