e-z read banner
Visit JAC online!
Visit the JAC website
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
January 13, 2011

Representative Gabrielle Giffords
Giffords 2011 Swearing In
Dana Gordon, Gail Yamner, Linda Rae Sher and Marcia Balonick with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (center) at 2011 Congressional Swearing-in

As you know, last Saturday Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and eighteen others were shot by a deranged gunman at a constituent event in Tucson. We are amazed at Giffords' miraculous survival and encouraged by her apparent progress toward eventual recovery. JAC extends its heartfelt best wishes to Representative Giffords and the others who were injured. Our sympathies go to the families of those who died in this terrible tragedy.

Read JAC's full statement on the tragedy in Tucson.

JAC invites you to submit messages to Rep. Giffords. Please send your comments/thoughts/pictures to JAC and be sure to include your name and email address in the body of your email.  We will compile them and send them to her as she recovers.

Rep. Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, suggests that those wishing to make donations, make them to the following organizations that she values and supports:

Community Food Bank

3003 S. Country Club Road #221

Tucson, AZ 85713-4084


American Red Cross, Southern Arizona Chapter

2912 East Broadway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ  85716



In this issue we are highlighting the following significant developments here and in the Middle East:
  • Two key US appropriators confirm support for Israel defense even amid calls for spending cuts.
  • Will Rep. Mike Pence's aim to defund Planned Parenthood lead to less or more abortions?
  • A court had ruled the cross on a San Diego war memorial is unconstitutional.
  • Saturday's shooting in Arizona are having an immediate impact on how our lawmakers speak.
  • Israel's government has doubled its financial commitment to Birthright - will American donors chip in, too?


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.
Palestinian factions discuss preventing war with Israel
Representatives of various Palestinian factions met in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night to discuss ways of avoiding another war with Israel, sources close to Hamas said.
The meeting is being held at the request of Hamas, which has been exerting heavy pressure on all armed groups in the Gaza Strip to stop rocket and mortar attacks on Israel.


appropriationAppropriators sound support for Israel defense

Two key pro-Israel appropriators say that record funding for missile defense systems in the Middle East remains a top priority despite political pressure to make deep spending cuts.

It's a bird, it's a shark, it's a Mossad spy
The "spy" vulture - a raptor Saudis captured and accused of collecting intelligence for Israel - was finally freed on Monday after six days in captivity. Prince Bandar bin Saud Al Saud, the head of Saudi Arabia's wildlife agency, confirmed the global positioning technology found on the bird was being used by scientists to track its movements.

Hizbullah topples Lebanese gov't ahead of Hariri findings
Lebanon's year-old unity government collapsed Wednesday after Hizbullah ministers and their allies resigned over tensions stemming from a UN-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Media Watch: Most Ignored Story of 2010?  Israel

What was the most ignored story of 2010?

Israel. Really.

Reproductive Rights
penseWould Pence bill curb or increase abortions?
U.S. Rep. Mike Pence hopes to reduce the number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood by denying federal funding to the organization.

Anti-abortion groups mobilize for fight over healthcare reform
Anti-abortion groups are gearing up to the ensure that Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) lives up to his campaign promise to be the most pro-life Speaker in history.

New AG says abortion measure is unconstitutional
Alaska's new attorney general says a proposed ballot initiative that would have the effect of outlawing abortion in the state is unconstitutional.

Religious Leaders Call for New Efforts to Lower the City's 'Chilling' Abortion Rate
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York joined other local religious leaders on Thursday in calling for a new effort to reduce the number of abortions in the city. The annual figure has averaged 90,000 in recent years, or about 40 percent of all pregnancies, twice the national rate.
Tax-exempt Ministries Avoid New Regulation
A three-year investigation into financial improprieties at six Christian ministries whose television preaching bankrolled leaders' lavish lifestyles has concluded with the formation of an independent commission to look into the lack of accountability by tax-exempt religious groups.

Bishop's absence at inaugual downplayed
It was the first time in at least 20 years that there was no Catholic bishop at the State House to offer a prayer at the inauguration ceremony for a new governor.

crossCross on public land in San Diego is unconstitutional, federal court rules
The 43-foot cross atop public land on Mt. Soledad in San Diego is an unconstitutional "government endorsement of religion," a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, the latest twist in a two-decade legal struggle.
arizonaArizona shootings have an immediate impact on the political conversation

This was supposed to be the week of another "showdown" in Congress. Now, the very word makes politicians squeamish.

Faith on the Hill
The religious composition of the 112th Congress.
birthrightMajor funding boost for Birthright from Israeli gov't ups ante for philanthropists
Boosters of Birthright Israel are hoping that the Israeli government's decision to more than double its investment in the popular free 10-day trips for young Diaspora Jews will yield dramatic results.
Our members count on JACPAC to provide information on current events, candidates, and elections.  JACPAC depends on membership support to make this possible.

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