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June 2, 2011
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This week's issue highlights the following significant developments here and in the Middle East:
- Ambassador Michael Oren welcomes the democracy movements in the Middle East.
- An overview of the all-out attack we are seeing on reproductive rights around the country.
- An Alabama Senator introduces an amendment, for the 7th time in 10 years, to display the 10 Commandments in schools and government buildings.
- States are seeing clashes over proposed laws that could restrict voting rights.
- A newly elected Knesset member recounts his journey as a child from Ethiopia to 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.
ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST
Israel Pushes for Peace Talks without Preconditions
In an effort to kick-start stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's envoy Isaac Molho met with representatives of the "Quartet" on the Middle East in Jerusalem on Thursday.More...
PA pushing Quartet to recognize 1967 borders
The Palestinian Authority is working hard to convince the Quartet to issue a statement after its upcoming meeting in which it recognizes the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Thursday. More...
Envoy: Israel welcomes Mideast democratization
Israel's ambassador to the United States offered a welcoming hand to democracy movements in the Middle East on Tuesday, after weeks in which senior Israeli officials fretted that Egypt's revolution could produce another Islamic republic. More..
Reviewing Egypt's Gains from Its Peace Treaty with Israel
The Egyptian revolution has caused much speculation on the future of the country's peace treaty and bilateral ties with Israel. Throughout the uprising, demonstrators overwhelmingly focused on political freedom without a sectarian or ideological agenda, fueling assessments that the impact on the treaty will be minimal. And in an authoritative public statement issued shortly after Hosni Mubarak's ouster, the Supreme Military Command asserted that "Egypt is committed to all regional and international obligations and treaties." More...
Iran's response to Middle East protests is muted
When Shiite protesters took to the streets of Bahrain three weeks ago, U.S. and Middle Eastern officials watched anxiously to see how Iran, the kingdom's notoriously meddlesome neighbor, would intervene. What happened - or didn't happen - surprised them. More...
Dictating the narrativePassing through many North American campuses this month - from New York and Boston to Chicago and Los Angeles - students are likely to draw the conclusion that Israel is a brutally oppressive regime, worthy of global boycotts and sanctions. More...
Op-ed: Israel fans countering Apartheid Week should not just respond to accusations
A Full-scale attack on reproductive rights
Dear daughters of America:
This is the backlash we feared, born of the complacency we warned against.
A recent sampling:
Probe-Before-Abortion Bill Moves Forward
After two days of debate, the Texas House late March 3 voted 107-42 to pass the ultrasound-before-abortion bill authored by Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville. The bill, a more stringent version of that filed in the Senate by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, must now be reconciled with the Senate's version before a vote for final passage.
Nebraska Resurrects "Justifiable Homicide" Abortion Bill
Just when abortion rights supporters thought they had beaten a controversial bill they believe would legalize the killing of abortion providers, it has cropped up again-this time in a more expansive form that has drawn the concern of law enforcement officials.
Obama voids Bush conscience rule in favor of decades-old protections
The bulk of a Bush administration health care conscience protection regulation -- one that many in organized medicine feared would undermine patient access to care -- was rescinded by a final rule the Dept. of Health and Human Services released Feb. 18.More...
SEPARATION OF RELIGION & STATE
Sen. Gerald Dial introduces Ten Commandments amendment
And on the first day of the 2011 legislative session, Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, AL, introduced a bill to amend the state constitution to allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public schools and buildings.
Senate Twins: Walk Alike, Talk Alike, Vote Alike
They may not look alike, but Senate twins vote alike. Senators from 22 states had composite scores within 5 percentage points of each other, in National Journal's 2010 vote ratings.
In states, parties clash over voting laws that would affect college students, others
New Hampshire's new Republican state House speaker is pretty clear about what he thinks of college kids and how they vote. They're "foolish," Speaker William O'Brien said in a recent speech to a tea party group.
Will the South stay solidly Republican?
The 2010 election was devastating for Democrats across the country, but the South was at the epicenter of the destruction.
Heroes of Israel: From Ethiopia to Israel's Knesset
The incredible journey of a young Ethiopian Jew to Israel, from refugee to the Knesset.
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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