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June 13, 2011 


This week's issue highlights the following significant developments here and in the Middle East:
  • The Palestinian Authority may delay their plan to seek statehood from the UN.  
  • Several states around the country are pursuing further abortion restrictions.
  • A judge has ruled that the corporate ban on federal political contributions is unconstitutional.   
  • US Presidents have been supporting a Jewish state for longer than you may think. 


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.



padelayPA may delay plan to ask UN for statehood in September
The Palestinian Authority may postpone plans to ask the UN in September to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, a senior PA official in Ramallah said on Wednesday.
It was the first time in many months that a PA official had expressed willingness to delay the statehood bid.



Partition - for Zionism's sake
The debate is not about liberating ourselves from Zionism, but rather, about the basic conditions crucial for Zionism's realization.

A Dream of Spring - Arabs against themselves
Half a year after the fall of Tunisia's Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, it's time for a partial reckoning of the Arab Spring. Verdict: Uncertain.

Syria: Where Massacre Is a Family Tradition
Pity the Syrians as they face the Assad regime's tanks and artillery and snipers. Unlike in Libya, there is no Arab or international "mandate" to protect them. Grant Syria's rulers their due: Their country rides with the Iranian theocracy and provides it access to the Mediterranean. It is a patron of Hamas and Hezbollah. And still they managed to sell the outside world on the legend of their moderation.

Remembering Six Days in 1967, Ambassador Michael Oren
"We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants," declared Palestine Liberation Organization leader Ahmad al-Shuqayri. "As for the survivors -- if there are any -- the boats are ready to deport them." A half-million Arab soldiers and more than 5,000 tanks converged on Israel from every direction, including the West Bank, then part of Jordan. Their plans called for obliterating Israel's army, conquering the country, and killing large numbers of civilians. Iraqi President Abdul Rahman Arif said the Arab goal was to wipe Israel off the map: "We shall, God willing, meet in Tel Aviv and Haifa."

Obama's commitment to Israel, Rahm Emanuel
Days into my tenure as mayor of Chicago, with my focus on keeping our city's streets safe, our schools strong and our finances stabilized, I expected my attention to be in the Midwest, not in the Middle East. But as an American and the son of an Israeli immigrant, I have a deep, abiding commitment to the survival, security and success of the state of Israel.


Sen. Gillibrand, Rep. Slaughter Announce Bill To Allow Some Abortion Care at Military Facilities
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) recently introduced legislation (H.R. 2085) -- the Military Access to Reproductive Care and Health (MARCH) for Military Women Act -- that would allow servicewomen to use private funds to obtain abortion care at military health facilities and lift the ban that denies U.S. servicewomen and dependents insurance coverage for abortion services in cases of rape or incest, the Washington Independent reports.



abortionSeveral State Legislatures Debate Abortion Restrictions
State legislatures around the country are looking at a variety of measures dealing with abortion.



Iowa Advances Nation's First 18-Week Abortion Ban
Iowa's House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday that would ban abortions after 18 weeks of gestation -- two weeks shorter than the toughest current abortion restrictions in the country.

Abortion Foes Push to Redefine Personhood
Last year's GOP takeover of the U.S. House and statehouses across the country has dramatically changed the shape of the nation's abortion debate. It has also given a boost to an even more far-reaching effort: the push to legally redefine when life itself begins.

Two movies with anti-abortion messages seek distribution
Mainstream Hollywood rarely tackles the subject of abortion, and when it does, it's usually when a character quietly opts not to have one. But two new independently financed movies - a small-town mystery and a psychological thriller - are bringing an emphatically anti-abortion slant to the hot-button issue.


San Francisco circumcision ban headed for November ballot
Most bans in San Francisco are enacted by the Board of Supervisors, but come November, it sounds like voters will have the opportunity to jump on the ban wagon by deciding whether to ban male circumcision.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry slammed for prayer service
When Gov. Rick Perry invited fellow governors to join him on Aug. 6 for "a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our troubled nation," some speculated that he was trying to raise his national visibility for a possible presidential run.


corporateUS Judge rules against corporate contribution ban
A U.S. judge has ruled that the campaign finance law banning corporations from making contributions to federal candidates is unconstitutional, saying that a recent Supreme Court decision gives companies the same right to donate as individual citizens enjoy.

Gabrielle Giffords' staffer talks about congresswoman's health

Pia Carusone knew the day would come when the questions about her boss, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, would become more indelicate.

After answering some of those questions, Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff, told me: "We want to give people a clear picture (about Giffords). It's not in anyone's interest to have anyone feel misled. But it's hard because we satisfy one person and one set of questions, and tomorrow, we're on to the next. The feeling is like it's never enough."



Let peace begin with water
In the early 1990s, a young Israeli lawyer doing a master's thesis on environmental international law concluded that the environment could and should be used as a tool for peace. Today, the organization he co-directs with a Palestinian and Jordanian director, Friends of the Earth Middle East (FOEME), is working toward improving the environment and peace prospects in the Middle East.

presidentsU.S. Presidents Support a Jewish National Home in Palestine - Eretz Israel  

On April 19, the Corfu synagogue, in Greece, was burned. How many Jews live in Corfu today? One hundred and fifty. How many Jews live in Greece? Eight thousand, or about 0.8% of the population. For some, it seems these figures are still far too high. Two other synagogues were burned in Greece during the past year. Anti-Semitic graffiti on the walls are spreading all over the country.

Chicago businesswoman resigns from Notre Dame board
A Chicago business executive resigned Wednesday from the University of Notre Dame's board of trustees after a conservative Roman Catholic watchdog group reported that she donated thousands of dollars to an organization that says it is "dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women."
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