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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs

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JACPAC's News & Opinion Digest

August 19, 2011 

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In the wake of the deadly attack on Israelis by Hamas, Israel's response has been swift and targeted at the perpetrators.  We support Israel as she once again is forced to defend herself from terrorism aimed at innocent civilians.  The United States provides funding for military technology that helps Israel defend against all but the most brazen attacks, like this one. JAC will continue to advocate for the support that Congress and the Administration give to Israel, the stepped-up sanctions on Iran, and the overall US commitment to seek ways to facilitate peace in the region and security for Israel.


This week's issue highlights the following significant developments here and in the Middle East:
  • Just who is the group behind yesterday's horrific and brazen attack outside Eilat? 
  • A lawsuit filed in Kansas to stop the banning of private insurance from covering abortion could have national implications. 
  • Why is the city of South Bend, Indiana buying land to give to the local archdiocese?   
  • Meet the eight freshmen keeping Congress in session in order to prevent any recess appointments by President Obama.  
  • As the Durban III Conference approaches, a review of what it was meant to be and what it became. 



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. 



Coordinated attacks in south Israel kill 8

Eight Israelis were killed and 30 more wounded during a well-planned terror attack along the Israeli-Egyptian border Thursday.


eilatThe Terrorist Attack on Southern Israel: Under the Authority of Hamas, Using the Tactics of Al-Qaeda  

The terrorist attack in southern Israel on August 18 in which eight Israelis were killed - six civilians and two from the security forces - was initiated and executed by the Palestinian terrorist organization known as the "Popular Resistance Committees," which operate as a terrorist arm of Hamas. The operation represents a change in the approach of Hamas toward the issue of the "Arab Spring," from acting only passively as an observer, limiting itself to damage control, to an entirely new stance in an attempt to reshape reality in the Middle East.  



PA to soften UN statehood bid? 

Palestinians in talks with European Union to revise formula of proposed General Assembly resolution by seeking to upgrade to PLO's status within UN, instead of declaration of state, sources say.


A primer on Palestinian statehood 

On Sept. 20, when the annual session of the U.N. General Assembly opens, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to ask U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to present a Palestinian request for statehood recognition to the U.N. Security Council.


Abbas' Vision of an Ethnically Cleansed Palestinian State 

A delegation of Democratic members of Congress met with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas yesterday and received a blunt message about his vision for the state he hopes to lead. If he gets the independent Palestinian he says he wants, it will have no Jewish settlements.


Solving a White House Mystery over Jerusalem 

Jerusalem: To be or not to be part of Israel. That's the question that White House administrations have tiptoed around for decades. 


Democracy in Tel Aviv's Street 

The Israeli protests, whatever their merits, are a model for political dissent.

Reproductive Rights
kansasSuit Over Kan. Abortion Coverage Restrictions Could Be Bellwether   
A lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday against a Kansas law prohibiting private health plans from covering abortion care "stands to have big, national impact," Sarah Kliff writes on Ezra Klein's Washington Post blog (Kliff, "Ezra Klein," Washington Post, 8/17).



Catholic hospitals supports Obama's health care law, but now object to covering birth control 

They defied the bishops to support President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Now Catholic hospitals are dismayed the law may force them to cover birth control free of charge to their employees.



Gender Selection and Abortion: Making an Ethical Decision

Over the past few days, several news stories and ads have called attention to the commercial availability of pregnancy tests that reveal the sex of the fetus at seven weeks. After pausing to applaud this scientific know-how, the public should ask why people would want this information to begin with.



southbendGroups: South Bend land buy violates constitution 

Civil liberties groups asked a federal judge on Tuesday to block South Bend from spending $1.2 million to buy a Family Dollar store and selling the property for $1 to the local Roman Catholic diocese, which wants the land for a new high school's football field.


Judge blocks Colorado school voucher program 

A Denver judge blocked Colorado's first school voucher program Friday, calling the program to give parents in the state's wealthiest county checks for tuition at religious schools a "substantial disservice to the public interest." 

Political Bytes

freshmenMeet the eight freshmen keeping Congress in session this summer 

Eight House Republicans are earning their stripes this month while blocking President Obama from making recess appointments.


Save A Child's Heart Saves Little Lives in Tanzania 

A medical team from Israel's Save a Child's Heart has successfully performed the first ever pediatric open heart surgery in Mwanza Tanzania and on the youngest child in Tanzania.


durbanA Blast from the Past: The Upcoming Durban III Conference (September 2011) 

The 2001 Durban World Conference against Racism was abused by Muslim, Arab and other states and anti-Israel non-governmental organizations to single out Israel in what became an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hate-fest, permanently tainting the name of the Durban conference. As such, the conference failed to deal with the genuine problems of racism.

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 rights, and separation of religion and state.  Together we can make this a better world!



Gail Yamner, President
Marcia Balonick, Executive Director
Joy Malkus, Research Director 

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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a national network committed to the special relationship between the US and Israel and a social agenda that includes reproductive rights and separation of religion and state.  JACPAC supported US Senate and House candidates who uphold this agenda and maintains ongoing dialogue with those it helps elect.  In addition, JACPAC serves as a political resource for the Jewish community, furnishing information about candidates, elections and issues.