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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs

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JACPAC's News & Opinion Digest

October 21, 2011 

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This week's issue highlights the following significant developments here and in the Middle East:
  • After 5 years in captivity, Gilad Shalit is home. How did Israel decide on the exchange?  
  • The House passed HR 358, which would severely curb abortion access and insurance coverage, and expand the conscience clause. 
  • What role does religion have in presidential campaigns?   
  • Who is the President's "other first lady?" Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schwartz, of course!
  • Descendents of Persian traders, Chinese Jews are moving 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.


Finally free, Gilad Shalit returns to Israel
Gilad Shalit was reunited with his family shortly after crossing into Israel from Egypt after his release earlier in the day by his captors in Gaza, ending five years and four months in captivity.  



shalitWould You Trade Prisoners for a Captive Soldier?
The kidnapping of an Israeli soldier presents Israel's leaders with terrible moral, legal, political and strategic dilemmas. There are historic precedents of which a leader must be aware, official protocols that must be followed and many factor to consider. 



'We have no enemies in the American administration'
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren thinks Israelis do not read the Obama administration correctly. The press didn't report that Obama gave Netanyahu a hug after their stroll on the White House lawn, and said, "Goodbye my friend." 



Blair: Middle East Quartet to press Israel, Palestinians for border proposals
Quartet mediators to hold separate meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials in Jerusalem next week, in latest bid to revive peace process.



Polls show overwhelming support for Schalit deal
A large majority of Israelis are in favor of the deal to trade kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit for 1,027 Palestinian terrorists, despite fears that it would lead to increased terrorism, two public opinion polls found.



America Discovers Iran in Its Own Backyard, by Dore Gold
The revelation last week by the Obama administration of a plot by Iran to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington opened the eyes of many Americans that the threat of Iran is on the southern doorstep of the United States.  


Reproductive Rights

hr358House votes to stop abortion coverage under new health law

The House on Thursday returned to an abortion issue that nearly sank President Barack Obama's health care law last year with legislation that bars an insurance plan regulated under the new law from covering abortion if any of its customers receive federal subsidies.


DeMint injects anti-abortion measure into ag/commerce funding bill  

Congress targets abortion for the second week in a row on Thursday, when the Senate is expected to debate an amendment recently filed by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to an appropriations bill related to agriculture, commerce, science, transportation and housing and urban development.


Okla. judge blocks abortion law from taking effect 

An Oklahoma judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked from taking effect a new law designed to reduce the number of abortions performed in the state by restricting the ways in which doctors can treat women with abortion-inducing drugs.

separationStraddling the line between church and politics i 2012 GOP race 

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote about the wall of separation between church and state. He didn't mention separating church and politics, but everybody knows it's a sticky wicket.

Political Bytes

wassermanObama's other first lady  

Jewish, liberal and Floridian, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz has all the traits needed to drum up support for the president ahead of the 2012 elections.

If everyone is unhappy with the Supreme Court, had it found the right spot? 

Newt Gingrich says the Supreme Court is so far off base that its decisions would be practically non grata in his White House.


Cornell teams with Israel's Technion University in bid to win city's 'genius school' campus   

The city's "genius school" competition heated up Tuesday when Cornell revealed it's teaming with Israel's Technion university on a proposal for an applied-sciences campus.

chinaChinese Jews feel more at home in Israel 
Descendants of Persian traders in Kaifeng, China, move to Israel with the help of a religious group and finally learn Jewish rules and traditions.

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.