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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs

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JACPAC's News & Opinion Digest

January 6, 2012  

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Protect women's access to birth control.
Call the White House and urge the President to protect women's access to contraception in the Affordable Health Care Act.  Ask the President to deny the religious right's attempt to block access to birth control in employee health care plans.



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This week's issue highlights the following significant developments here and in the Middle East:



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.

israelIsrael, PA agree to meet again next week
Israel and Palestinian negotiators meeting in Amman on Tuesday for the first direct talks in 16 months agreed to continue talking, with another round scheduled in Jordan next week.

Erekat: No negotiations yet
Amid reports about renewal of peace talks, chief Palestinian negotiator says Quartet meeting in Jordan doesn't signal resumption of negotiations.
Israeli and US troops gear up for major missile defense drill after Iran maneuvers

The Israeli military is gearing up together with U.S. forces for a major missile defense exercise, the Israeli military announced Thursday, as tension between Iran and the international community escalates.  



Hamas says Gaza 'not occupied;' UN disagrees
The UN continues to label the Gaza Strip "occupied" by Israel, despite a Hamas leader stating this week that that's no longer a tenable position.  Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar confirmed Tuesday there is no Israeli occupation of Gaza, according to a report published by Ma'an, a Bethlehem- based Palestinian news agency. 


The Unintended Consequences of America's Adventure in Iraq
Now that the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Iraq is complete, sectarian warfare once again has reared its ugly head.  



Iran seeking to expand influence in Latin America
 Iran is quietly seeking to expand its ties with Latin America in what U.S. officials and regional experts say is an effort to circumvent economic sanctions and gain access to much-needed markets and raw materials. 


Reproductive Rights

abortion2011: The year of the abortion restrictions   

Yesterday I wrote about how little health-care legislation managed to move in Washington this year. After the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, barely anything related to health could make it through a polarized Congress. I overlooked, however, one area where a lot did happen: reproductive health. There, a wave of state-level abortion restrictions that passed this year have reshaped access more than any other year in three decades.


Nevada Judge Rewrites Misleading "Egg-As-Person" Initiative to Clarify Radical Intent

A Nevada state judge today rewrote a misleading ballot initiative to make clear it is designed to ban all abortions and other vital women's health services by granting legal protections to fertilized eggs.

Abortion Doctors Charges with Murder: Case Will Test Maryland Law

A murder case against two doctors who allegedly completed late-term abortions in Maryland after starting them in New Jersey could be the first to test a state law tied to the "viability" of an unborn fetus.

separationBattling Anew Over the Place of Religion in Public Schools 

It has been nearly 50 years since the Supreme Court ruled that officially sponsored prayer in public schools violated the separation of church and state.  But in some corners of the country, especially in the rural South, open prayer and Christian symbols have never really disappeared from schools.

Decade Later, Debate Goes on Over US Government Faith-Based Partnership  
A truck filled with food boxes arrives at the doors of the Church of the Nazarene in the Philadelphia suburb of Colingdale in time for the weekly "Family Dinner." Neighborhood families who are struggling to feed themselves are invited in for a hot meal and free groceries.

Political Bytes

Three winners in Iowa and three takeaways for Jews      

There were three winners in the Iowa Republican caucuses: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and, not far behind them, Ron Paul. There were also (at least) three takeaways for Jewish observers: foreign policy matters, evangelicals matter -- and Ron Paul matters.

superpac'Super PACs' already a winner in 2012
No matter who wins the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night, one newcomer has already emerged victorious: "super PACs" and other new entities that can collect donations of unlimited size from individuals and corporations.

Longboat fire lieutenant paramedic Rocky Parker is ready to help Israeli[s]  

It has nothing to do with politics. Or religion.
That's the first thing Rocky Parker, a fire lieutenant paramedic at the Longboat Key Fire Rescue Department, said when asked about his involvement with the Emergency Volunteers Project.  

For Jews, Vaclav Havel wasn't just a friend but a champion of freedom 
HavelVaclav Havel was a friend of the Jews and of Israel, but prominent Jews who mourned his passing this week said the Czech leader's greatest legacy was his universal message of freedom.

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.