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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs

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JACPAC's News & Opinion Digest

January 20, 2012  

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 We've been keeping a close eye on the assault on women's health. Eye
We don't like what we see. 

The time is NOW to support JAC & pro-choice candidates. 
Click here to see the fact sheet and to support JAC.
Your calls worked! 

Secretary Sebelius has announced that religious-affiliated institutions must cover contraception in their employee health insurance plans, ensuring millions of women will have access to no-cost birth control.  Thank you for your calls to the White House urging the administration to stand up for women!

Please take a moment to call the White House and express your appreciation for once again standing up for women and reproductive rights. 


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 issues and opinion and to sort fact from fiction on the Internet.  Be sure to read Presidential Ponderings, thoughts and observations from JACPAC President Gail Yamner. 

America and Israel: An Unbreakable Bond
America and Israel: An Unbreakable Bond 
What Abdullah and Abbas Hope to Achieve from Amman Talks

The Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which resumed in Amman earlier this month, are mainly intended to help Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah bolster their stature among their constituents and the international community.

Encountering Peace: Fayyad's dream
The victims of Israeli-Palestinian violence over the past 10 years were the victims of the absence of peace.
'Hezbollah has long-range surface-to-air missiles'

The IDF has changed its operational assessment regarding the threat from Lebanon and is currently working under the assumption that Hezbollah has obtained sophisticated long-range surface-to-air missile systems from Syria.



Who Is Behind Cyberattacks on Israel's Airline and Banks?
The Arab-Israeli conflict is normally fought with Katyusha rockets and Merkava tanks, but the conflict's latest weapon is a botnet.  


The Real Oil Shock, by Michael Makovsky
An Iran with nuclear weapons is the true threat to the world economy.    



'Sanctions not only option against Iran' 

US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro said Thursday that Washington has prepared a set of alternative options to deal with Iran's nuclear program, should the financial sanctions prove futile.



israelAndrew Percy MP: Israel is a country which is misunderstood and misrepresented
What images come to mind when people think about the state of Israel? Israeli oppressors shooting at cherub faced Palestinians? Suicide bombings and exploded buses? Or maybe indifference reigns; why should we care about this faraway place that has no real bearing on our daily lives? Perhaps it is all of the above.


Reproductive Rights
contraceptionObama admin to grant 1-year extension for church-affiliated employers to cover birth control
In an election-year decision certain to disappoint religious conservatives, the Obama administration announced Friday that church-affiliated institutions will get only one additional year to meet a new rule to cover birth control free of charge.

 roeContraception Becoming Latest Battleground in GOP Presidential Race, Columnist Writes
In recent weeks, the reproductive-rights debate has seen "the mainstreaming of a more antiquated angle of attack from social conservatives, namely, the morality of birth control," Washington Postcolumnist Anna Holmes writes. The shift in the debate has been driven by remarks from former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and other Republican presidential candidates indicating disapproval of contraception and access to family planning.


Sonogram bill ruling uses daft, scary logic

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a ruling last week, pretty much says that women are idiots and that Texas can dragoon doctors into becoming ideological tools.

New Hampshire Considers Defunding Planned Parenthood, Weakening Domestic Violence Laws

New Hampshire's 2012 legislative session has not been a good one for women so far.

Proposal to ban abortion in Kansas splits pro-life groups
A group of abortion opponents is pushing for a state constitutional amendment banning the procedure in Kansas.

Supreme Court Backs Church in Teacher-Employment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled unanimously that the Constitution's religion clauses bar lawsuits against churches by their ministers, and it held that a Lutheran school teacher could not sue her church employer for discrimination because she was effectively a minister.

Kentucky Governor Firmly Rejects Hospital Merger with Catholic Health Initiatives   Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said January 9, 2012 for the second time in two weeks that he was rejecting a hospital merger of the publicly-funded University Hospital with a Catholic-oriented consortium, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI).

separationSorry Folks, but God Won't Fix the Economy

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

Our Constitution clearly states that the brand new country will separate church and state, and that is what the United States has done for the past 220 years relatively well. Separation of church and state is a base for democracy and should remain strict. However, as the 2012 GOP primaries unfold, the more we hear candidates, the more we hear them draw a fine line between church and state.

Political Bytes

Jewish Republicans watch nervously as favorites savage one another      

As the Republican primary fight moves from New Hampshire to South Carolina, Newt Gingrich is stepping up his attacks on Mitt Romney and some prominent Jewish Republicans -- who have a rich, mutually admiring history with both men -- are wondering what happens next.

dinnerTime To Talk Politics at the Dinner Table

We all have heard the admonishment that polite people never discuss politics or religion at the dinner table.

Forgive me, but that sounds like a big part of the problem right now in America.


The View from Pennsylvania: A Cloudy Crystal Ball, by JAC's Betsy Sheerr
It is, of course, a fool's errand to predict in November 2011 how President Barack Obama will fare with the Jewish vote in November 2012. With every election in recent memory, there have been dire predictions of the Jewish vote swinging more Republican, yet there has been minimal movement in that direction.

bugWhat a Long Strange Trip 

At the Berlin Auto Show in February 1939, Adolph Hitler delivered a speech decrying the increasing number of car accidents on the streets of Germany. For a man planning annihilation and world-wide domination, traffic safety would seem an odd preoccupation, but such was the F�hrer's enthrallment with all things automotive and his dedication to motorizing a German public poised at the starting line of the Thousand Year Reich. 


Desalination plant could make Israel water exporter
National water company says new facility will not only meet Israel's own water needs, it could also make it a top regional water exporter by 2014.

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.