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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs

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JACPAC's News & Opinion Digest

March 2, 2012  

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It does make a difference who is in the Senate!

The close vote this week on the Blunt Amendment proves that. 

How the Senate will vote if similar legislation comes up next year depends on us re-electing 5 key friends.  
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 Your Calls Worked!
This week the Senate voted to defeat the Blunt Amendment by a very slim margin of 51-48. If passed this bill would have permitted employers to deny health benefits for procedures they objected to on religious or moral grounds.  JAC thanks those Senators who voted to protect our rights, and everyone who made a call urging their Senators to defeat this legislation. 

Thank you again for your response.  It made a difference.  

This week's issue highlights the following significant developments here and in the Middle East:
  • Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is inherent in any peace treaty, according to former Mossad Chief Halevy.  
  • Birth control is not as affordable as some believe.    
  • Indiana's House Speaker has killed a bill that would allow the teaching of creationism in science class.
  • How do the GOP candidates stand on the issues?  Here is a quick guide ahead of Super Tuesday.
  • A Ugandan pastor is receiving treatment in Israel after acid was thrown in his face on Christmas.   



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. 

U.S. Officials Escalate Warnings to Iran
Obama administration officials are escalating warnings that the U.S. could join Israel in attacking Iran if the Islamic republic doesn't dispel concerns that its nuclear-research program is aimed at producing weapons.

recognition'Israel doesn't need recognition as Jewish state'
Former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy states any treaty or agreement signed with Israel is tantamount to recognition, says unlike Jordan, Egypt, a Syrian peace deal was scuttled over recognition.
Decade-long demise of Palestinian armed resistance
Despite the eruption of bloody clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem over the weekend, support by Palestinians for armed struggle against Israel has seen an unprecedented demise over the past decade, a new poll shows.

The Agony of Hamas

Hamas's no longer undisputed leader Khaled Mashaal is now in deep trouble. He's having difficulty finding a new home after leaving Damascus, and during his travels across the Arab world, he's meeting with growing opposition to his policies from within his own movement.

Hatred: Coming soon to a campus near you
by Dore Gold

The film 'Crossing the Line' exposes the growing anti-Israel sentiment taking root on college campuses across North America.
Reproductive Rights
Have Anti-Abortion Ultrasound Bills Become A Republican Liability?

Soon after Republicans seized control of state legislatures across the country in the 2010 midterms, they began pushing a torrent of bills to restrict abortion. But many states are finding that such measures don't go over as easily in an election year - particularly ones that mandate invasive "transvaginal" ultrasounds - and can sometimes be a political liability.


contraceptionThe High Costs of Birth Control: A Major Barrier to Access
Many people seem to think birth control is affordable, but high costs are one of the primary barriers to contraceptive access.

Georgia Democrats Seek Vasectomy Ban In Response To Abortion Bill
A group of female Democratic legislators in the Georgia House of Representatives has proposed a bill that would ban men from seeking vasectomies.

Washington State Plan B Ruling: Federal Judge Says State Cannot Force Pharmacies To Sell Plan B
Washington state cannot force pharmacies to sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying the state's true goal was to suppress religious objections by druggists - not to promote timely access to the medicines for people who need them.

Ben Gamla Schools: Threat to Judaism and the Constitution  

Before we begin, a definition is in order. A charter school is a privately run school that receives its funding from the state as an alternative to a public school. It may be in private hands but it must conform to the concept of the separation of church and state as dictated by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

creationismIndiana House Speaker says he's killing creationism bill
A bill that would have specifically allowed Indiana's public schools to teach creationism alongside evolution in science classes has been shelved by the leader of the Indiana House of Representatives.

Political Bytes

electionOn the issues: GOP hopefuls on Israel, Iran, abortion, Social Security and more       

In advance of Super Tuesday, JTA takes a look at the stances of the four Republican presidential candidates on some issues of Jewish interest. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Republicans Challenging Obama on Jewish Vote in 2012
JointMedia News Service has been syndicating an intriguing article headlined - Which Republican candidate has the Jewish vote?

ugandaUgandan pastor attacked by Muslims heals in Israel    

It is last Christmas Eve. Pastor Umar Mulinde leaves a service at his thriving congregation, the 1,000-member Gospel Life Church International in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. He's anxious to get home to his wife and six children. As he unlocks his car, an unknown man approaches and calls out, "Pastor! Pastor!" As Mulinde turns, a burning acid splashes across his face, and the shouts turn to "Allahu akbar!" (Allah is greater!) The assailant flees.   


So You Want to Be Jerusalem Bureau Chief...  

Even before she gets to Israel, Jodi Rudoren, the new New York Times bureau chief, is already explaining why she'd prefer not having "Zionist" attached to her name.

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.