JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

October 30, 2012  

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This week's issue highlights the following significant developments here and in the Middle East:
  • Know someone concerned by false accusations about President Obama & Israel?  Read this open letter and forward it around.
  • Next Tuesday, Florida voters will vote on 11 Constitutional amendments, including one on abortion.   
  • A church sign in Texas reads "Vote for the Mormon, Not the Muslim."  Is this a violation of separation or free speech?     
  • Pennsylvania is still running misleading ads about voter ID in the weeks before the election.
  • What are the key issues for Jewish voters this election?     
  • Imagine what we could gain with peace between Arabs and Israelis - here is an example happening today.   



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. 

Israel & The Middle East 
Iran and the Next U.S. President, by Dennis Ross
With 2013 looming as a decisive year in Iran's nuclear efforts, the next administration will likely accelerate both sanctions and the diplomatic process to create greater clarity before resorting to force.

20 rockets hit south since Sunday night

The Color Red rocket alert system sounded in Gaza vicinity communities several times on Sunday night and Monday morning, as 20 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.  

Read Full Article   


General Dempsey arrives in Israel, meets Barak

Reproductive Rights
Appeals Court Blocks Indiana Law to De-Fund Abortion Providers
A federal appeals court blocked part of an Indiana law that cut public funding to abortion providers.

Pennsylvania Christian Taliban Wants Women To Prove Rape Or No Food Stamps
It's becoming increasingly clear that there is a very large and influential part of the Republican party that is infatuated with the idea of rape. Does that sound harsh? Well, Mitt Romney has endorsed exactly one Senatorial candidate and that candidate has called rape a "gift from God." Romney is still standing by his man.

flabortionBallot Initiative of the Day: Florida's Abortion Restriction Amendment
Abortion is always a divisive issue. On November 6, Floridians will vote on 11 constitutional amendments proposed by its GOP-controlled legislature, and Amendment 6, known as the Abortion Amendment, is the most controversial.
Separation of Religion & State
Separation of church and state at the heart of Amendment 8 on Florida ballot

In many ways, Amendment 8 boils down to this: When Jerod Powers, 38, left prison in Jacksonville, he had only a change of clothes, his release papers and pocket change. He went to Prisoners of Christ halfway house - an organization that receives some state financial assistance - where he got food, clothes, substance abuse counseling and help finding a job at a lawn care business. Powers also got spiritual guidance. 

Read Full Article

N.D. archbishop indirectly urges candidate support
And in the vast annals of separation of church and state/religion and politics we have this, via Marino Eccher of the Forum papers:
"North Dakota Sen. Tim Mathern is taking the state's top Catholic official to task over a letter sent to priests statewide that Mathern says crosses the line into partisan political speech.
Read Full Article

churchsignPolitical message on church sign stirs sentiment in Leakey
A controversy regarding a political sign prominently displayed outside a church is playing out in a small town west of San Antonio.

Is it protected speech or political hate? And does it have a place on a church marquee?

The sign reads, "Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim! The capitalist, not the communist!"

 Read Full Article
Political Byte

issuesOn the issues: Obama and Romney on abortion, Iran, Israel and mores 

JTA reviews the positions of presidential candidates Barack Obama, the Democratic incumbent, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney on some issues of importance to the Jewish community. 


Presidential race just got tighter in election ground zero - Ohio

One week from Election Day, the presidential race has tightened dramatically in Ohio, which appears more likely than any other state to decide who will win the White House. 

Read Full Article    


The 9 Most Anti-Science Candidates in America
In 2012, America landed an adorable robot on Mars, found oxygen around one of Saturn's icy moons, and discovered a
headless ladybug in Montana, among countless other achievements. A great year for science, right? That depends on whether you're watching the 2012 election. This year, candidates for Congress are actively denying climate change, slashing science funding, and even disputing basic facts of human anatomy. Here are nine of the worst offenders:

Read Full Article 

Voter Registration Laws
pavotePennsylvania Officials Accused of Running Misleading Voter ID Ads

Early this month, a federal judge partially overturned Pennsylvania's voter ID law, ruling that the state couldn't require voters to show photo identification at the polls until after the 2012 election. But the ruling has not stopped the state from running ads suggesting otherwise-ads that have disproportionately targeted urban and minority communities that tend to vote for Democrats.

arabisraelisArab Israelis saving the world
Here are three examples of what smart Arabs worldwide could be doing if they would just decide to make peace with Israel and work together with the Jewish state instead of against it. 

A New Right to Vote?

Is there a clear constitutional right to vote in the United States? The answer, traditionally, has been no. That's what Republican-dominated states were banking on when they moved, after the 2010 elections, to restrict the franchise. But their campaign has seen a legal backlash against those efforts-one that may end up establishing that there is a right to vote in the U.S. after all.

Read Full Article 

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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.