JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

November 30, 2012  

Visit Us Online 
Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter
Button - Red DONATE
Join Our Mailing List

Upcoming JAC Events

December 4th
Talking Points HP
Middle East Update
Glencoe, IL
RSVP Today!

Want to host an event in your area?  Contact the JAC office.  

on the following issues:
Reinstate abortion rights to women in the military who are victims of rape.

Call your Representative and urge them to vote to end the policy that bans servicewomen who are raped from using their military health insurance to cover abortion care. 
Read more here.

Capital Switchboard

the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Call your Representative and urge them to vote for passage of the Senate version (S1925) of VAWA - Violence Against Women Act before the 112th Congress adjourns.  Urge them to not cut funding for this program during "fiscal cliff" negotiations. 
Call Your Representative today and make your voice heard.

When you are done, ask 5 friends 
 to make the call too.

JAC's statement on the UN Vote on Palestinian Status

The United Nations voted Nov 30th to accord the Palestinians nonmember observer status at the United Nations,pursuant to the request of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. The resolution was approved by a vote of 138-9, with 41 abstentions. The Vatican is the only other entity in the U.N. that shares the same status.

The US and Israel expressed disapproval of the unilateral declaration and UN passage.  The UN action is  a victory for the Palestinian Authority, but it is largely symbolic. In order to be a state in more than name-only and to achieve a real improvement on the ground, Palestinians must (1) build the institutions and the infrastructure that comprise a successful state, and (2) sit down in direct negotiations with Israel to work out the terms of a secure, just and lasting peace. By turning to the UN, the PA has sidestepped the peace process.

JAC is disappointed in the Palestinian action and UN approval. JAC supports direct peace talks between the PA and Israel and a strong US role in restarting and facilitating this process.
This week's issue highlights the following significant developments here and in the Middle East:
  • The UN voted overwhelmingly to grant Palestine non-nation observer status.  What does that mean?
  • Following the conflict in Gaza this month, Dennis Ross looks at the US role in the region going forward. 
  • American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists support making emergency contraception available over the counter.
  • Will the Supreme Court weigh in on lawsuits over contraception coverage from religious groups?   



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. 

Palestinian Statehood
riceExplanation of Vote by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Following UN General Assembly Vote on Palestinian Observer State Status Resolution
For decades, the United States has worked to help achieve a comprehensive end to the long and tragic Arab-Israeli conflict. We have always been clear that only through direct negotiations between the parties can the Palestinians and Israelis achieve the peace that both deserve: two states for two peoples, with a sovereign, viable and independent Palestine living side by side in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic Israel.

That remains our goal, and we therefore measure any proposed action against that clear yardstick: will it bring the parties closer to peace or push them further apart? Will it help Israelis and Palestinians return to negotiations or hinder their efforts to reach a mutually acceptable agreement? Today's unfortunate and counterproductive resolution places further obstacles in the path to peace. That is why the United States voted against it. 

Israeli politicians weigh in on the Palestinian UN move 
Israeli politicians responded on Friday morning to the United Nation's decision on Thursday night to vote in favor of the recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state.

"Palestine" at the United Nations - A Fact Sheet

Just over a year after his failed attempt to convince the UN Security Council to adopt a unilateral declaration of statehood (UDI) for Palestine, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas defied President Obama and decided to take a similar proposition for vote in the General Assembly, a forum within which the Palestinians enjoy an automatic majority. Ironically, Abbas' vote took place on the anniversary of the 1947 UN vote to partition Palestine
into Jewish and Arab states. Had the Palestinians accepted that resolution they would be enjoying their 65-year anniversary of independence. Instead, they will leave the UN with only a symbolic victory that upgrades the PA's permanent observer status to non-member observer state status, similar to that held by the Vatican.
Israel & The Middle East 
rossAmerica's Responsibility in the New Middle East, by Dennis Ross
The ceasefire struck last week between Israel and Hamas after eight days of conflict seems to be holding. But that's not to suggest that the time for diplomacy is over. To the contrary, it's precisely now that the United States needs to survey the new landscape that has emerged in the Middle East, and determine how it can shape it going forward.
Reproductive Rights
otcOver-The-Counter Birth Control Pills Backed By The American College Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists
No prescription or doctor's exam needed: The nation's largest group of obstetricians and gynecologists says birth control pills should be sold over the counter, like condoms.

Surprise! The abortion rate just hit an all-time low.
After years of holding steady, new Center for Disease Control data shows that the United States abortion rate has fallen to an all-time low. It dropped 5 percent between 2008 and 2009, the most recent years for which data is available, the largest decline in the past decade.
Separation of Religion & State
obamacareObamacare's many contraception lawsuits

War on women - meet war on religious employers. The first battle played out in the voting booth. The second is unfolding in the courts - and the Supreme Court may eventually weigh in on questions about constitutionally protected religious freedom, the public good and whether secular corporations can be, as one judge put it, the "alter ego" of their religious owners.

Political Byte
Can the Senate be saved?
The most important action the Senate takes in January may not involve any legislation at all. Early next year, when the latest group of senators convene for the first time, the "world's greatest deliberative body" may finally do something worthy of its nickname: reform the filibuster.


gridlockThe Senate's Long Slide to Gridlock

Senator Bob Dole had just assumed the mantle of Senate majority leader, after the Republican landslide of 1994, when he confronted a problem. Piles of Republican legislation from Newt Gingrich's self-styled "revolutionary" House were stacking up in a narrowly divided, more deliberate Senate, and Democrats were threatening to gum up the works with amendments that would stall the bills.

Read Full Article 

survivor67 years later, Holocaust survivor reunites with rescuer
Even though 67 years had passed since they last saw each other, Wladyslawa Dudziak and Rozia Beiman reunited as if they hadn't missed a moment.  

Israel's solar star Jacob Karni 

Israeli solar energy pioneer Prof. Jacob Karni was born just two years after Israel became a state, in 1950. Already back then, the country's leaders were tangibly aware that Israel needed to develop its human resources in order to build a country that was severely lacking in energy and water.

Read Full Article 

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 

Button - Red DONATE
Find Us Online:

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  View our videos on YouTube  Visit our blog
better jac logo
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.