JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

December 14, 2012  

As we light our candles tonight, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and community of Newtown, Connecticut after today's horrific tragedy.  We all mourn this terrible loss.   
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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.

Thank you for a successful 2012.
Now on to 2013!
The past year has been packed with activity and JAC has been with you all the way.  From the all-male Congressional hearing about contraception in January, to year-long attacks on reproductive health and separation of religion and state, violence in Israel, the UN resolution on Palestine, and the election in November, we have been bringing you current information, news you needed to know, action alerts on urgent issues, introducing you to candidates, as well as hosting local and national meetings. 

As we gear up for another year, the issues keep coming and so will we.  Please consider a year-end donation to help us keep you informed and keep fighting for the issues we all believe in.
This week's issue highlights the following significant developments here and in the Middle East:
  • From Ethiopia, the Sigd has arrived in Jerusalem.  



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 
shapiroShapiro to 'Post': Parties must decide land swaps
The US understands that mutual agreed land swaps will have something to do with recognizing changes on the ground that have happened since 1967, but those issues have to be negotiated between the parties, US ambassador Dan Shapiro told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday.

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Israelis and Palestinians to meet in Jordan in February, King Abdullah says
King Abdullah II of Jordan announced that Jordan would host Israeli-Palestinian meetings in February with the backing of the European Union and the United States, a leading Arab daily reported on Wednesday.
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Hamas leader vows never to recognize Israel
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, making his first ever visit to the Gaza Strip, vowed on Saturday never to recognize Israel and said his Islamist group would never abandon its claim to all Israeli territory.
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Radical and Moderate Palestinians - Who Is More Popular?
The Palestinian Authority leadership does not see that the real threat to the two-state solution is Hamas and the unwillingness of many Palestinians to accept Israel's right to exist.
Read Full Article

Livni: The world is mistaken on settlements
Former foreign minister gives rare rebuke to international community, says settlements a requirement for achieving peace.
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Op-Ed: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Intentions Towards Israel
To the West, the Egyptian government led by the Muslim Brotherhood preaches commitment to the peace treaty with Israel. To Egyptians, the Brotherhood has made no secret of its desire to cancel it and lobbies for a military presence in Sinai.
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
militaryAbortion For Military Rape Victims Amendment Passes Senate

In a historic bipartisan vote on Tuesday, the Senate passed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's (D-N.H.) amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that would extend abortion insurance coverage to victims of rape in the military. If the House of Representatives decides to include the measure in its version of the defense bill, military servicewomen who have become pregnant from rape will no longer have to pay out of pocket for an abortion procedure for the first time since 1981. 

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Rick Perry: Banning Abortion Is 'My Goal'
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) urged state lawmakers Tuesday to pass more restrictions on abortion, and proclaimed that his end goal is to outlaw the procedure entirely. 
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North Carolina 'Choose Life' Anti-Abortion License Plates Blocked By Federal Judge
A federal judge has permanently blocked North Carolina from issuing an anti-abortion specialty license plate, ruling that offering plates with a "Choose Life" slogan without an alternative supporting abortion rights is unconstitutional.
Read Full Article   
Separation of Religion & State
Judge Deals a Setback to Louisiana's Voucher Program

Last January, Gov. Bobby Jindal took the oath of office for his second term, declaring in his inauguration speech that anyone who stood in the way of his education reform efforts "must stand down." On Friday, a judge in Baton Rouge said, in effect: not so fast. 

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brownbackKansas Governor promotes Christian prayer event, violates Constitution
By promoting a fundamentalist Christian prayer event Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is violating the separation of church and state guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, according to a leading secular group.
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Political Byte
womenWill record number of women in Senate mean less gridlock? 
Last month, most of the 20 women who will serve in the Senate next year gathered in the Capitol for a meet-and-greet - and a show of strength.
Read Full Article

DeMint could be a force backing candidates in 2014 election

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) might be leaving the upper chamber, but the conservative favorite is likely to remain a force to be reckoned with in the 2014 cycle.
Supreme Court Watch
courtCourt to hear historic gay marriage cases
The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) - the federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The court also agreed to hear a lawsuit challenging California's statewide ban on same-sex marriage.
sigdThe Sigd Festival Comes Home to Jerusalem
"Last year," said Orly Sahalo, a 21-year-old Israeli of Ethiopian descent, "I arrived only at the end, and I missed out."  She was talking about the Sigd festival, which recently took place in Jerusalem.  In Ge'ez, the liturgical language of Ethiopia, "Sigd" means prostration.  On the Sigd, Ethiopian Jews, before their mass immigration to Israel, would ascend a mountaintop, pray, read from the Bible, and affirm their desire to return to Jerusalem.  Now they are in Jerusalem, and the Sigd has become a national holiday in Israel.  

Alanis Morissette struck the right note in Israel 

Alanis Morissette, the Canadian American pop singer, is an unlikely ambassador to the Middle East, but in some ways, she is a good one.

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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.