JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

March 23, 2013   

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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. 

Israel & The Middle East 
Full text of President Obama's speech upon arrival in Israel  
US president says it's no accident that his first foreign visit in his second term is to the Holy Land.


Obama: Peace is the only path to true security  

US President Barack Obama called for peace between Israel and the Palestinians in a speech given to students at the Convention Center in Jerusalem on Thursday, asserting that "peace is necessary. Indeed, it is the only path to true security."

Read Full Article

turkeyObama ends Israel visit by bringing together two estranged powers
Prodded by President Obama, Israel and Turkey agreed Friday to end a nearly three-year rift caused by a deadly Israeli commando raid on a Turkish ship bound for the Gaza Strip, a move that Israeli officials said was prompted by the worsening fighting in neighboring Syria.
Read Full Article

Why is Obama going to Israel? by Michael Oren
President Obama is visiting Israel this week, the first foreign trip of his second term. Some commentators have criticized the tour as a diversion from the president's intention to pivot toward the Asia-Pacific region. Why go to Israel now, they ask, and anger the Arabs at a time of rising Middle Eastern turmoil? Others claim that the trip is merely a maneuver designed to achieve some memorable photo-ops rather than to advance crucial American interests.
Read Full Article

Rockets hit Sderot as Obama visits Israel   

Five Qassam rockets were fired at southern Israel from Gaza on Thursday morning, on the second day of US President Barack Obama's visit to the Middle East.
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
personhoodRand Paul's perplexing 'personhood' palaver'
Unlike most people who claim to celebrate strict limits on government power over individuals, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) rejects the reproductive rights American women already have. Indeed, less than a week ago, on the heels of a 13-hour filibuster on libertarian ideals, the Republican senator introduced "fetal personhood" legislation - called the "Life at Conception Act" - which would extend constitutional rights to "preborn humans."  
Read Full Article

Kansas abortion bill is cruel overreach
With the passage of an anti-abortion bill on Wednesday, Kansas House members revealed themselves as callous and backward-thinking.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Read Full Article

North Dakota legislature approves two anti-abortion bills

North Dakota lawmakers on Friday approved two anti-abortion bills, including one that would ban most abortions after six weeks -- when a fetal heartbeat can be first detected.  
Read Full Article

Missouri Birth Control Law Countering Obamacare Mandate Overturned by Federal Judge 
A federal judge has struck down a Missouri law exempting moral objectors from mandatory birth control coverage because it conflicts with an insurance requirement under President Barrack Obama's health care law. 
Read Full Story 
Separation of Religion & State
churchstateMelissa Rogers new head of White House faith-based office

Church-state expert Melissa Rogers will be the new director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Rogers succeeds Joshua DuBois, who left the office in February after serving throughout President Obama's first term.   

Gun Violence Prevention

Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper signs landmark gun-control bills

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed landmark new gun laws on Wednesday expanding background checks on gun purchases and limiting the size of ammunition magazines, placing the traditionally firearm-friendly state among the handful to pass new restrictions in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Read Full Article

nraThe power of the NRA - in two charts 

The all-but-certain death of the proposed assault weapons ban is widely regarded as the latest in a string of legislative victories for the National Rifle Association.

The ban's chief sponsor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), singled out the NRA Tuesday when she responded to the fate of her proposal: "The enemies on this are very powerful; I've known that all my life."

Political Byte

Ted Kennedy Jr. Is (Finally) Ready for the Family Business

In early December, Washington's political class was in one of its episodic ventilations over who would fill the latest round of job openings. The intrigue of the moment involved Hillary Clinton's replacement as secretary of state. Susan Rice, the U. S. ambassador to the United Nations and onetime front-runner, was taking a public battering, and the fallback candidate, Senator John Kerry, was looking more likely to get the job. This would in turn mean that another Massachusetts Senate seat would be up for grabs - the third election since the death of Ted Kennedy in 2009.
Read Full Article

Once Few, Women Hold More Power in Senate 
An hour before her colleagues gathered for their first vote of a new Congress, Senator Kelly Ayotte slipped into an empty Senate chamber to savor the grandeur of her legislative home. As Ms. Ayotte, a freshman Republican from New Hampshire, sat down at the wooden desk where generations of lawmakers from her state had cast their votes, a doorman marched toward her with purpose. 
Read Full Article 

hikeYes, you can hike in a wheelchair 

Thirty years ago, Israeli hiker Amos Ziv observed a group of visually impaired teens out on a nature trail. They were having a rough time of it, and Ziv decided the only solution was for him to find a way for people with disabilities to experience the great outdoors safely and enjoyably.

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.