JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

May 17, 2013   

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

Upcoming JAC Events

June 6
2013 JAC Power of Women Luncheon
with Special Guest Kerry Kennedy
Chicago, IL

Talking Points HP will resume in the fall. Thank you to everyone who joined us this year to hear our diverse and dynamic speakers. Want to host a Talking Points near you? Contact the JAC office!

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

Upcoming Candidate Events

May 28th
Reception with Leader
 Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Brad Schneider
Northbrook, IL

May 29th
A Special Evening with
President Obama
Chicago, IL

June 30th
Cocktail Reception with
Senator Chris Coons
Philadelphia, PA

June 30th

Reception with Senator
Dick Durbin

Winnetka, IL
Watch for details

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

on the following issue:  

Urge your Representative to support background checks and co-sponsor HR 1565. 
NOTE: We have 170+ co-sponsors and need 218 - please call today!
The Senate ignored 92% of Americans - make sure the House doesn't. 
Click here for details

Your voice DOES make a difference. Call and share today. 
See JAC's Action Alerts here.

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 Janna Berk.


Check out the all-new Open Mic for comments, opinions, essays, and more from JAC members. 

Israel & The Middle East 
peaceAn Improved Arab Peace Initiative?  
The Arab Peace Initiative, which was adopted at the Beirut summit in 2002, returned to the diplomatic discourse after an April 29 visit to Washington by an Arab League delegation.


Israel's real target is not Syria but Hezbollah  

Reports of Israeli airstrikes in Syria have frequently obscured the issues that are really driving Israel's decision-making. The most important notion to dispel is that Israel has decided to play an active role in the Syrian conflict. Not so. Israel has no interest in getting drawn into the quagmire. Its target is strategic weapons destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon..

Read Full Article

Everywhere an Iranian embassy exists, they plan terror on Jews, Israelis'

Nitzan Nuriel, former head of the Counter Terrorism Bureau, says Iran and Hezbollah could retaliate for Israel's reported strikes in Syria by targeting Israeli and Jewish institutions abroad. * Israeli embassies around the world raise levels of alert.
Read Full Article

Assad and the Arab Spring's pincer
The foreign media, which has devoted extensive coverage to the alleged Israeli attack on multiple Syrian installations over the weekend, has focused on Jerusalem's determination to prevent the transfer of game-changing weapon systems from Syria to Hezbollah.
Read Full Article

The Jewish nation's DNA
Jerusalem, my friends, is the greatest, most justified Israeli settlement there ever has been and ever will be. When celebrating Jerusalem Day tomorrow, we ought to leave discussions about "demographics," "security needs" and "natural growth" at the door.
Read Full Article

Islamic cleric in Gaza rejects Israel's existence

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
A prominent Islamic scholar making a landmark visit to the Gaza Strip declared Thursday that Israel has no right to exist and voiced his support for rocket fire on Israel, giving a boost of legitimacy to the militant Islamist Hamas rulers of the Palestinian territory.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Read Full Article

The Egypt-Israel Peace Test
The rocket strikes that a militant Islamist group recently fired from the Egyptian Sinai into the Israeli city of Eilat served as yet another reminder of how delicate bilateral relations remain two years after Egypt's revolution.
Read Full Article

Jewish leaders to Kerry: Confront Hungary's rising anti-Semitism
"Given the growth of hatred against Jews and other minorities (particularly the Roma) in Hungary, we urge you to keep the issue of intolerance and discrimination squarely on the US-Hungarian bilateral agenda," the organization leaders urged. "We also encourage you to raise the matter personally in your direct dealings with Hungarian officials."
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
Senator seeks to reform military's 'unacceptable' sex abuse policies

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/04/01/4156563/abortion-clinic-to-open-in-wichita.html#storylink=cpy
A New York senator introduced a bill Thursday that aims to remove sex crimes from the military's chain of command - a bid to transform an insulated culture that tends to dampen sex-assault reporting, leaving many victims feeling helpless or hopeless.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/04/01/4156563/abortion-clinic-to-open-in-wichita.html#storylink=cpy   

D.C. Anti-Abortion Bill Introduced By GOP Congressman Trent Franks...Again

Those meddling kids in Congress are at it again.

U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) introduced a bill last week to limit women's reproductive rights in the District. The District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which has 93 cosponsors, would disallow women in D.C. to seek an abortion after 20 weeks. This is the second consecutive year the veteran congressman has introduced the legislation.

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

Planned Parenthood's president Cecile Richards thriving amid controversy

If you want to know how effective Cecile Richards is, just ask her opponents. As the president of Planned Parenthood - both its clinical operations and its political advocacy arm - Richards, who recently sat down for an interview with The Hill, is no stranger to controversy. 

Read Full Article 

northcarolinaNorth Carolina Bill Will No Longer Let Employers Veto Contraception Coverage, Bans Abortion Coverage Instead 
The North Carolina house has stripped a provision from HB 730 that would have let employers veto contraception coverage in employee health plans if they have a "moral objection" to birth control. But workers in the state who may at some point need an abortion could be affected by an amendment to the bill that would ban coverage of abortions in plans offered by the state's insurance exchange.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Separation of Religion & State
On church-state separation, Madison articulated it best

I am writing in response to a May 11 letter, "Public prayer, symbols shouldn't bother atheists."First, atheists are not dictating whether or not children can pray in school. The U.S. Supreme Court, through its interpretation of the "establishment clause" in the landmark Engel case, has decided that question for us. 

Read Full Article

churchChurch-State Separation Be Damned: Bunnell Sponsors 3rd Prayer Day, Invoking "God's City"

It's not every day that the Bunnell City Government openly and proudly breaks the spirit of a law, if not its letter. It usually happens only once every two weeks, when one of its city council members leads the rest, and the assembly before the council, in an explicitly Christian prayer, under the city's banner, to open Bunnell City Commission meetings. 

Read Full Article
Political Byte

cruzTed Cruz Won't 'Throw Rocks'

Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, has spent his first few months in office making enemies on both sides of the aisle. Perhaps this is because the Tea Party hero employs a potent mix of of sanctimonious rhetoric and hatchet-job politics that led one of his fellow GOP senators to call him "Jim DeMint without the charm." His particular brand of smarminess was on display, for instance, when he delivered a condescending, elementary school-level lecture about the Constitution to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Or when he explained that he was for gun sales background checks but opposed a bill to expand them because the very real gun-show loophole "doesn't exist." Or when he mocked his Republicans colleagues who did support the background check bill, calling them weak "squishes."
Read Full Article 

Gomez Introduces Himself To Mass. Voters In First Ad

Republican Massachusetts Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez on Sunday released his first web ad since his primary night victory last week, a positive spot dotted with images of Americana that highlights his newcomer status. 
Read Full Article

Kentucky environmental lawyer eyes underdog challenge to McConnell

A longtime Kentucky environmental lawyer has emerged as a potential challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) as Democrats wait to learn if Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) will enter the race.
Read Full Article 
Gun Violence Prevention

gunsHouse GOP lawmaker: We are not backing away on gun bill

No matter one's position on gun control, there are lessons we can learn from the recent battle on background checks. According to Gallup, Over 90% of the public supports background checks for all gun purchases, yet the measure failed to pass the U.S. Senate.
Read Full Article

Five Reasons the NRA Won the Recent Gun Control Debate That Have Nothing to Do with Politics

House Republicans are not ruling out passing gun legislation this year, according to a key GOP lawmaker.

While Jerusalem Day Is Celebrated Above Ground, Archaeological Discoveries Reveal City's Layers 

Tens of thousands will visit the Old City on May 8 for Jerusalem Day, the anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War. While celebrations go on above ground, new excavations underneath and around the Old City are being uncovered and opened to the public, peeling back layers of history and expanding understanding of events in the center of the Jewish universe.
Read Full Article

chocolateFrance thanks Sephardic Jews for chocolate, 500 years too late   
Fleeing the Inquisition, Jews brought precious chocolate to Bayonne, which eventually became France's chocolate capital. Residents learned chocolate-making from the Jews - then promptly evicted them.
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!



Janna Berk, 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  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.