JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

June 14, 2013   

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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!

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Upcoming Candidate Events

June 24th
Cocktails with
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Highland Park, IL

June 30th
Reception with Senator
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Winnetka, IL
Watch for details

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on the following issues:  

20-Week Abortion Ban
Urge your Representative OPPOSE the latest GOP attack on abortion that would outlaw all abortions at 20 weeks with no exceptions!
HR 1797 cannot pass - CALL TODAY
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Access to Plan B
Thank President Obama and the Administration for allowing full access to emergency contraception. Sign JAC's letter today.
Your voice DOES make a difference. Call and share today. 
See JAC's Action Alerts here.

JAC's 3rd Annual Women of Power Luncheon was a tremendous success! Watch this year's video - This Is JAC.
 This is JAC 2013
This week's issue highlights the following significant developments here and in the Middle East:
  • Although his trip to Israel has been postponed,  Secretary of State John Kerry's multistep peace plan has been unveiled.   
  • In a Committee hearing on a bill to outlaw all abortion after 20 weeks, Rep. Trent Franks said rape exceptions are not needed because few women get pregnant from rape.


    New York faces a showdown on whether public schools should rent space to religious institutions. 

  • Five indicators note the direction of the 2014 midterms

  • Six months after the Newtown Tragedy, the outrage and momentum to stop violence has not lessened.   
  • Alicia Keys defies calls to boycott Israel and schedules a concert in Tel Aviv.



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 
Kerry's plan: Core issues, then gestures, and finally Jerusalem  
Senior diplomatic officials in Jerusalem say that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to unveil a gradual multi-step peace plan between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Defense chiefs Hagel and Yaalon to meet in D.C. 
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his Israeli counterpart, Moshe Yaalon, will meet this week. A Pentagon official told JTA that the two defense chiefs would meet in Washington on Friday, but did not provide further details.

Samantha Power gets early boost from pro-Israel voices 

The nomination of Samantha Power for America's UN envoy garnered significant support Thursday, and not just from Obama backers.
Read Full Article

Israel hasn't given up on persuading Russia not to send air defense system to Syria
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/11/4287441/israel-hasnt-given-up-on-persuading.html#storylink=cpy
They're on their way. They're already there. They won't be there for months. They're on board ships soon to dock. They haven't been sent. They may never be sent. In the past few weeks all those descriptions have been used to say what has happened - or not - to the much-discussed but so far unseen, at least in Syria, S-300 anti-aircraft missiles that Russia has sold or deployed to 13 countries around the world.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/11/4287441/israel-hasnt-given-up-on-persuading.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/11/4287441/israel-hasnt-given-up-on-persuading.html#storylink=cpy
Read Full Article

UN: Israel-Syria peace in danger, add Golan peacekeepers
A spillover of violence from Syria's civil war into the Israeli Golan Heights is jeopardizing a decades old ceasefire between Israel and Syria, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
Read Full Article

Israel warily watches Iranian election

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Israel's leaders are watching Iran's upcoming presidential election with a mixture of resignation and dread, as top officials here say they have no reason to believe that a new government in Tehran will back away from a pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
Obama administration will approve Plan B pill for women and girls of all ages
The Justice Department said it would stop fighting a court order requiring it to remove all age restrictions on the sale of Plan B One-Step without a prescription. 

franksTrent Franks: 'Incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low'
A House Republican pushing for a 20-week nationwide ban on abortions said Wednesday that the incidence of pregnancies resulting from rape is "very low" - then scrambled to clarify his comment after it went viral with comparisons to former GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin.

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

State laws restricting abortion are rampant this year 
Rachel Maddow highlights the most relentless anti-abortion crusade being pursued in states and federally since the decision of Roe v Wade. (The reproductive rights section begins after 1:34.)

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Separation of Religion & State
voucherExpect a showdown over religious group meets in public schools

Since Mayor Michael Bloomberg began his administration in 2002, he has been trying to keep religious groups from renting public school properties for Sunday services. Recently, the City Council passed a resolution giving religious institutions permission to use school property for religious services. The vote was 38-11 against the mayor's position and in favor of the religious groups. 

Read Full Article

Court rebuffs challenge to Brewer's Day of Prayer

The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday tossed out a bid by the Freedom From Religion Foundation to bar Gov. Jan Brewer from declaring a state Day of Prayer, saying the declarations haven't shown any real harm. 

Read Full Article
Political Byte

State laws varied on gun, abortion laws

The U.S. Supreme Court says women in America can terminate a pregnancy and that every citizen has an individual right to own a firearm, but those rulings have done little to settle political arguments over abortion and guns.
Read Full Article 

election2014Five Signs Define the Direction of the 2014 Midterm Elections

In looking at any midterm election, observers should take into account several important considerations. First, will it be a "normal" election? That is, will the type described by the late Tip O'Neill as one in which "all politics is local"-the kind of election in which the natural voting patterns of that state or district, as well as the relative strengths of the candidates, campaigns, resources-determine the outcome? 
Read Full Article 

Doblin: Christie made the logical political choice

Take all that in and there is no surprise that Christie did exactly what he did. He takes a short-term hit for wasting $12 million on another election; the $12 million for a primary is justified. A year from now, voters will not care about the political process. Voters don't care about much of this now. 
Read Full Article
Gun Violence Prevention

newtownSix months since Sandy Hook: Newtown residents find their voice

The door to the shuttered mental hospital swings open onto a scene of decay: Chunks of fallen plaster and mold-infested insulation rest on the floor of a once magnificent room. 

Waze Deal Primes Israel's Silicon Wadi for Wave of Investment  

Google Inc. (GOOG)'s acquisition of mobile map developer Waze Inc. marks one of the most lucrative outcomes for an Israeli technology startup, and is poised to fuel a wave of investment and entrepreneurship in the country.
Read Full Article

keysAlicia Keys, Israel and Civil Rights     
Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, has lately garnered more attention for her unhinged political views than for her writing. She has compared Fidel Castro to the Dalai Lama. She refused to allow her book "The Color Purple" to be translated into Hebrew. But perhaps nothing was more off-base-at least morally speaking-than the open letter Ms. Walker wrote in late May to singer-songwriter Alicia Keys. Ms. Walker, writing at the website of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, urged Ms. Keys to cancel a July 4 performance in Israel.
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!



Janna Berk, 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.