JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

July 12, 2013   

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

Upcoming JAC Events

September 23rd
Talking Points HP
with Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10)
Watch your inbox for details.

Membership Meeting
Details to follow.

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

On Our Radar

Federal Legislation we are watching:

* Voting Rights Act
* Federal 20-week 
   abortion ban
* Employment
 Act (ENDA)
* Sexual Assault in
   the Military
* Farm Bill - food
   aid (SNAP)
* HR 1565 - Public
   Safety & 2nd
   Rights Act


Sexual assault in the military is an epidemic that must stop. Urge your Senator to cosponsor S967, which puts the decision of trial in the hands of prosecutors, not the victim's supervisor. 
Tell your friends.
Call both Senators today.
Your voice DOES make a difference. 
Stay informed, share your knowledge
See JAC's Action Alerts here.


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.  


Have something you want to say -  

submit it to Open Mic today!

What a whirlwind couple of weeks! 
  • Michael Oren will step down as Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. 
  • Multi-State GOP war on women has national impact. 
  • Debates on separation are actually useful.
  • The Supreme Court decisions - here is a primer on what they mean.  
  • The filibuster may be changing as early as next week. 
  • Concealed carry passes in Illinois - the last state to approve it. 
  • Meet the person who supports bands touring in Israel. 
  • and so much more! 
This week's EZ Read brings you these stories and some that may have slipped past your news feed.
Israel & The Middle East 
Israel Names Ron Dermer as New Ambassador to U.S.
Ron Dermer has been named to replace Michael Oren as Israel's Ambassador to the United States.


orenMichael Oren to Step Down as Ambassador
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/11/4287441/israel-hasnt-given-up-on-persuading.html#storylink=cpy
Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, has just announced that he will be stepping down from his position in the fall. Oren made the statement on his Facebook page, concluding "I look forward to continue serving the people of Israel in the future and further strengthening the historic U.S.-Israel alliance."

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

Ross: Democracy in Egypt needs more than an election
The term "Arab Spring" was always a misnomer. There was never going to be a rapid transformation from authoritarian rule to democracy in Middle Eastern countries. Genuine democracy requires not just elections; it requires a political culture of tolerance and respect for minority rights; institutions that provide for the rule of law; a readiness to accept the outcome of elections even when you lose and a recognition that governance cannot favor only one group to the exclusion of everyone else.
Read Full Article

Obama's Egypt Policy: The Israel Factor

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
As Washington debates whether to cut off America's $1.5 billion in annual assistance to Egypt, few countries are watching with more interest than Israel.

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

What will Iran's new president do? His memoir offers some clues.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
For Western officials trying to determine what kind of leader they'll face in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, his thoughtful 2011 memoir reveals much about the man who will lead the Islamic republic.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
The 4 Worst New Anti-Abortion Laws...in the Past 3 Weeks
Most state legislatures have packed it up after this year's session. But four states have been quite busy in their closing weeks trying to pass last-minute anti-abortion legislation. 

maddowState GOP war on women undermines national American will  
Rachel Maddow reports on the number women's health clinics that are threatened with closure by new laws from Republican state legislatures, and shows the effects of those laws on a national map to illustrate that what appears to be a series of local issues is actually a de facto national story for American women.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Federal Appeals Court Reverses Block on Baltimore's CPC 'Truth-in-Advertising' Law    
Last week the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important ruling in the battle over the business tactics used by so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to dissuade women from accessing abortion services.

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


Wisconsin abortion law blocked
A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday evening to block enforcement of a new Wisconsin law that bans doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing abortions.

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

Illinois Supreme Court ends challenges to abortion law
The Illinois Supreme Court Thursday moved to put finality on a unenforced abortion parental notification law, determining the long-disputed 1995 law is constitutional.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Separation of Religion & State
separationUseful debates on the separation of church and state

They remind us of how truly free we are in the United States. 

Read Full Article

Florida Atheists Erect Their Own Monument on County Property

Local Christians were permitted to erect a Ten Commandments monument at the Bradford County courthouse in Starke, Florida, prompting a lengthy legal dispute over the separation of church and state. Officials eventually struck a deal -- if atheists dropped the lawsuit, which they were likely to win, they could erect their own monument on the property. And so this week they did. 

Read Full Article
Political Byte

Senate filibuster rule could face reckoning next week

Fed up with Republican efforts to block confirmation of President Obama's appointees, Democrats threatened Thursday to limit use of the filibuster, a drastic maneuver that would end an age-old Senate tradition and could inflame tensions between the two parties.
Read Full Articlefilibuster

House to vote on farm bill in big test for Boehner, Republican leaders

The House will vote Thursday on a new farm bill in a major test for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the rest of the House GOP leadership team. The new bill includes updated subsidies for farmers but strips a reauthorization of the food stamp program that was included in the last farm bill.

First Thoughts: Welcome to the perpetual campaign  
When does the campaigning end and the governing begin?

Republicans who lost close races eager for rematches

The 2014 midterms are going to give some voters d�j� vu.

Several Republicans who got tantalizingly close to winning House seats in 2012 are gearing up for rematches next year, figuring just a few hundred or thousand more votes could be their ticket to Washington.  

Read Full Article
Supreme Court

courtYour cheat sheet to the end of a historic Supreme Court Term, in Plain English

The Supreme Court's Term recently ended with major rulings on affirmative action, voting rights, and gay rights. Those cases received lots of media coverage. But beyond the splashy headlines, there are some important things the average observer doesn't know about these landmark decisions.
Gun Violence Prevention

gunConcealed carry ushers in new era for Illinois

With the fall Tuesday of the nation's last statewide ban on concealed weapons, March 2014 becomes a pivotal month in Illinois.  

bdsThere's no stopping this song

Over the past few years, summer has turned into Israel's official show season. Big-name artists such as Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Elton John, Madonna, Morrissey, Depeche Mode (twice!) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name just a few, have already been here, stayed in hotels near the seashore, put a slip of paper between the stones of the Western Wall, floated in the Dead Sea, and kicked a ball around in Yarkon Park or at the Ramat Gan stadium.
Read Full Article

Diplomats to the valley of the shadow of death 

An innovative program sends two non-Jewish students annually from each British high school to Auschwitz, and forms a cadre of peer ambassadors

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 

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.