JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

August 23, 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

Lousiville Meeting
January 2014
Details to follow

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

Upcoming Candidate Events

August 27th
Reception with Rep. Bill Foster
Highland Park, IL

September 27th
Women's Senate Network Luncheon
Chicago, IL

Contact the JAC office for details. 

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

Say NO to hunger. 

Jewish tradition demands we care for the poor and feed the hungry.

Call your elected officials and urge them to reinstate and support the SNAP program and other food assistance programs in the Farm Bill.

No one should ever go hungry in our country.  
Your voice DOES make a difference.
Call today. 
(202) 224-3121 
Stay informed, share your knowledge.
See JAC's Action Alerts here.

Why It Matters: 
Affordable Care Act Enrollment begins in less than
2 months!

In just over 6 weeks, enrollment in "Obamacare" begins! Why does this matter? Millions of Americans will have access to affordable health care regardless of where they work, their current health status, or their financial situation.

If you or someone you know will benefit from the ACA, be sure to click below for more information.

Read more 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!

This week's issue highlights these key developments here and in the Middle East:
This week's EZ Read brings you these stories and some that may have slipped past your news feed.
Israel & The Middle East 
israelCongressmembers Participate in Fact-Finding, Educational Trip to Israel Prior to Peace Talks
This year's trip included the largest delegation of House freshmen ever - out of 37 Representatives, 31 were freshmen. The group was led by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who has participated in the trip for 13 years. Read about the reactions and experiences from many of the trip's participants here. 


In these peace talks, give hope a chance
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/11/4287441/israel-hasnt-given-up-on-persuading.html#storylink=cpy
It finally happened. After nearly five years of estrangement, Israeli and Palestinian representatives met in Jerusalem on Wednesday to resume direct negotiations.

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

No U.S. arm-twisting on Mideast peace, by Robert Wexler
I'm as guilty as anyone in thinking that the world revolves around America. But the recent restart of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is not about us.
Read Full Article

Netanyahu: Recognition of Jewish state is key issue in peace talks

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Palestinian refusal to recognize that Israel is a Jewish state is the core issue keeping the sides from reaching a peace agreement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday, deflecting claims that settlement construction was the key roadblock.

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

Palestinian leaders must halt the hatred

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
As renewed negotiations get underway between Israelis and Palestinians, it's vital for the success of the endeavor to identify what went wrong in earlier discussions.

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

US ambassador to UN: Swiss candidate unfit for UN human rights council

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Switzerland's candidate for the UN Human Rights Council, who has garnered criticism for his fiercely anti-Israel and anti-Western views, should be disqualified, Samantha Power, the newly appointed US ambassador to the UN, said last week.

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

Jewish issues at home in White House

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

Matt Nosanchuk had recently logged another busy week. There was the organizing of a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice and 19 leaders of the American Jewish community two weeks ago. Now, Nosanchuk is working on President Barack Obama's upcoming Rosh Hashanah message.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
Results of Congressional 'Fishing Expedition' Show Abortion Is Already Highly Regulated, Overwhelmingly Safe
In May, Republican members of two congressional committees-the House Judiciary Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee-wrote letters to the departments of health and attorneys general in all 50 states, asking for thousands of pages of information about how each state monitors and regulates abortion.  

cpcsThese are the 34 states that fund crisis pregnancy centers with taxpayer dollars  
It is no secret that crisis pregnancy centers lie to women. But what many Americans may not know is that, in 34 states across the country, these antiabortion centers are able to stay in business thanks to funding from taxpayers.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
MSNBC Demonstrates How Media Should Talk About Efforts To Limit Abortion Access        
MSNBC demonstrated the benefits of hosting women's health experts to talk about women's health issues and in the process punctured several abortion myths that have been used in recent months. The network hosted an all-female panel, including an obstetrician, for a segment on proposed state legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.

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


Abortion coverage for Congress under health law?
An attempt to fix a problem with the new health care law has created a situation in which members of Congress and their staffers could gain access to abortion coverage, something that currently is denied to federal employees who get health insurance through the government's plan.

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

Antiabortion activist to clinic volunteers: It's your fault if someone shoots you 
Mark Gietzen, chairman of the Kansas Coalition for Life, accused the South Wind Women's Center of trying to provoke a gun violence incident by allowing volunteers to escort women into the clinic (a common practice among clinics frequently targeted for harassment by anti-choice activists).

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

Abortion: Doctors Know Best but Politicians Ignore Them 
Once upon a time, modern people were taught to give some respect to education, expertise, training, position, and so forth -- especially in the difficult and demanding fields such as science and medicine. But as we've seen too many times to count, this basic esteem of real expertise is often missing in those elected to political office.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Separation of Religion & State
separationPanel Wants to End Ban on Church Political Work

A commission of 14 evangelical Christian leaders has recommended that churches and other houses of worship be allowed to endorse political candidates without losing their tax-exempt status. Under a ban in place since 1954, tax-exempt religious organizations may endorse political causes and legislation, but not candidates.

Read Full Article

Poll Finds Majority of Americans Oppose School Vouchers

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/03/3540465/sd-joins-other-states-in-legislative.html#storylink=cpy

The poll, conducted by PDK/Gallup and based on 1,001 phone interviews, shows that 70% of Americans do not support voucher programs [PDF] that allow state funds to be used for private or religiously-affiliated charter schools.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/03/3540465/sd-joins-other-states-in-legislative.html#storylink=cpy.  
Read Full Article
Political Byte

Eve of Destruction 

It is almost impossible to find an establishment Republican in town who's not downright morose about the 2013 that has been and is about to be. Most dance around it in public, but they see this year as a disaster in the making, even if most elected Republicans don't know it or admit it.
Read Full Article

senate20143 Key Factors Each Party Is Banking On for a Senate Majority

The Senate playing field is starting to solidify, and the fight for the majority looks like it will be decided in about a dozen states. But even though the fields of candidates are still taking shape in some of those contests, both Republicans and Democrats are banking on some macro-factors that will affect races at the micro-level..
Voting Rights

lewisStill Marching on Washington, 50 Years Later 

John Lewis was the 23-year-old son of Alabama sharecroppers and already a veteran of the civil rights movement when he came to the capital 50 years ago this month to deliver a fiery call for justice on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  

U.S. senator seeks federal review of North Carolina voting law' 

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, a North Carolina Democrat expected to face a tough battle to retain her seat in 2014, on Tuesday asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to review a restrictive new state voting law championed by Republicans that she said will undermine the right to vote in her state.  
Read Full Article
Gun Violence Prevention

gunsColorado's Gun-Control Recall: A Sign of Things to Come for Reformers? 

After nearly two decades of continual victories in state legislatures, gun-rights proponents have suddenly hit some turbulence. Despite paralysis on the issue in Washington, mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado, Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and elsewhere have led five states to tighten their gun laws.  

New law requires lost, stolen guns to be reported 

Illinois gun owners will have to report missing firearms to police and check the background of potential buyers under a new state law.   

artsinjerusalemJerusalem Season of Culture: A cultural melting pot with no dividing walls 

As Middle East peace talks begin, David Lister reports from Jerusalem on how art is bringing Jews and Arabs together.
Read Full Article

Israel plans monument to honor gay victims of Nazi persecution 

Israel is building a monument to honor the gay victims of Nazi persecution, the first of its kind in the country. Like memorials in Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Sydney and San Francisco, the monument in Meir Park will feature a concrete pink triangle, the symbol used by the Nazis to mark someone as gay.
Read Full Article

Israeli Scientific Breakthrough Could Ease Droughts and Famines 

A team of Israeli scientists has developed a new technology that may enable crops to weather droughts worldwide, thus minimizing famine and strife.

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.