JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

January 31, 2014 

JAC Around Town
aroundtownJAC met with several elected officials, candidates and leaders around the country.

JAC hosted a special panel on Gun Violence Prevention at our latest Talking Points featuring Rep. Jan Schakowksy, IL Rep Scott Drury, Stephanie Gordon and Nicole Chen of Moms Demand Action, and Bill Jenkins

JAC met with Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire in Northbrook, IL

On Our Radar

Federal Legislation we are watching:

* US-Israel Strategic Partnership
* Federal 20-week abortion ban
* HR-7 No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion
* Voting Rights Act
* Unemployment Benefits
* Paycheck Fairness
* Immigration Reform 
* Sexual Assault in the Military 
* Farm Bill - food aid (SNAP)
* HR 1565 - Public Safety &  
   2nd Amendment Rights Act

Upcoming JAC Events

Membership Meeting

Details to follow

Palm Beach Meeting
Spring 2014
Details to follow

JAC's 4th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
Spring 2014
Details to follow

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

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Why It Matters: 
Immigration Reform   

We are a nation of immigrants. Whatever our backgrounds, every one of us has ancestors who made the journey to the United States, in search of  better lives. In spite of this, many Americans want to "pull up the ladders behind them" and prevent future generations access to the American dream.


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 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 State of the Union included strong support for the "Jewish State" of Israel.  
  • 23 states have banned abortion coverage from insurance exchanges.  
  • Creationism in the classroom using taxpayer funds. 
  • Rep. Henry Waxman, JAC friend and husband of long-time JAC member Janet Waxman, has announced he will retire from the House.
  • Gunmakers are aiding criminals by blocking legislation.
  • Voting rights is on the agenda this session.
  • We remember Pete Seeger, America's troubadour, this week with a selection of Jewish songs and his thoughts on Hillel. 
  • JAC around town  
  • 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 
2104 State of the Union. Photo: Washington Post
obamaObama promises security for 'Israel - a Jewish state'

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
President Barack Obama delivered a brief but ringing recognition of Israel as a Jewish state during his State of the Union address Tuesday night, reinforcing a key Israeli negotiating point in the ongoing talks with the Palestinian Authority.

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

Abbas proposes 3-year time frame for West Bank withdrawal
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas proposed on Tuesday that Israel carry out a gradual three-year withdrawal from the West Bank as part of any future peace deal, an offer that falls short of Israeli demands.
'Palestinian Incitement: An Obstacle to the Peace Negotiations?'

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

Ending Palestinian incitement is critical to the peace process, says David Pollock. Official Palestinian Authority incitement is spread through PA media - subsidized by the U.S., UK and EU. This activity amounts to glorifying terrorism, which is banned under formal signed agreements between the PA and the international community.

Read Full Article

170,000 rockets are aimed at Israel's cities, says IDF intel head

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
The head of Israel's most powerful intelligence agency depicted Wednesday a changing battlefield in which offensive cyber capabilities will, in the near future, represent the greatest shift in combat doctrine in over 1,000 years. For now, though, he said, the 170,000 rockets and missiles pointed by enemy states at Israel represented the most pressing threat, a danger he placed even above Iran's rogue nuclear program.
Read Full Article

A closer look at the IDF's field hospital for Syrian victims

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Despite the fact that Israel and Syria are officially still at war, the IDF has treated hundreds of civil war victims, following ethical code.
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
HR 7, and the Consequences Women Are Made to Bear
Tuesday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 7, also known as the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act." This is a sweeping ban on abortion coverage and another mean-spirited attempt to interfere with a woman's personal decision-making, one that falls hardest on women who are struggling to get by and young women. 

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
abortionAmericans United for Life's Efforts to Eliminate Insurance Coverage for Abortion Get Help From ALEC Members
Among the most prevalent weapons in the multi-pronged assault on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the attempt to eliminate access to insurance coverage of safe abortion care. Twenty-three states have now passed laws barring abortion coverage from insurance plans within state health exchanges (some with limited exceptions).

Read Full Article 

Another Marlise Munoz? Why one family's
tragedy could be only the beginning
What happened to the Texas paramedic isn't an exception -- it is the disturbing truth of pregnancy exclusion laws.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Separation of Religion & State
Did the Supreme Court Just Gut the 'Little Sisters' Case? 
Late Friday, the Roberts Court unceremoniously extended an order that blocked the Little Sisters of the Poor from having to comply with the contraception mandate. The order was issued without an opinion explaining its reasoning; instead, it rather tersely laid out what steps the Little Sisters would have to take to avoid the penalties associated with not completing the self-certification form. 
Read Full Article

creationismThere Are 14 States Where Taxpayer Money is Being Used to Teach Creationism 
Do you live in Texas, Louisiana or Kentucky? Maybe even Washington, D.C.? Then, as Slate reports, your taxes are likely going to schools - public, private or charter - that are teaching creationism to students. Below is a complete list along with "facts" that are often taught by creationists.
Read Full Article
Political Byte
waxmanHenry Waxman to retire at end of congressional session
Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), one of the most prolific and successful lawmakers of modern times, announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of the congressional session. "Forty years have gone by very quickly. I have a great deal of satisfaction in our legislative accomplishments," Waxman, 74, said in an interview the afternoon before he made his intention public. "This is a good time to move on and have another chapter."


Koch-backed political coalition, designed to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012 

The political network spearheaded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has expanded into a far-reaching operation of unrivaled complexity, built around a maze of groups that cloaks its donors, according to an analysis of new tax returns and other documents.

Read Full Article

Gun Violence Prevention
gunmakersHow Gunmakers Are Helping Criminals Get Away With Murder

On Christmas eve, the triple murder of Ilona Flint, Gianni Belvedere and Salvatore Belvedere shocked southern California. The police are still trying to locate the clues to piece together what happened to the three. However, the firearm manufacturing lobby have blocked what could have been a key tool in identifying the murderer.  

Read Full Article 

Breaking the cycle of school shootings

When the detective arrived at my home, he had a folder in his hand. "We just have some paperwork to take care of first," he said. After I signed his forms, he gave me a box with the clothes my mother was wearing when she was murdered. It had been almost a year, but I needed to touch them, to know how many times she was shot, to see where she had been hurt.

Read Full Article

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/02/5875831/gun-violence-goes-on-and-so-does.html#storylink=cpy     
Beyond the Core
votingLawmakers shoring up voter rights laws
Civil rights advocates - including the NAACP - have been scrambling since last June when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and delivered a serious blow to protections for black voters in the United States. But they got a boost earlier this month when legislation was introduced in Congress to restore some of the protections of the Voting Rights Act.
Read Full Article 

peteseegerPete Seeger's 7 Most Jewish Songs

Pete Seeger, who died yesterday at the age of 94, may have been a far greater believer in organizing people than he was in organized religion. "I feel most spiritual when I'm out in the woods," he said when he was the subject of a PBS American Masters documentary. But growing up in the Jewish enclave of West Rogers Park in Chicago, I always viewed him as a patron saint (or rabbi, if you will). In honor of his memory, we offer 7 classic Jewish Pete Seeger songs.
Read Full Article

Watch Scarlett Johansson's banned Super Bowl commercial

Sorry, Coke and Pepsi. (Uncensored) 
Sorry, Coke and Pepsi. (Uncensored)

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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.