JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

March 14, 2014 

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

JAC was honored to host Rep. Patrick Murphy in Palm Beach, FL for a JAC event last weekend. Pictured above Rep. Murphy with hosts Jeri and Norm Jacobs.

Detroit JAC member Lisa Lis with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

Preparations are underway for our 2014 Power of Women Luncheon! Working lunch at the office with (l-r) Barbara Goldsmith, Jacki Parmacek, Lisa Lavin, Kim Shwachman, Dana Gordon, Renee Kahn and Lisa Bookstein.
Haman is alive and well

Today's Haman wants to

Roe v. Wade
     DENY abortion insurance   

     ELIMINATE your

     THROW doctors in jail


Help JAC Kick The Hamans
OUT of Congress

Upcoming JAC Events

Talking Points HP with
Rep. Tammy Duckworth
March 17, 2014
Highland Park, IL

Membership Meeting

May 5th
Detroit Area
Watch your inbox!

NYC Talking Points with
Ambassador Danny Ayalon
March 27
New York City
Watch your inbox!

4th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
Spring 2014
Chicago, IL

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

People You Should Know  


This week we highlight Representative Brad Schneider who is running for reelection in Illinois' 10th District. A JAC member and strong proponent of our issues, Rep. Schneider is facing stiff competition from former Rep. Bob Dold, who he defeated in 2012 for the seat.

JAC strongly supports Brad Schneider's reelection.

We are also closely watching Ann Callis for Illinois' 13th district. Former Chief Illinois Judge Ann Callis is challenging US Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) and is making great progress building grass roots support throughout her district. She is a strong supporter of reproductive rights and favors expanded background checks for gun owners. JAC strongly supports Ann Callis for Congress.
Senators Who Stayed
 Up All Night 
Climate Change Action Force
30 Senators stayed up all night discussing climate change and how to fight it on the floor of the Senate.

JAC strongly supports addressing climate change today and making the world safe for future generations - l'dor v'dor.

JAC thanks these senators for their commitment and action!

Follow the link below, find your Senator, and thank them for actively working for Tikun Olam - repairing the world.

"In January, a group of 18 Senators launched the Climate Action Task Force to bring more attention to the issue of climate change. Starting Monday, 28 Senators are leading an all-night session of speeches on climate change in one of the task force's first major endeavors."

This International Woman's Day, call your Senator and urge them to PASS the International Violence Against Women Act.
Your voice DOES make a difference.
Call today. 
(202) 224-3121
Stay informed,
share your knowledge.

See JAC's Action Alerts
Why It Matters:
Primary Elections 

Get registered, show up, bring others, vote!

It is election season and that means the primary in your state is not far off. Why bother, you ask? Because primary elections determine who is on the general election ballot. If you don't show up, if you do not cast your vote, your candidate just may not be on the ballot come November.

Far right-wing groups make a point of getting out the vote for primaries, and as a result have been successful in getting extreme candidates whose interests favor corporations and special interests on the ballot and into local, state, and national office. As our rights are being eroded - reproductive freedom, environmental protections, education, separation of religion and state, voters rights, immigration, climate change, the social safety net are all under attack - we must show up every time because

 Election Matters.

Follow this link to find out about the primaries in your state and make sure your registration is current.

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On Our Radar

Federal Legislation we are watching:

* US-Israel Strategic Partnership
* Sexual Assault in the Military
* Federal 20-week abortion ban
* Voting Rights Act
* Unemployment Benefits
* Paycheck Fairness
* Immigration Reform 
* Farm Bill - food aid (SNAP)
* HR 1565 - Public Safety &  
   2nd Amendment Rights Act


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!


Capricia Marshall,  

 former Chief of Protocol for the United States 


Step up and be counted!

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 
gazaGaza terrorists bombard southern Israel in massive rocket attack
Dozens of rockets as well as mortar rounds were fired from the Gaza Strip Wednesday at southern Israeli towns. Hours later the IDF fired tank shells at what it termed "terror targets" in the Strip.

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

Israel-Palestinian 'mistrust' at highest levels: Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the level of mistrust between Israelis and Palestinians was the highest he had ever seen. But he insisted that he was hopeful of reaching "some kind of understanding of the road forward" as he seeks to nail down a framework to guide the stuttering Middle East peace talks.

Don't Be Fooled. Hezbollah Is Bigger and Badder Than Ever

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

Just across Israel's northern border, the world's most dangerous terror group is getting stronger by the day.

Read Full Article

Op-Ed: Beating back the assault on Israel's legitimacy

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

Leaders of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement say they are protesting Israel's policies in the West Bank. They are doing far more than that. BDS advocates routinely oppose a two-state solution and seek to delegitimize the sovereign, Jewish State of Israel. In some cases, BDS becomes the latest form of anti-Semitism. 

Read Full Article

Iran-Hamas Arms Ship Docks in Eilat

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
After over a week at sea, IDF soldiers have reached Israel's shores. They stopped Iran's weapons shipment and kept Israeli citizens safe from terror. 
IDF Soldiers Return Home After Stopping Iranian Weapons Shipment
IDF Soldiers Return Home After Stopping Iranian Weapons Shipment
See Full Video 
Reproductive Rights
No, Free Birth Control Doesn't Encourage Women To Have Risky Sex
Providing women with access to no-cost contraception doesn't spur them to make riskier sexual choices, according to a large study published in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal this week. The researchers who collected the data noted that their results should dispel social conservatives' fears that the risk of pregnancy is "the only thing standing between women and promiscuity."

When anti-women rhetoric reaches new depths
At CPAC over the weekend, Republican strategist Kate Obenshain offered her party some reasonable advice about addressing the gender gap between the major parties. "We cannot have any stupid comments this year. No stupid comments," she said. "Please think before you make pithy, obnoxious comments." Some continue to ignore this advice. 

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
michiganMichigan's 'Rape Insurance' Abortion Rider Law Goes Into Effect Today

Starting Thursday in Michigan, a woman must purchase an additional insurance policy if she wants reimbursement for an abortion, unless her life is at stake. The new law drops coverage of most abortions from existing policies -- even to terminate a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. Women who buy their own individual policies, rather than getting coverage through an employer-based plan, won't be able to purchase the additional coverage, called an abortion rider, from Michigan insurers.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Read Full Article 
For Too Many, Accessing Abortion Is Already an 'Undue Burden'

In the four months since the Roberts Court refused to block a U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to allow the admitting privileges portion of HB 2, the massive Texas anti-abortion omnibus bill, to take effect while its legal challenge proceeded, at least 19 abortion clinics in the state have closed, including the last abortion clinic between Houston, Texas, and the Louisiana border.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Separation of Religion & State
hobbylobby4 Basic Facts To Remember Before The Supreme Court Hears A Major Case About Birth Control
Later this month, the highest court in the United States will hear two religious challenges to Obamacare's contraceptive coverage requirement. The owners of two for-profit companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, are arguing that they should be exempt from providing this type of coverage to their female employees because they have religious objections to birth control.
A federal judge has ruled a planned war memorial violates the separation of church and state.

A federal judge has ruled a planned war memorial for a baseball stadium in Lake Elsinore, Calif., violates the separation of church and state.

Read more here:
Political Byte
ncsenateMeet The Right-Wing Doctor Who Could Cost Republicans A Senate Seat

The upcoming U.S. Senate election in North Carolina just got a bit more interesting - and a lot more perilous for Republicans.

On Thursday, Republican candidate Greg Brannon received an effusive endorsement from Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), one of the leaders of the Tea Party's delegation on Capitol Hill.

GOP Senate Hopeful Paul Broun Makes Assault Weapon Giveaways A Hallmark Of His Campaign

A Republican Senate hopeful in Georgia is making the calculation that nothing gets primary voters more fired-up than free gun giveaways. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) announced Wednesday that he's launching a second assault weapon raffle in his campaign for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.).

Read Full Article


Who Scares Democrats More Than the Koch Brothers? Nate Silver.

For the last few months, FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver has been largely absent from the political forecasting scene he owned in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

But that hasn't stopped the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from sending at least 11 fundraising emails featuring Silver in the subject line over the past four months, even as Silver was building the foundation for his new website that's launching Monday and was not writing regularly.

Read Full Article

GOP peddles snake oil about Florida election: Lessons from last night's race

When I proposed that Republicans plan to use their structural advantage this election cycle to claim a mandate to destroy Obamacare, no matter how much or little Obamacare actually helps them in the November Senate elections, I was met with howls of mockery and derision from people who must now pretend to be unaware that there was a Democratic landslide in 2008 - and that everyone who follows politics seriously has known 2014 would be a rough year for Democrats since Obama's first election.

Read Full Article

Beyond the Core
campusshootingI Survived a Campus Shooting  
In the past 10 years, at least 78 people have been killed by gunfire on 27 college campuses, and many states are trying to make it easier to bring weapons to school. Survivors of one of the nation's most notorious school shootings tell how it really feels when guns come to class.

Facebook tightens policies on posts about illegal gun sales 
Under intensifying pressure from gun control groups and New  York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman, Facebook is tightening its policies to make it more difficult for people to illegally sell or trade guns on Facebook and Instagram, particularly to minors.
The giant social network will block minors from seeing posts about gun sales and trades, the company said Wednesday.
Read Full Article

Citizenship For Unauthorized Immigrants Helps Everyone
We know by now about the huge number of economic benefits associated with comprehensive immigration reform - and that Congressional inaction has carried a heavy cost. House Republicans have stalled the legislation passed by the Senate, in part due to their opposition to a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants. But as our colleagues at the Center for American Progress show in a new infographic, allowing unauthorized immigrants to become citizens brings a whole host of economic benefits for all Americans..
Read Full Article


Wounded Ukrainian protesters airlifted to Israel for medical treatment

For 17-year-old Bolodimir Bedyuk, a Ukrainian who was severely wounded in clashes with Ukrainian police on Feb. 18, Israeli medical care may be his only hope. After a pitched battle with Ukrainian police forces on Institutskaya Street in Kiev, Bedyuk suffered chest wounds and extensive liver damage.
Read Full Article

Holocaust survivor Leo Bretholz shares his story

In 1942, Leo Bretholz managed to pry open the bars of a French train bound for Auschwitz and jump out before it reached the France-Germany border. This weekend, his timing was not so fortunate. Bretholz, 93, died Saturday, a few days before he was to testify on behalf of a Maryland bill making railroad firms accountable for their actions during the Holocaust.

Read Full Article

Meet the Jewish Bachelorette: Andi Dorfman

If you haven't been watching the latest season of "The Bachelor," you've probably never heard of Andi Dorfman. That's about to change.The Jewish assistant district attorney from Atlanta has just been named the next Bachelorette, People Magazine reports.

purim9,000 year-old masks go on display in Jerusalem
 9,000 year-old masks are on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The exhibition called "Face To Face" shows eleven stone masks, said to have been discovered in the Judean desert and hills near Jerusalem, which date back 9,000 years and offer a rare glimpse at some of civilization's first communal rituals.
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 

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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.