JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

March 21, 2014 

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

JAC strongly supports Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) for Senate!

Atlanta JAC member Lois Frank delivering support to Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

JAC met with Alison Lundergan Grimes, Senate candidate for Kentucky. (pictured l-r: Linda Rae Sher, Anne Oppenheimer, Secertary Lundergan Grimes, and Joy Malkus)

Upcoming JAC Events

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

Membership Meeting

May 5th
Detroit Area
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.  

Candidate Events 

Reception for
Michelle Nunn
GA Senate Candidate
March 24, 2014
Chicago, IL

Reception for
Bruce Braley (D-IA)
IA Senate Candidate
March 31st
Chicago, IL
details to follow

Reception for
Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
April 7th
West Palm Beach, FL

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

People You Should Know  

This week we highlight Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) who is running for reelection. She is facing heavily financed opposition with extreme views. Her opponents have said:
  • Planned Parenthood has a secret plan to kill babies
  • Federal food programs "enslave people"
  • Evolution and the big bang theory are "lies from straight from the pit of hell." 

There is no place for these extreme views in Washington. JAC strongly supports Senator Hagan's reelection. Help us support her today.

We are also closely watching Rep. Gary Peters' race for the open Senate seat from Michigan. Facing fierce opposition from far-right Terri Lynn Hand, the latest attack from MI Right to Life dragged Rep. Peters' daughters into the fray. This is inexcusable.


JAC strongly supports Gary Peters for Senate. Show his opponents such attacks will not work.

  The NRA has no place in blocking the
US Surgeon General! 

  Call your Senator and tell them you support
Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination for Surgeon General.

Don't let the NRA dictate our country's health program!

Your voice DOES make a difference.
Call today.
(202) 224-3121 
Stay informed,
share your knowledge.

See JAC's Action Alerts



On Our Radar

Federal Legislation we are watching:

* US-Israel Strategic 
* Federal 20-week abortion
* Voting Rights Act
* Unemployment Benefits
* Paycheck Fairness
* Immigration Reform 
* HR 1565 - Public Safety &
   2nd Amendment Rights

Why It Matters:
ACA Sign-Up Ends March 31  

Get March Madness 
Get Covered and fill out your bracket!

What are the top reasons for getting covered?
  • Women can't be charged more than men
  • Being uninsured is scary
  • Because accidents happen
  • Birth control is free
  • Insurance companies can't discriminate
  • No lifetime limits
  • It will give your mom peace of mind
  • It's the smart thing to do

See these and more, vote for your favorite, then get signed up!



Deadline is March 31st!





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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!


Mark your calendars today!


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 
PA President Abbas and President Obama. Source: White House
Obama urges Abbas to accept guidelines for peace talks
President Obama urged Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas on Monday to accept guidelines for new talks with Israel ahead of a key deadline, while acknowledging the difficulties of reaching a deal.

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

jewishstateWhy Abbas thinks Jewish state is a 'delusional myth'

A major obstacle blocking progress toward an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's demand and PA President Mahmoud Abbas's refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The Jerusalem Post reported this week that US Secretary of State John Kerry thinks Israel's demand is a mistake. The question is: Why are both sides so concerned about that which is already accepted internationally?

Study: Civil defenses cut 86% of deaths from Gaza rockets

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

The thousands of Palestinian rockets fired at southern Israeli towns from the Gaza Strip over the years would have caused an average of seven times more casualties had Israel not developed a set of effective, life-saving civil defenses, a new study has found.

Read Full Article

High alert on Syrian border: 'Next attack is only a matter of time'

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

The attack against IDF troops near the Syrian border on Tuesday is another stage in the general escalation in the tense relations between Israel and Hezbollah, the organization which may be responsible for planting an explosive that injured four Israeli soldiers, one of whom is in serious condition

Read Full Article

Dennis Ross: Netanyahu, Obama at odds on Iran - and they're both right

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Dennis Ross says it makes no sense at this point for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to concede that Iran will be allowed to retain a uranium enrichment capability. Ross, who guided President Obama's Iran policy for the first three years of his administration, also says it was reasonable for the major powers, led by the Obama administration, to concede a degree of enrichment to the Iranians, even in the interim talks.
Read Full Article

Israel tightens aviation security as hijacking suspected in Malaysia flight disappearance

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
As the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 continues to baffle investigators and aviation experts, Israel is tightening security standards for any flights that enter its aerial territory, according to a report by Channel 2.
Read Full Article 
Reproductive Rights
rapistsBill To Block Rapists' Parental Rights Remains Stalled In Ohio Senate

In Ohio and 30 other states, a man who impregnates a woman through rape can successfully sue her for child custody and visitation rights. While there is a bill currently pending in the Ohio State Senate that would block attackers' parental rights, it has been stalled in the Criminal Justice Committee since it was introduced in January.

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

Lawmaker Accused Of Opposing Michigan's Rape Insurance Law To Keep Abortion 'Cheap For His Daughters'

"I'm proud to be the dad of two amazing teenage daughters, and I'm also proud of my record fighting to protect critical access to women's health care," Rep. Gary Peters said. "Women's health care is a serious and significant point of contrast in the U.S. Senate race, and it is outrageous that Land's allies would cheapen this debate and distort my support for women's health care... To include my teenage daughters in their attack crosses the line."

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

US judge strikes Arkansas' 12-week abortion ban

A federal judge Friday struck down Arkansas' attempt to ban most abortions beginning 12 weeks into a woman's pregnancy, saying viability, not a heartbeat, remains the key factor in determining whether abortions should be allowed.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
No, Low Income Texans Aren't Taking "Abortion Vacations"
Since the passage of HB 2, the Texas bill that not only banned abortion after 20 weeks post conception but also made it impossible to run a clinic that provides abortions unless it is a qualified ambulatory surgical center and houses a doctor with admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the building, the situation for those seeking an abortion in the state has grown dire. 

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
A Young Mother In Mississippi Could Face Life In Prison For Giving Birth To A Stillborn Child

Under a controversial law in Mississippi that allows the state to prosecute women for causing harm to a fetus, Rennie Gibbs could be sentenced to life in prison because her daughter never took a breath.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Separation of Religion & State
supremecourtQuote Round Up: Why the Supreme Court Must Protect Contraceptive Coverage
On March 25, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in cases that will decide whether business owners can use their personal religious beliefs to block their employees' birth control coverage. In this special edition of our monthly quote round up, we take a look at the key issues before the court.
Read Full Article
45 Religious Orgs Back 'Universal Access To Contraception'

Forty-five nationally known religious organizations want the Supreme Court to uphold Obamacare's requirement that employer insurance plans cover birth control without co-pays, calling it a "moral good."

Read more here:
Read Full Article

Louisiana Public School Finds Out It Can't Force Christianity on Students 

The strange saga of a Louisiana school district and the Buddhist student its officials allegedly drove away in the name of Christianity came to an end last Friday. A federal court's order set new rules about how the school district must conduct itself and provided some financial relief for the student's family.

Read more here:
Political Byte
Are women in Texas too busy to worry about equal pay?
One of the ideas that emerged out of what has been a year of soul searching for the GOP as it addresses the gender gap that has haunted  them at the polls is to promote women. The effort includes having women be the face of conservative policies and creating outside organizations that specifically speak to women and the issues that are important to them. Equal pay is one such issue, and it is cropping up in races across the country, especially those in which women are running against men.
Read Full Article
Washington's 10 Most Powerful Women (Source: Elle Magazine)

Elle: D.C.'s 10 most powerful women

Fashion magazine ELLE is taking a look at the world inside the  Beltway this month, naming the 10 most powerful women in D.C.

Read Full Article


voterfraudThe secret to defeating GOP's restrictive voting laws: Debunk "voter fraud"

Growing up in Jim Crow Arkansas, Bill Clinton saw how the state's dominant political and racial elite maintained power by suppressing the rights of minority voters who threatened its authority - and as a young activist, worked to bring down that illegitimate power structure. So when Clinton says, "There is no greater assault on our core values than the rampant efforts to restrict the right to vote" - as he does in a new video released by the Democratic National Committee - the former president knows of what he speaks.

Read Full Article

Beyond the Core
Obama turns to women's economic issues

President Obama will kick off a new springtime effort on women's economic issues with a trip to Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday, where he'll discuss efforts to expand female higher education access. The trip is the first in a series of events focusing on ways the president and federal government could help shrink the pay disparity between men and women, and improve female employment numbers.

Read Full Article

surgeongeneralThe Surgeon General Does Not Need the NRA's Approval 
Since he was nominated to be Surgeon General earlier this year, Dr. Vivek Murthy has been criticized for statements he has made regarding guns and the dangers they pose to public health. Bellyaching from the NRA and Gun Owners of America has given unfortunate pause to common sense in Congress.
Read Full Article
Gun control supporters turn to new

The American gun control movement is going corporate. Still reeling from the stinging legislative defeats of 2013, proponents of tougher firearm regulations are increasingly turning their focus to private sector campaigns.

Kansas, Arizona Laws Requiring Voters Prove Citizenship Upheld
Federal officials must help Kansas and Arizona enforce laws requiring new voters to document their U.S. citizenship, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, in a decision that could encourage other Republican-led states to consider similar policies.
Read Full Article

bdsChicago's Loyola University passes anti-Israel divestment resolution

The Unified Student Government Association of Chicago's Loyola University passed a resolution this week calling for the institution to divest itself from companies that do business in Israel. The resolution, proposed by the Loyola chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, passed Tuesday 26-0 with two abstentions. The measure specifically targets eight corporations that do business in the West Bank. Included on the divestment list are Caterpillar, Veolia, Hewlett-Packard and SodaStream.

The Historical Becomes Personal
Simon Schama on the Making of 'The Story of the Jews'

The five-hour PBS series "The Story of the Jews With Simon Schama" sweeps across some 3,000 years of Jewish history. But late last month, when the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan showed excerpts from the documentary, the post-screening questions for Mr. Schama didn't gravitate toward history, but toward current affairs.

Leave it Israelis to Reinvent the Wheel

When a broken pelvis put Israeli farmer and inventor Gilad Woolf into a wheelchair for a few weeks, the bumpy ride wreaked havoc on his back, and he determined to improve wheelchair design with a suspension system to absorb shock.

After his initial idea - a hydraulic air cushion in the seat, like those in tractors - proved unsuccessful, he made the audacious decision to reinvent the wheel.

Read Full Article

Gisela Kohn Dollinger, refugee who rescued husband from Gestapo, dies at 111

Gisela Kohn Dollinger tricked death twice. Soon after Kristallnacht, when she was 36, Dollinger persuaded the Gestapo to release her husband, rather than send him to a concentration camp, and the two of them fled Austria for Shanghai, where she almost died of typhus. After that, death seemed to forget all about her - until last week, when Dollinger passed away peacefully at Manhattan's Beth Israel Hospital. She was 111 years old.

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.