JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

April 25, 2014 

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

JAC went to The University of Chicago for a Politico Event. (l-r: Jim VandeHei, Susan Glasser, and Mike Allen)

JAC Staff Member Hollis Wein shows her support for Senator Brian Schatz in Hawaii

Invitations went out for our 4th annual Power of Women Luncheon!
Be sure to join us June 3rd!
(Susan Berk and JAC President Janna Berk )

Upcoming JAC Events

Membership Breakfast
featuring a political forum 
May 5th
Detroit Area 
Watch your inbox!

Leading the Way:
Jewish Women's Voices in Politics
May 7th
Glencoe, IL
sponsored by the
JAC Education Foundation in conjunction with NCJW

4th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
June 3rd
Chicago, IL

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

Candidate Events 

Jan Schakowsky's
13th Annual Women's Power Lunch
with special guest
Lizz Winstead
May 5th
Sit at the JAC Table!
Chicago, IL

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

People You Should Know

Mary Landrieu

This week we focus on Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Americans for Prosperity has been running negative attack adds against the senator for supporting the Affordable Healthcare Act.  


As a strong proponent of all of JAC's issues, we strongly support Senator Mary Landrieu.    

Please support her today.  

  Tell the Senate it's time to finish the job. 

Call your senator and demand Brady Background checks on all gun sales.

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:
Voting Rights   
A new report looks at voting laws across the country.

Voting Access has been expanded in the following states.
Key Facts:
  • 190 laws to expand voting access have been introduced in 31 states in 2014
  • 12 of those bills are legislatively active in 7 states: California, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, and Washington 
  • More Americans will have the ability to make their voices heard in the 2014 elections in these states 

Voting Access has been restricted in the following states

Key Facts:

  • At least 49 restrictive bills were introduced or carried over from 2013 in 19 states
  • Of those, 5 restrictive bills are legislatively active in 4 states - Nebraska, New Hampshire, Washington, and Wisconsin
  • If passed, fewer Americans will be able to cast ballots in the 2014 election and be disenfranchised from our democracy. 

Have you checked the voting laws in your state? Changes are happening in these key areas:

  • Early voting access
  • Early voting duration
  • Voter ID requirements
  • College student voting
  • Absentee ballot requirements
  • Vote by mail options
  • Voter roll purging 
For more details on recent laws, check out the
Brennan Center for Justice 


Check your registration status with your local county clerk or the
Election Assistance Commission 


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This week's issue highlights these key developments here and in the Middle East:
  • Israel formally suspends talks with Palestinians
  • Gov. Bryant of Mississippi signs bill banning abortions at 20-weeks or more gestation, without exception for rape or incest 
  • Iowa signs theocracy into law, ending separation between church and state
  • What Georgia's extreme new gun law allows
  • Senators turn attention to College Sexual Assault Reform after Military Reform Battles. 
  • Democrats Hagen, Nunn, and Grimes among big winners in Senate campaign fundraising
  • 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 
Israel formally suspends talks with Palestinians
Israel formally suspended peace talks with the Palestinian Authority over the P.A.'s national unity accord signed with the Hamas authority in the Gaza Strip. "The Cabinet today unanimously decided that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for Israel's destruction," said a statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released Thursday afternoon.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
The Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniya, center, and Azzam al-Ahmad, left, a senior Fatah official who headed the P.L.O delegation to Gaza, at a news conference on Wednesday in Gaza City.
Photo by Wissam Nassar for The New York Times

Palestinian Rivals Announce Unity Pact, Drawing U.S. and Israeli Rebuke

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

The faltering Middle East peace process was thrown into further jeopardy on Wednesday, with Israel and the United States harshly condemning a new deal announced by feuding Palestinian factions, including the militant group Hamas to repair their seven year rift.

Read Full Article

Passports Aside, Jerusalem is in Israel

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

In 2002, at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, an American citizen named Naomi Zivotofsky gave birth to another American citizen, Menachem Zivotofsky. It is the strong belief of both Naomi and her husband, Menachem's father, Ari, that the Shaare Zedek Medical Center is located in the state of Israel. So when the Zivotofskys received Menachem's U.S. passport, they were disturbed to see that his birthplace was listed as simply "Jerusalem," not "Jerusalem, Israel."

Read Full Article

The real "Jewish State" Story

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Israel is a Jewish state- or the nation-state of the Jewish people- by virtue of having been established by a United Nation resolution on two states, one Jewish and one Arab, and because self-determination is rooted in the law of nations, and finally because it's the self-determination of the major it of Israel's citizens. Israel does not need Palestinian recognition of its Jewish character by the Palestinians? is their authorization really necessary?
Read Full Article

Iran sweeps coveted UN rights posts

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
The United Nations elected the Islamic Republic of Iran and more than a dozen other repressive regimes to top committees charged with protected women's rights and with overseeing the work of human rights organizations, according to an exclusive report by UN Watch, a non-governmental Geneva-based human rights group.
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
Gov. Bryant signs 20-week abortion ban
Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi has signed a bill that bans abortions at 20 weeks or more gestation, without exception of rape or incest.


People wait in-line to enter the U.S. Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in Washington, DC.
Photo by Alex Wong for Getty Images
Abortion at the heart of Ohio speech case

The Supreme Court will consider Tuesday whether an anti-abortion group can challenge an Ohio law that could have restricted it from publicly accusing a political candidate of voting for taxpayer-funded abortions in Obamacare. The justices aren't likely to decide whether the law chills free speech-although Susan B. Anthony List and even the Ohio attorney general say that it does. They're instead being asked to decide whether SBA List has standing to challenge the law since the group was never prosecuted under it.

Read Full Article 


Judge to rule within 90 days whether abortion law should be blocked

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is asking a judge to issue an order saying at 2012 law requires doctors to be present when they give women abortion pills, but not when the women take the pills.

Read Full Article 

Separation of Religion & State
GOP Candidate says Christians must pull their kids out of 'Godless' Public Schools
A South Carolina candidate for lieutenant governor thinks Christian parents should pull their children out of the "godless" and "pagan" public school system. Addressing a crowd at an April 12 rally in Charleston, Republician E. Ray Moore said Christians currently face a culture war caused by the non religious teachings of public schools.

Iowa signs Theocracy into law, ending separation between Church and State

The state or Iowa has officially made their state a theocracy after ending the separation of church and state by signing a document that declares all nations must submit to the 'providence of almighty God" and that there will not be an official Christian "day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer" for Iowan's each year on July 14th. The idea comes from what has been described as a "fringe group" of fundamentalist Christians called "Prayer 7--14-14."

Read Full Article 




Hobby Lobby's Steve Green launches a new project: a public school Bible curriculum

In Mustang, Oklahoma, the school board voted April 14th to adopt a Bible course developed by Steve Green, clearing the way for the Hobby Lobby President, whose suit against the Affordable Care Act is currently before the U. S. Supreme Court, to enter another charged area at the borderline of church and state.

Read Full Article 

Beyond the Core
What Georgia's 'Extreme' New Gun Law Allows
Goerigia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a new gun law Wednesday that greatly expands the number of public places where licensed owners are allowed to carry their weapons. Critics have called the law "extreme", while the NRA lauded it as an "historic victory to the Second Amendment". What does the Safe Carry Protection Act really do? Here's a brief list of the major changes ahead for Georgians when the law takes effect July 1st.

Read Full Article


Running out of time

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=cpy

Next year, in December, delegates from more than 190 nations will gather in Paris to take another shot at completing a new global treaty on climate change. This will be the 21st Conference of the Parties under United Nations auspices since the first summit meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=c

Political Byte
Voters line up to show identification before casting ballots at Deliverance Tabernacle Church of the Nazarene in Miami, On Election Day, Nov. 6th, 2012
Photo by Maggie Steber for The New York Times
Florida quits controversial voter 'purge' program
Florida has ditched a controversial GOP-backed program aimed at catching voters who are registered in multiple states, which some voting rights advocates say can make it easier for eligible voters to be wrongly purged from the rolls.


Senators turn attention to College Sexual Reform after Military reform battles

On Tuesday, Sen. Claire MCcaskill (D-Mo.) announced an "unprecedented," extensive survey sent out to 350 college and university-- public, private non-profit and private for-profit-- to gather information about how the institutions handle sexual assault cases.

Read Full Article

Democrats Hagen, Nunn, and Grimes among big winners in senate campaign fundraising.

Donors gave big money to a trio of Democratic women running in battleground U.S. Senate races between January and March, a much needed jolt of energy for Senate Democrats looking at an increasingly difficult path to holding their fragile majority in the midterm elections.

Read Full Article


Israeli researcher makes important brain cancer discovery after Mother dies of the disease

Often the biggest leaps forward in human medicine come as the result of personal tragedies. An Israeli researcher at the hadassah Hebrew University School of Medicine, whose mother passed away of brain cancer, has found glioblastoma.

Growing: Israeli innovation in the US

Israeli startups get mentored in UpWest labs, a Silivon Balley high accelerator founded just for them.

Pro-Palestinian activists leave 'eviction' notices for Jewish NYU students

A pro-Palestinian NYU group targeted Jewish classmates with threatening "eviction" notices that were slid under dorm-room doors in the dead of night, students said Thursday.


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.