JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

June 6, 2014 

Thank you to everyone who Stepped Up at our
4th Annual Power of Women Luncheon and made it a stupendous success!
JAC Around Town
aroundthecountryJAC met with elected officials, candidates and leaders around the country.

JAC met with Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) in Chicago for a great discussion. (l to r: Lisa Lavin, Tiffany Keane, Rep. Esty, Talia Rosen, Susan Berk, Joy Malkus, Renee Kahn, Nancy Levun, Hollis Wein.)

JAC met with Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and  Dick Durbin (D-IL) in Chicago.  (l to r: Hollis Wein, Linda Rae Sher, Senator Pryor, Senator Durbin, Dana Gordon, Joy Malkus)

JAC members attended the When Women Succeed America Succeeds Rally in Chicago.

JAC's Dana Gordon spoke to interns at the Schneider for Congress office about the importance of being involved in the political process and making a difference.

   Call TARGET and tell them no one needs GUNS to buy COOKIES.


Open-carry in their stores  does NOT make for
family-friendly shopping. 

Sign the petition today requesting Target implement common sense gun policies in their stores.

#gunsense #notonemore
Stay informed,
share your knowledge.

Upcoming JAC Events

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

Candidate Events 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
June 9th
Chicago, IL

Senator Jeanne Shaheen
June 13th
Chicago, IL

Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
June 16th
Chicago, IL

Women for Brad Schneider
with special guest
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
June 22nd
Highland Park, IL

Michelle Nunn
Senate Candidate for GA
June 25th
Chicago, IL

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
June 27th
Chicago, IL 

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

People You Should Know

Bruce Braley 

This week we focus on Iowa, where 4-term Representative Bruce Braley is running for the open Senate seat of retiring JAC friend

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA).  


Braley has been an excellent vote on JAC issues during his years in the House and would be a strong pro-Israel, pro-choice Senator. He traveled with The American Israel Education Foundation to see with his own eyes the dynamics at play in creating Middle East peace, security challenges i Syria and Iran, and other issues.



As a strong proponent of all of JAC's issues, we strongly support Bruce Braley for Senate.    

Please support him today.   



On Our Radar

Federal Legislation
we are watching:

* US-Israel Strategic 

* 2015 Appropriations 
* Federal 20-week abortion
* Voting Rights Act
* Unemployment Benefits
* Paycheck Fairness
* Immigration Reform 
* Senate Confirmation of Surgeon
   General Nominee Vivek Murthy
* HR 1565 - Public Safety &
   2nd Amendment Rights

Why It Matters:
The only real way to make your voice heard this election season is to

Click on the button below
to make voting as easy as possible. Check your state voting dates, your registration status, new laws in your
state that effect voting rights - all in one easy to use location.

Then take the ple
dge to vote and get your friends to, as well! This November, we will ALL make our voices and our votes heard.

Visit Us Online  
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 
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 
PAunityObama administration to work with Palestinian unity government 
President Barack Obama's administration said on Monday it plans to work with and fund the new Palestinian unity government, and Israel immediately voiced its disappointment with the decision also criticized by some U.S. lawmakers.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Israel approves 1,800 more West Bank homes

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

The Israeli government on Thursday ordered officials to move forward with plans for another 1,800 settler homes, just hours after issuing tenders for 1,500 housing units, an official said. Israel said the move was in direct response to the establishment of a new Palestinian unity government, backed by the Islamist Hamas movement which calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Read Full Article

Shimon Peres And Mahmoud Abbas To Have 'Intense' Prayer Session At Vatican

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

Pope Francis is set to lead an unprecedented "intense prayer session" with both Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Vatican on Sunday. Both have taken up the pontiff on this unlikely meeting, which the Vatican has stressed is for spiritual reasons only, and not an attempt to mediate in stalling peace negotiations. The Middle East leaders will be accompanied by imams, rabbis, and a top Orthodox leader, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew.

Read Full Article

Israel solves water woes with desalination

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

After experiencing its driest winter on record, Israel is responding as never before - by doing nothing. While previous droughts have been accompanied by impassioned public service advertisements to conserve, this time around it has been greeted with a shrug - thanks in large part to an aggressive desalination program that has transformed this perennially parched land into perhaps the most well-hydrated country in the region.

Read Full Article
Hadera Desalination Plant, Photo Credit Israel 21C

As Presbyterians again weigh divestment, Jewish groups lobby, warn and worry 

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

Which way will Presbyterians go this time?

That's a question Jewish groups and their Presbyterian allies are nervously asking as they work to head off divestment efforts within the church targeting Israel. The fear is the efforts could pass this time after a narrow defeat two years ago.

A successful divestment vote at the biennial Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly this month could precipitate a rupture between the mainline Protestant denomination and the Jewish community, they warn.

Read Full Article

Engaging Israel and key Arab states for peace

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

David Ignatius ["Concord in the Mideast," op-ed, May 28] deserves praise for facilitating the public encounter between former top intelligence officials from Israel and Saudi Arabia, where they discussed the potential of the Arab Peace Initiative.

Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
contraceptionContraception opponents aren't backing down
The Supreme Court has not yet ruled whether corporations are people that can drop birth control coverage for their employees, but conservative efforts against birth control are continuing apace. In Ohio, for example, Republican lawmakers are advancing a proposal to make it illegal for a private insurance company to cover abortions, even in cases of rape, incest and when pregnancy threatens a mother's life. The Columbus Dispatch's report added, however, that the state legislation doesn't stop there.
Things are about to go from bad to worse in Oklahoma: Governor signs off on Texas-style abortion restrictions

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who supports state-sanctioned torture but doesn't support affordable healthcare, has signed a measure that will likely shutter two of the state's three remaining abortion clinics and deny Oklahomans comprehensive reproductive healthcare because "culture of life." As is the case in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and elsewhere in the country, these barriers to access will hit low-income people, people of color and people living in rural areas the hardest. Oklahoma is already a low-access state, with just one clinic for every 1 million residents. These measures will make it pretty much a no-access state..   

Read Full Article  

Wisconsin Abortion Clinics Are In Serious Danger, All Four Of Them 
As admitting privileges laws threaten to close dozens of abortion clinics across the South, a similar fate may be on its way up north in Wisconsin. A U.S. District Judge heard arguments this week on a Wisconsin law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital - a provision that abortion providers say will shutter their clinics. Currently, there are only four abortion clinics left in Wisconsin.
For Peace Corps Volunteers, Equal Abortion Rights Aren't Part of the Job

"Congressional mandate has prohibited the Peace Corps from paying for abortions for volunteers under any circumstances-including to protect the life of the woman or in cases of rape or incest-since the 1970s," a spokeswoman for the organization said in an email to Glamour.com. "Peace Corps volunteers deserve the same standard of care as nearly all other federal employees and military service members. The Peace Corps seeks basic equality and fairness for its volunteers."

Read Full Article   


One Doctor Exposes The Lie At The Heart Of Abortion Opponents' Strategy

Abortion opponents have gained significant ground over the past several years, as harsh anti-choice laws have swept the nation and dozens of clinics have been forced to close their doors. One of the primary reasons that anti-choice activists have been so successful is because they have effectively framed these state-level restrictions in terms of "women's health and safety," claiming that abortion clinics need to be better regulated to ensure that women are getting the best quality care. But the individuals who spend their lives working to protect women's health - the doctors who specialize in reproductive issues - see right through that claim.

Read Full Article 

Separation of Religion & State
creatoinmuseumKen Ham's dinosaur boat isn't receiving $43 million in tax incentives from Kentucky, and might not receive any

This week, Rachel Maddow ventured back into the bluegrass for a segment highlighting The Shame of Kentucky: Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis, creators of the Creation "Museum" - now featuring a white supremacist's fossil - and the proposed Ark Encounter theme park, which will feature the story of a 600-year old man herding T-Rexes onto a giant boat a few thousand years ago as historical and scientific truth.
Read Full Article

Mesa school board reinstates prayer before meetings    

Last fall, Mesa Public Schools received a letter from a national organization requesting prayers before the start of public school board meetings be removed and threatened a lawsuit if that action wasn't taken. Like many deliberative bodies wanting to avoid possible costly litigation, members of the governing board voted to replace formal prayer with a moment of silence.

Read Full Article

House OKs bill on religion rules in schools    

Legislation designed to make clear how North Carolina public school students and teachers may participate in religious activities or expression has passed the state House by a wide margin following lengthy debate over faith and constitutional rights. The House voted 106-9 Wednesday night in favor of the measure, which is just one Senate vote away from heading to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk. The Senate unanimously approved an earlier version last year..

Beyond the Core
5 Major Supreme Court Cases Coming Up This June

Two years ago, upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Last year, ruling the federal ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, but dealing a major blow to the Voting Rights Act. It's SCOTUS season again-when the Supreme Court of the United States issues its decisions on the constitutionality some of the most controversial cases of the year. Ian Millhiser, the Editor at Think Progress Justice, goes into depth about some of the decisions this year that could change America. Here's our rundown of five critical cases. 

Read Full Article


NRA's constitutional fraud: The truth behind the "right to bear arms"

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=cpy
The notion that the framers meant for every nut to have unlimited guns is a sham. Here's the little-known reality.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=c
Santa Barbara rabbi on front lines in wake of deadly rampage

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

Santa Barbara Hillel executive director Rabbi Evan Goodman's and his staff have been on call consoling and counseling students around the clock since last Friday evening, following a murderous rampage that took place in part just a short block away from the Jewish student organization's building in Isla Vista. 

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

CPS investigating allegations of anti-Semitic bullying

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

Chicago Public Schools officials say they're investigating allegations of anti-Semitic bullying by Ogden International School eighth-grade students, suspending the ringleaders and hosting two forums for parents at the West Town school.

But the mother of the 14-year-old boy who was told to get into an oven and put on striped pajamas, as concentration camp prisoners were made to do, still was upset Thursday, saying the district isn't doing enough to address the racism behind the bullying.

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

Watch: The infuriating irony of GOP climate denial

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=cpy
The Republican party has gotten itself into a bit of a pickle. It very much wants us to ignore all those things scientists are saying about the climate changing, but it has no real evidence to present to the contrary. When others challenge the GOP worldview, the retort of choice has become: "I'm not a scientist." In other words, while Republicans are qualified to disavow science, they're not qualified to tell you why. The irony is staggering.

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

Yes, All Men, by Charles Blow 

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

As I drove my son back to college last week, where he'll take a summer chemistry course, he said something that struck me: "I believe it's very important for everyone to be a feminist." He didn't say it for effect, to shock or provoke conversation. It was just one of those thoughts that surface on a road trip, a kind of sorting out of life by a son before his father.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=c
Political Byte
On The Road With 15 Congresswomen Trying To Get Women To Vote
The camaraderie among the congresswomen was evident as they barreled through Massachusetts on a bus with a giant slogan splashed on the side: "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds." At each stop of the tour, which started in Seneca Falls, N.Y., and ended in Chicago on Wednesday, the lawmakers would pile out of the bus and talk to a gathering of mostly women voters about what's at stake in the November midterm elections, including Democrat-sponsored proposals like equal pay legislation, paid family and medical leave, expanding affordable childcare for working parents and raising the minimum wage.

Some of the hottest congressional campaigns do battle in California

Republican first-time candidate and a Democratic state senator from the South Bay emerged from Tuesday's primary as the two fall contenders to succeed retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) in a liberal, wealthy, Westside-dominated congressional district.
Read Full Article

Michael Boggs Changes Tune On Abortion Controversy

Michael Boggs raised some eyebrows during his Senate confirmation hearing last month when he defended his vote for a contentious abortion measure, saying he'd never heard of doctors being killed by radical anti-abortion protesters. But now, he's changing his tune.Boggs, a former Georgia state legislator who President Barack Obama has tapped for a lifetime post on the federal bench, told the Senate Judiciary Committee he wasn't aware of the public safety risks posed by a 2001 amendment that would have required doctors who perform abortions to post their personal information and the number of abortions they performed online. In fact, Boggs said he'd never even heard of a health clinic being attacked or an abortion provider being murdered.

Israelis develop first blood test for breast cancer 

After eight years of painstaking research, Israeli life-sciences company Eventus Diagnostics (EventusDx) has produced a blood test for the early detection of breast cancer.

The Octava Pink test is now available in Israel and Italy, and is undergoing clinical trials to receive US Food and Drug Administration approval.

The Rolling Stones: It's only rock & roll but Tel Aviv loved it 

Playing nonstop for two hours, the legendary British band easily won the crowd with their first appearance in Israel. Seventy-year-old singer Mick Jagger had them at "Erev tov, hag Shavuot sameach," ("Good evening, happy Shavuot"), his greeting to the 50,000 fans crammed in the sold-out park on a sweltering Tel Aviv night following the band's opening song, "Start Me Up."

Read Full Article

New melon is sweet like Justin Timberlake 

Citing its superior sweetness and long shelf life, Israeli farmers have honored singer Justin Timberlake with a melon named for him. The Ein Yahav agriculturists say the Justin fruit - a cantaloupe-like yellow on the outside, orange on the inside melon - shares the singer's performance power.

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 

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.