JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

August 1, 2014 

Melkamo, a young Israeli paratrooper in the IDF, speaks out about why Israel must defend its civilians, and how you can help make sure the world hears the truth about whats happening in Israel.

A Young Israeli Speaks Out About Gaza
A Young Israeli Speaks Out About Gaza

The Iron Dome is protecting thousands of Israeli's lives - every day - thanks to funding from Congress.


When you see your Member of Congress in your district over the Congressional break,  



Say THANK YOU for standing up for Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas' terrorist rockets and missiles.


Say THANK YOU for their support for a strong U.S.- Israel relationship. This bipartisan support is critical during this time of conflict.


Upcoming Events 
Talking Points HP
Israel Briefing
August 2014
Watch your inbox for details

2014 JAC Fly-in
Washington, DC
September 17-18th
 Register here

Call the JAC office for details on these and other upcoming events.

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

SEPT. 17-18


Barbeque with Rep. Brad Schneider
Northbrook, IL
August 12, 2014

Evening Reception with
Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Northbrook, IL
August 26th
For Details or to RSVP,
contact the JAC office at



This week we highlight Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), and Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) in their respective Senate races.  Begich and Braley have championed JAC's issues in both the Senate and Congress.  






Mark Begich, is facing a tough re-election campaign in Alaska.  The extreme right has targeted this race and is spending millions of dollars to try to defeat Begich. 



Begich has been a strong supporter of Israel, voting for increased Iron Dome funding and co-sponsoring the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act. We thank him for his continued support for Israel's right to self defense. 


As a first term Senator, Begich has been a leader in fighting for reproductive rights while his anti-choice opponent supported the recent Hobby Lobby decision denying contraception coverage to women. He has earned a 100 percent pro choice rating from NARAL.  He denounced the Hobby Lobby decision saying that the ruling takes away women's individual rights for the sake of corporations. "To have your boss tell you what kind of birth control you can have, I think is a big problem." 


He co-sponsored the Not My Boss Business Act, which would have made it illegal for any company to deny its workers specific health benefits, including birth control, required to be covered by federal law.  


Keep Mark Begich in the Senate. DONATE today. 

He will fight for JAC's issues in the Senate.








Running for U.S. Senate in Iowa
Bruce Braley is running for the Senate from the state of Iowa.Throughout his time in Congress, Braley has championed JAC's core issues.  He will be an important voice for JAC in the Senate, following in the footsteps of retiring Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). 
When it comes to Israel, Braley has always been by Israel's side.  Braley voted for and helped pass the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2014.  The bill, introduced by JAC supported Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL) would would impose severe economic sanctions on Hezbollah. Braley has supported resolutions expressing support for Israel as it defends itself against Hamas. 
Braley is a reliable vote on women's reproductive choice. Braley's opponent has an extreme position on choice and she would undoubtedly vote to increase restrictions on women's reproductive health care choices.  Braley voted against the 20-week abortion ban as well as the Birth Control Refusal law.   

DONATE to Bruce Braley's Senate campaign today. We know he will stand up in the Senate for issues we believe in.



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

Senator Mark Begich and former JAC President Jackie Cohen in Washington, D.C

JAC members Renee Kahn and Deanna Drucker show support for Israel at a rally in Chicago.

On Our Radar

Federal Legislation
we are watching:

* US-Israel Strategic Partnership
* 2015 Appropriations
* College Campus Sexual Assault Legislation
* Military Health Insurance Birth Control Co-Pays 
* Voting Rights Act
* Unemployment Benefits
* Paycheck Fairness
* Immigration Reform 
* HR 1565 - Public Safety & 2nd
   Amendment Rights Act

* Transportation Bill 
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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 

This week's issue highlights these key developments here and in the Middle East:
  • Kerry Condems 'Outrageous' Gaza Truce Violations
  • Senate approves additional Iron Dome Funding for Israel
  • Dealing with Anti-semitism
  • Mississippi's only abortion clinic stays open
  • Concealed carry permit gets guns dangerously close to the White House
  • 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 
Obama: Hamas Must Release Captured Israeli Solider
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy

President Barack Obama on Friday called on Hamas to release an Israeli solider captured during a recent ceasefire. "If they are serious about resolving the situation, that solider must be unconditionally released as soon as possible." Obama said at a news conference.


Netanyahu to Kerry: Hamas bears responsibility for consequences  of its actions 

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

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday afternoon that Israel would take "all necessary measures" against those calling for its destruction and using terror against its citizens.


After ugly spat, Senate backs aid to Israel 
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy

Congress is moving toward approving $225 million in aid for Israel before beginning a long congressional recess. The Senate approved the money for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system on Friday morning, hours after an ugly floor spat nearly left the U.S. ally without additional aid. House leaders are now discussing holding a vote on approving that money, according to a GOP aide.

Hamas Used Ceasefire to Kidnap Soldier; Ceasefire Over
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy

Two killed in incident in which Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was kidnapped; IDF source: Suicide bomber attacks forces working to clear tunnels.

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

The Gaza war of 2014 will end in a cease-fire, just as the previous rounds between Israel and Hamas and the 2006 battle with Hezbollah ended. But the war will be won or lost less in the streets and tunnels of Gaza this summer that when the fighting is over. Israel must not only damage Hamas on those battlegrounds, but seal its own gains in the terms of the cease-fire, and ensure that the aftermath of the war weakens Hamas's hold on Gaza and its role in Palestinian politics.

It started as a lemonade stand for soldiers, but not 250 volunteers provide 50,000 meals a day for soldiers and other involved in war effort.


50,000 Meals A Day Among Outpouring Support for IDF

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

It all started with a lemonade stand. "I took my kinds, and I said, let'g go buy some lemons and make lemonade for the soldiers driving by," said Doron Elbaz, the owner of a farm next to Moshav Maslul, a small town near the Gaza border.


Tens of Thousands Rally for Israel Around the World
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy

Joining thousands around the world, at least 10,00 pro-Israel New Yorkers turned out on Monday for the "New York Stands with Israel" rally that the World Jewish Congress co-sponsored at Fag Hammarskjold Plaza, near the United Nations.


Exodus: Why Europe's Jews Are Fleeing Once Again

The mob howled for vengeance, the missiles raining down on the synagogue walls as the worshippers huddled inside. It was a scene from Europe in the 1930s - except this was eastern Paris on the evening of July 13th, 2014.

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

Synagogue Vandalized In NE Miami-Dade
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy

For the second time in just a few days messages of hate targeted members of South Florida's Jewish community.

Read Full Article
Jewish Synagogue Vandalized In NE Miami Dade
Jewish Synagogue Vandalized In NE Miami Dade
Reproductive Rights

Senate Democrats Set with Military Contraception Bill

Senate Democrats plan to introduce a bill that would require military health care to cover all forms of contraception.

The police stood near Jackson Women's Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.
5th Circuit: Mississippi's Only Abortion Clinic Stays Open
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against a Mississippi law that would have required state's only abortion clinic to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital for its OB/GYNs.



Gillibrand Pushes Campus Assault Bill

Colleges and universities could be held more accountable to rape victims under legislation introduced Wednesday by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators led by New York's Kirsten Gillibrand.

Bill Calls for Tricare to Eliminate Birth Control Co-Pays

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH., introduced legislation on Wednesday that would require Tricare to provide birth control free-of-charge to beneficiaries at retail pharmacies and by mail.


Testing Boundaries of Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones
Massachusetts has replaced its 35-foot abortion clinic "buffer zone" with a new law intended to withstand Supreme Court scrutiny. But the issues of how far protesters must stand from abortion clinics and the women entering them is still a topic of heated debate in other states and cities around the country that have banned protestors from approaching clinics to ensure patients' access but in the process raised concerns about free speech.
Separation of Religion & State
Religious leaders: Carbon pollution is "an affront to God" 

On Tuesday, Alabama state officials said they had a right to their state's coal supply because God had given it to them. On Tuesday and Wednesday, religious leaders spoke out on the opposite end of the spectrum: Carbon pollution is actually an "affront to God."


Satanists Use Hobby Lobby Decision to Play Devil's Advocate 

A group of Satanists are using the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision to promote their own political initiatives -- which are the polar opposite of the Christian craft store giant.

Beyond the Core

Anyone with a Concealed Carry Permit Can Now Come Dangerously Clost to the White House 

A federal judge has ordered the District of Columbia to stop enforcing its restrictions on carrying handguns on the streets of the nation's capital. The decision also forced the District government to allow out-of-state concealed carry and open carry permit holders to wield their weapons within steps of the White House.  


Florida Court Tells Doctors to Shut Up About Guns

It is pitted as a battle between the First Amendment right of free speech and the Second Amendment right to bear arms, christened by court observers as the "Docs v. Glocks" case. A fitting fight, after all, for the state of Florida, derisively dubbed by some as the "Gunshine" state and the place where Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman.

Political Byte
Ginsburg Asked Clerks to Explain How She Became 'Notorious' Internet Meme

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is getting a kick out of the cult of celebrity that has cropped up around her on the Internet over the last year.


Jewish Groups Get $12m of $13m in Federal Funding For Protecting Nonprofits
The Department of Homeland Security allocated to Jewish institutions $12 million, or 94 percent, of $13 million in funds for securing nonprofits. The Jewish Fedeid Tuesday that the allocation made sense particularly in light of the intensification of threats on Jewish community targets in the United States and overseas.

Eric Cantor To Leave Congress Altogether on Aug. 18 

Rep. Eric Cantor, the just-departed House majority leader, announced Friday morning that he would also resign altogether from Congress, effective Aug. 18. The seven-term congressman, stunned by a June 10 upset in Virginia's primary, stepped down from his Republican leadership position on Thursday. 


Israel Named Tier 1 Nation in Combating Human Trafficking
U.S. State Department report praises Israel's efforts to identify and rescue trafficking victims and take punitive steps against traffickers.


Israel Debuts Micro Robot in Anti-Tunnel Campaign

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

Israel debuted a locally developed micro robot in its ongoing onslaught against the labyrinth of tunnels and concealed shafts supporting subterranean arms depots, command posts, and cross-border attacks from Gaza.

New Wound-Closure Tech Helping to Heal Soliders
TopClosure, invented by an Israeli plastic surgeon, allows for quickly and temporarily closing skin over an open wound in an emergency setting.
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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.