JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

August 29, 2014 

SEPT. 17-18


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Talking Points 
with Deputy Consul General of Israel to the Midwest Alex Goldman and Executive Director JCRC and Government Affairs Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago David Prystowsky

Highland Park, IL
August 27th, 2014 

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





Senator Mark Udall



JAC has supported U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) since he first ran for the U.S. House in 1998.  Since then, Udall has proven to be one of JAC's strongest allies in Congress, consistently promoting a strong relationship with Israel. and reproductive rights. Udall supports Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks as well as increased funding for Iron Dome. The outcome of this race will impact women's access to reproductive choices. His opponent supports a bill that would interfere with access to birth control, fertility treatment, miscarriage management and the overall ability for women to receive a safe and legal abortion. Udall can be counted on in the Senate to stand up for Israel and women's health care choices.




Help send Senator Udall back to the Senate.







    Senator Kay Hagan



U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is putting up a strong fight to retain her Senate seat despite the extreme right's major efforts to defeat her.  Hagan supports JAC core issues and has been a leader in the Senate for women's issues. Earning a 100 percent rating from pro-choice NARAL, Hagan is a vote women can count on.  She has also advocated for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, understanding the importance of this unique relationship. "Israel is a strong ally of the United States and serves as a beacon of democracy in the Middle East. While my heart goes out to those innocent civilians in Gaza, Israel has the right to take whatever steps are required to protect its people and its way of life."





We need Senator Hagan to continue her work on behalf of JAC issues. 





An Evening with Alison Lundergan Grimes

Join the MadMitch Series Finale! 

September 23

Philadelphia, PA 



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


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

JAC proudly supports Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (l to r: David Wein, Dana Gordon, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Joy Malkus, and Alan Malkus)

David Prystowsky, Executive Director of JCRC and Government Affairs of Jewish Federation of Chicago discussed the importance of a strong US-Israel 
relationship at Talking Points 

JAC's President Janna Berk with Deputy Consul General Alex Goldman-Shayman and Susan Berk at Talking Points.

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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:
This week's EZ Read brings you these stories and some that may have slipped past your news feed.
Israel & The Middle East 
PermanentPermanent Cease-Fire May Require Palestinian Authority's Return to Gaza - OP-ED

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

A fragile cease-fire has temporarily stopped the violence in Gaza, and Israeli and Palestinian delegations have made efforts to negotiate a more permanent resolution. The only way they can succeed is to let the Palestinian Authority and its security forces back into Gaza.

Read Full Article


Isis is to America as Hamas is to Israel

President Barack Obama has rightfully condemned the ISIS beheading of American James Foley in the strongest terms. This is what he said: "There has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of the kind of a nihilistic ideologies. One thing we can all agree on is group like (ISIS) has no place in the 21st century. Friends and allies around the world, we share a common security a set of values opposite of what we saw yesterday. We will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and stability."

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


Hold Up of US Missile Shipment to Israel Reportedly Resolved

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

A hold up in the US supply of Hellfire missiles to Israel has been resolved and the incident "is behind us," Israel's Channel 10 news quoted a senior Israeli official as saying on Thursday night. The official said Israel had been assured that the suspension of the sale "was just bureaucracy."

Daniel Tregerman (photo credit: Courtesy)

Four-year-old Killed in Mortar Attack Named as Daniel Tregerman

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

A four-year-old boy was killed by a mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon. The boy, named late Friday as Daniel Tregerman, was at home with his parents and siblings at their kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Region, close to the border of Gaza, with the attack took place.

Fmr Israel Navy Chief: A Gaza Seaport Would be an Iranian Seaport
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy

Allowing Hamas to open a Gaza seaport would only serve to allow Iran direct access to rearm the Islamic terror group, the former chief of the Israeli Navy told Israeli Army radio Sunday. "Let's say an Iranian ship docked at Gaza Port for a visit. We know that Iranian military vessels smuggle munitions nearly every time they hoist anchor. But, because this is a military craft, we can't inspect it," Vice Admiral (Ret.) Eliezer Marom, stressed. "And thus, without even noticing, we've established an Iranian port two hours away from Ashdod." 


JewsWhy Jews Are Worried

I am often asked by fellow Jews about contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe. "Is this just like 1939? Are we on the cusp of another Holocaust?" Until now, my answer has been an unequivocal "no."
Jewish Student Assaulted at Temple University
Hillel, the campus student group, is expressing "outrage" over an attack on a Jewish student at Temple University on Wednesday and is calling on the university to ensure the safety of its Jewish students. At the same time, the school's chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine is condemning the attack and is claiming the alleged assailant was not a member of its organization. 
Last week in Vienna, 99 Jewish and Muslim activists convened for the fifth annual Muslim-Jewish Conference. Here, group members recite mourning prayers in Hebrew and Arabic at the former Nazi forced labor camp Mauthausen, outside Linz, Austria (photo credit: Daniel Shaked)
In Vienna, Muslim-Jewish Dialogue Tackles Conflict Head-On
From dozens of countries including Pakistan and Iraq, participants talk about divisive issues while learning the 'other' is just like them.
Reproductive Rights

Face It: The Abortion Battle Is Just About Sex

The phony battle over certain kinds of birth control that are (often wrongly) called abortifacients is not about abortion. And much of the political fight about abortion isn't really about abortion, either. It's about whether women should be allowed to have sex.
The Danger of Parental Notification of Abortion Laws
You can't legislate good communication between families,and you certainly won't do it by forcing young people to seek unsafe abortion care.  These laws aren't about health or safety - quite the opposite.  They don't improve quality of care. They simply place yet another barrier in front of young people's ability to make the best decision for the personal circumstances. 

Credit: Wikipedia
People in Red States and Blue States are Equally Clueless About Abortion
Great news! Living in a red state does not reduce the amount of knowledge one has about abortion. Related: Terrible news! Living in a blue state does not increase the amount of knowledge one has about abortion.  


Breaking: The Contraception Mandate Benefits Women
Today in shocking scientific findings: Women have the potential to "benefit greatly" from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage mandate. 
Separation of Religion & State
The Bibles Are Back: Navy Lodges Scuttle Removal Plan

The Gideon Bibles are going back in the Navy's nightstand drawers. In June,

the U.S. Navy ordered housekeepers at thousands of Navy-owned guest lodges near U.S. and international bases to remove the Bibles and any other "religious materials" from their rooms. Scriptures would remain available on request. But public outcry, prompted this week by a social media alert from the American Family Association and protests by the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, led the brass to reverse course.

Beryl Lipton douses Matt Lee during the ice bucket challenge in Boston, Aug. 7, 2014 to raise funds and awareness for ALS. (Credit: AP/Elise Amendola)
Cincinnati Archdiocese to Catholic Schools: Don't Donate to ALS Association Because of Embryonic Stem Cell Use
The Cincinnati Archdiocese asked Catholic Schools to refrain from donating to the ALS Association, due to the possibility that the funds will be used to support embryonic stem cell research, the Washington Post is reporting.
Beyond the Core

GunsTeachers Train to Pack Guns with Lesson Plans

The heavy, rhythmic stomp of combat boots creates a chilling sound through the dark hallway. "Get me the principal," the gunman shouts, his command echoing through the school. A team of teachers scans the area, guns extended and eyes alert. They locate the shooter and race down the tiled floor to meet the armed intruder before he shoots, but he lifts his weapon and fires. The teachers are participating in firearms training through Shield Solutions, a program that prepares teachers to carry concealed weapons in the classroom.

Armed, Out and About: Evolving Public-Carry Laws Expand Gun Rights

More Americans can carry guns in more places than ever before. In the majority of sth their guns without fear of legal ramifications. A review by News 21 of public-carry laws - governing both concealed carry and open carry of firearms - shows that gun owners are now allowed to pack a gun in a public place in all 50 states. 

Read Full Article


PHOTO: Jacob BYK/News 21

NCAA Says Athletic Departments Should Stop Oversight of Campus Sexual Assault Cases

College athletic departments should cooperate with investigations into sexual assault allegations against student athletes, but they should not oversee such cases, the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Executive Committee
said in a resolution last week, the McClatchy/Miami Herald reports.

GOP'S Insane Ferguson Crusade: Not They're Denouncing Voter Registration Drives
At this point, it would be safe to assume that the black community in Ferguson, Missouri, is probably feeling poorly represented by its elected officials. Over a week's worth of unrestrained police crackdowns, curfews and bad-faith machinations by the local law enforcement - all with the blessing or tacit approval of political leaders - will tend to erode whatever trust one has left in the people in charge. One of the upsides to living in a democracy, though, is that there are regular opportunities to boot out the people in charge. And so, with the situation spiraling out of control in the streets, activists and community leaders have set up voter registration drives in Ferguson. This act of civic engagement is drawing howls of outrage from conservatives and Republicans.
Political Byte
AP Photo/Independent Record, Thom Bridge

Montana Democrats Nominated Amanda Curtis for Senate. Here's Everything You Need To Know.

More than 100 Democratic activists in Montana gathered in Helena on Saturday, wherely arranged convention. She will face Rep. Steve Daines, the Republican nominee and front-runner. So exactly why did Montana Democrats do this after they already held a primary in June? And how did it all work? We're glad you asked! Below is everything you need to know.

GOP Plots Late-Term Abortion Counterattack

Republicans are working to strike a blow against abortion rights and the Senate incumbents who support them by emphasizing late-term abortion on the campaign trail. With the political map favoring the GOP, opponents of abortion are rallying their supporters for a coordinated ground game meant to counterbalance Democratic attacks over birth control and personhood. At the heart of the activists' message is a legislative proposal from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that would prevent women from terminating pregnancies after 20 weeks. 

Read Full Article


Mitch McConnell Promising More Showdowns and Shutdowns if GOP Wins the Senate

Talking tough makes some political sense for Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, if the concern is getting base voters to the polls in November. But that strategy could do real harm to the GOP presidential nominee in 2016.

Tokyo, Japan - pro-Israel rally 2014
Tokyo, Japan - Pro-Israel Rally 2014

A Surprising Pro-Israel Rally in Tokyo; Japanese Show Their Support for Israel
A heartwarming rally supporting Israel in the streets of Tokyo.

During Gaza Conflict, IsraAID Helps Washington with Wildfire
At six o'clock on a Friday morning, two dozen volunteers are milling around awaiting orders at a roadside command center in Pateros, Washington. The air is still cool and carries the odor of singed earth. A few hundred feet away a leafy neighborhood stands in contrast to the scorched hillside where in July nearly 100 homes were destroyed in the largest single wildfire in Washington State history. A big guy with a head of frizzy reddish hair named Nimrod - Nemo for short - pours sludgy Turkish coffee into Styrofoam cups for the volunteers, most of whom are ex-US military. He's here with IsraAID: The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid, to help clean up the devastation wreaked by the Carlton Complex fire.

ALSOrthodox Rabbi May Be First ALS Patient Cured by Israeli Drug
Haredi leader Rabbi Refoel Shmulevitz, a victim of the motor neuron disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), may be the first known patient cured of ALS, which he was diagnosed with two years ago. ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrigs' disease after the iconic baseball player who contracted it in 1939, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that features a gradual breakdown of muscle groups, paralysis, and respiratory problems, and is usually fatal within three to five years of diagnosis. Gehrig himself succumbed to the disease at age 37, but other famous victims, notably British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, have survived, albeit with no ability to move or communicate save with the use of the eyes. According to the American ALS association, the disease effects about 5,600 people a year, and has no known cause.

Arab Doctor Saves Jewish Solider Hit By Arab Bullets. No Big Deal?
Hadassah's Prof. Ahmed Eid gets a little irritated when people ask him questions about being an Arab surgeon in Jewish Israel. 'There's no drama here,' he insists. Oh, but there is...
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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.