JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

November 14, 2014 


Talking Points HP

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Highland Park, IL  


Talking Points Palm Beach

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Stop the political game.
Our country needs a Surgeon General
Call your Senator and tell them to finally vote "YES" to confirm Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General.   
(Not sure who your Senator is? Click here.)
  • Dr. Murthy is a skilled physician with broad support from the health community.
  • He is only ONE vote away from becoming America's Surgeon General.
  • Americans need their top doctor. Our health depends on it.
Call today, then tweet and share 

The 2014 Midterm elections are NOT over!

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) faces a run-off election on December 6th.


We need Mary Landrieu in the U.S. Senate. 
  • Introduced the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Bill, which aimed to strengthen economic collaboration between the U.S. and Israel on energy development.
  • Supports women's right to make their own health care decisions - including when and how to begin a family.

"I have been working to boost U.S.-Israel collaboration on energy development to further strengthen the relationship between our two countries and help our domestic energy industry."


Mary's opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, is extreme, right-wing, and 100% anti-choice. 

Meet the New Members!
Each week JAC will introduce you to the new Members of the 114th Congress. We look forward to working with them on the issues we care about.

Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL) 
Gwen Graham was only one of two Democrats to defeat a Republican incumbent during this election cycle. She is an attorney and the daughter of former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL). She is a veteran political campaigner, having worked on the campaigns of her father, Howard Dean, and John Kerry. JAC supported Gwen in her tough race against a Tea-Party extremist. She is pro-choice, saying, "this is a decision that government has no place in. It should be a personal decision between a woman, her family, God, and her doctor."  
Rep. Mark Takai (D-HI) 
Mark Takai won the seat held by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) by defeating former Rep. Charles Dijou (R-HI) by nearly 52% of the vote. A proponent of reproductive rights, Takai believes it is the government's job to ensure women have access to important, potentially life-saving medical services. Takai has served in the Hawaii legislature for the past 20 years. He serves in the Hawaii Army National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel and took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009. He was very moved by his first trip to Israel several years ago. "You can't understand a place like Israel, especially Jerusalem, unless you have been there," he said. "Israel has every right to defend itself." JAC supported Takai in his race. 
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The Chicagoland Pro-Israel Political Update 

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 

kerryabbasKerry: Netanyahu and Abbas committed to deescalating Temple Mount tensions 

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that he gained assurances from Israel, the Palestinians and Jordan to deescalate tensions over the Temple Mount which have led to violence in recent weeks.    
Image source: Jewish Press

Jerusalem Girls Warn Terrorists: 'We Guard Light Rail' 

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

With Jerusalem residents fearful of riding the Light Rail after a wave of terrorist attacks, a group of brave young girls have committed to riding the entire train route, every night, while giving hope to fellow travelers on "The Zionist Train." The girls are, in effect, warning terrorists that they are guarding Jerusalem's Light Rail.


Hamas said to be world's second richest terror group
Hamas is the world's second richest terror group, according to a report in the Israeli edition of Forbes. The richest terrorist organization in history is the Islamic State, with various estimates placing its annual revenue at $2-3 billion. According to Israel Forbes, Hamas comes in second, with a yearly revenue of $1 billion.

Read Full Article   

Anti-Semitism & BDS

New Spree of Anti-Semitic Attacks in France 

The Gaza war may have passed, and with it, the media's attention to anti-Semitic outbreaks in Europe, but such attacks have continued unabated in recent weeks. And France, which had already been experiencing anti-Jewish convulsions for many months prior to the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, has been no exception. 
Read Full Article

SodaStream to Remain Target of BDS Boycott

Remember SodaStream? After being accused by the anti-Israeli Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions movement of benefiting from the occupation, the home carbonation giant announced that it would shutter its controversial West Bank factory, laying off about 500 Palestinian employees and moving its facility to southern Israel.

Which means that the boycott is over, right?

Reproductive Rights
pregnantPregnant, and No Civil Rights

With the success of Republicans in the midterm elections and the passage of Tennessee's anti-abortion amendment, we can expect ongoing efforts to ban abortion and advance the "personhood" rights of fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses. But it is not just those who support abortion rights who have reason to worry. Anti-abortion measures pose a risk to all pregnant women, including those who want to be pregnant.

Read Full Article  
Anti-Choice 'Science': The Big Tobacco of Our Time

First Big Tobacco, then climate change denial, and now, the anti-choice movement. The issues might have changed, but the techniques now widely used by conservatives to distort science and, with it, public policy, remain the same.

Separation of Religion & State
schoolMD Public Schools Reconsider Religious Holidays

If school is closed but nobody knows why, does it count as a holiday?

That's essentially the koan-esque question currently facing the Montgomery County Board of Education. The Maryland county, which is included in the Washington D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria area, announced it won't include the names of religious holidays on its calendar for the 2015-2016 school year, even as it continues to close for them. The district's Board of Education voted seven to one in favor of the proposal. 

Read Full Article 

Beyond the Core


environmentWhat a Republican Senate means for the environment

With last week's election results, Republicans gained control of the Senate, setting up a Republican Congress and a Democratic White House facing two years of partisan paralysis. And while environmental issues played little role in Senate races, the Republican-dominated Congress bodes ill for the environment.

Read Full Article  


As House approves Keystone pipeline, Obama veto grows more likely

Even as the House passed legislation Friday authorizing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline by a decisive vote of 252 to 161, President Obama is signaling he is increasingly skeptical of the project.   

Read Full Article 

Political Byte
controversyHow to manufacture a controversy 

Want to know how to manufacture a controversy? It's easy. Take two statements made by two administration officials, discount the possibility that both on-the-record statements may have been made deliberately and jump to the conclusion that only the least plausible interpretation - that a firmly pro-Israel administration is seeking to demonize Israel -� is the right interpretation.

Read Full Article 


Reid Unveils New Senate Democratic Leadership Team Featuring Prominent Women 

Voter Turnout in Midterm Elections Hits 72-Year Low
The last time voter turnout for a national election was as low as it was on Nov.4, Hitler was still in power, and Mitch McConnell was only nine months old. Only 36.4% of eligible voters voted in this year's midterm elections, down from 40.9% who voted in 2010.
Read Full Article 
Bay Area Flashmob for Israel
Bay Area Flashmob For ISRAEL 
Bay Area Flashmob For ISRAEL
Watch Full Video


congress100women100th female member of Congress sworn in 

North Carolina again has a 13th U.S. House member after a vacancy that lasted 10 months, and their new representative came in to the sound of heavy applause. Democrat Alma Adams was sworn in to the House of Representatives Wednesday evening as Congress reconvenes following its fall election break. She became the 100th female voting member of the current Congress on Wednesday night, and she paid homage to the women who came before her.

Heirs to Nazi-looted paintings pledge return to owners  

Family heirs to the recently deceased German son of a Nazi-era art dealer, who hoarded hundreds of looted art pieces in his Munich apartment, have pledged to return the works to their rightful owners if they inherit the collection.

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.