JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

November 21, 2014 

Cheryl Teverow with Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI)

Kroger stores are still promoting open carry of guns within their stores. This Thanksgiving, shop in stores that protect their customers' safety and avoid the ones listed above.

National & International Reaction to Attack on Jerusalem Synagogue

Below is a selection of comments from JAC-supported elected officials as well as from leaders around the world.
President Obama: "I strongly condemn today's terrorist attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Jerusalem, which killed four innocent people, including U.S. citizens Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine, and Mosheh Twersky, and injured several more."
Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD): "Israelis deserve the chance to live in peace and security."
Sen-elect Gary Peters (D-MI): "We must condemn this attack and the many other brutal acts of violence against civilians."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): "I join all those around the world who have condemned this heinous crime." 

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ):
"I am saddened and angered by the senseless and gruesome acts of terror that took place early this morning in Jerusalem. "

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA):
"I urge both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work to de-escalate the rising tensions in Jerusalem and the region." 
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY): "This massacre in a house of worship while innocent people prayed is absolutely horrifying and unconscionable." 
Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT): "Attacking innocent worshipers praying in a synagogue is an unacceptable escalation of violence in Jerusalem." 
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY): "This act of terror must be condemned by Palestinian leadership - there's simply no place for this brutal violence." 
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL): "...I call on the entire international community to unequivocally condemn this brutal attack. In particular, I call on President Abbas to end the incitement that leads to such attacks." 
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL): "Attacks on innocent worshipers gathered for prayer at a synagogue or any other holy is despicable, inhumane and barbaric." 
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY): "The United States will continue to do everything in its power to help our ally Israel protect its citizens."

For additional statements made by Congressional Members, please click here.


 From Around the World

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro: "The attack was a barbaric new low in the sad and outrageous history of such attacks."

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair: "Today's attack is a heinous crime, a wicked killing of innocent people exercising their right to worship."

French President Francois Hollande: Condemned "the heinous terrorist attack carried out this morning in Jerusalem, as well as those people who dared to praise the act."

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier: "I am shocked to the depth of my soul. The fact that a place of worship has turned into a scene of an attack on innocent worshipers crosses a terrible red line."

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini: "I call on all leaders in the region to work together and do their utmost to immediately calm down the situation and prevent further escalation."

Spokesperson for UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon: "The secretary-general strongly condemns today's attack on a synagogue in western Jerusalem." 

UN Security Council: The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the despicable terrorist attack resulting in the murder of four innocent civilians worshiping at the synagogue and a police officer as well as the injury of many more.

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

Representative-Elect Seth Moulton (D-MA) 
Seth Moulton is a decorated war veteran having received the Naval and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star Medal for bravery on the battlefield. After graduating from Harvard University, Moulton enlisted in the marine corps and served four tours of duties in Iraq. He is pro-choice, saying that he "believes fundamentally in a woman's right to make her own health care decisions (does not) believe the government should come between a woman and her doctor." Moulton supports funding for Iron Dome and Israel's right to defend itself against terrorist attacks. He also supports universal background checks and other common sense gun regulations. JAC looks forward to working with him and is confident that he will be a strong voice for our issues in the new Congress. 
Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) 


Julia Brownley won a tight race by more than 2,500 votes. She can be counted on to advocate for JAC's issues. She helped to introduce the "Protect Women's Health From Corporate Interference Act,"which would stop for-profit corporations from imposing religious beliefs on employees and denying birth control coverage-a counter measure to the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision. "Affordable access to contraception is essential to the health and economic security of women and their families," Brownley said. She can be relied upon to help strengthen the U.S.-Israel partnership, voting for enhanced cooperation between the U.S. and Israel in the field of agriculture, technology and energy.



Talking Points HP

Discussing rise of BDS and anti-semitism on college campuses. 

Details to follow 

Highland Park, IL  


Talking Points Palm Beach

Details to follow


Want to host a JAC event in your area? Call the JAC office to help coordinate.
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 
Funeral of Officer Zidan Sif, killed responding to the attack on Har Nof. Source: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

gordisJerusalem's New Holy War, by Daniel Gordis 
There are terror attacks, and there are pogroms. The attack at a Jerusalem synagogue this week that killed four rabbis was a pogrom. It was an attack motivated not by politics but by religious hatred; it was directed not at Israelis but at Jews.

Israel Foils Hamas Plot to Assassinate Liberman

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstoryThe Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the IDF and the Israel Police apprehended three terrorists who planned to assassinate Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman using RPG missiles, it was cleared for publication on Thursday evening.

The military prosecutor filed charges in the Judea Military Court against the three, who planned to assassinate Liberman as a response to Israel's counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer.


Police: Massive weapons cache headed for east Jerusalem uncovered among Christmas decorations 
A massive amount of fireworks, knives and Tasers police believe were meant in part to be used by rioters clashing with police were seized last week by Jerusalem District detectives and officers from the Tax Authority and the Ashdod Port Customs, police announced on Thursday.

Read Full Article    


Iran nuclear talks stuck, deadline may be extended: officials 
A deadline for resolving a 12-year-old dispute over Iran's nuclear program may be extended from Monday until March because of sharp disagreements between Tehran and world powers, officials close to the talks said on Thursday. 

Read Full Article  


Read more about this week's attack in JAC's special Israel Update. 

Anti-Semitism & BDS

UCLAWith pro-Israel groups all but absent, UCLA student government endorses divestment

Some students held up posters, others wore t-shirts with pro-divestment slogans and most of the 400 UCLA undergraduates present repeatedly snapped their fingers along in near-unanimous agreement as they packed an auditorium on campus Tuesday night to hear - in the school's second public hearing in 2014 - their student government debate passage of a symbolic resolution that would call on school administrators to divest university funds from American companies that do business in the Israeli-controlled West Bank. 
Read Full Article

Presbyterians against divestment take out full page NYT ad 

A Presbyterian group took out a full-page ad in The New York Times calling on fellow church members to oppose divestment from Israel.

"Presbyterians: We can do better than divestment," read the headline on the ad signed by scores of Presbyterian clergy and laypeople under the rubric of the group Presbyterians for a Just and Peaceful Future in the Middle East.

Reproductive Rights
extremechoiceHow Extreme Is the New Anti-Abortion Movement? Very

According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, seven in 10 people in America are "pro-choice." Abortion opponents, on the other hand, oppose that statistic, claiming that NARAL is over-extending the definition of "pro-choice." "When discussing public opinion, NARAL counts everybody as 'pro-choice' except those who want abortion to be flat-out illegal," retorts anti-abortion activist and blogger Jill Stanek, "and thus NARAL claims to speak for 70% of the population."

Read Full Article  
Has the Affordable Care Act's Contraception Benefit Been Saved? 

In a key win for the Obama administration, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Nina Pillard authored an opinion that should put to rest any remaining legal threats to the contraception benefit.

Read Full Article

Cory Gardner's big lie: Experts say over-the-counter birth control won't be more affordable 

The GOP's faux plan on OTC birth control "just isn't a cheaper or better solution," says one expert.

Separation of Religion & State
religiousfreedom31 states have heightened religious freedom protections 
The recent flurry of state bills giving religious exemptions from certain laws -- including the Arizona law that Gov. Jan Brewer (R) just vetoed -- raises a question: How many states already provide heightened protection for the exercise of religion?.

Read Full Article 

Beyond the Core
House Republicans just passed a bill forbidding scientists from advising the EPA on their own research

Congressional climate wars were dominated Tuesday by the U.S. Senate, which spent the day debating, and ultimately failing to pass, a bill approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. While all that was happening, and largely unnoticed, the House was busy doing what it does best: attacking science.

Read Full Article  


9 questions about the Keystone XL pipeline debate you were too embarrassed to ask   

By now, most people have heard of the Keystone XL pipeline. It's the source of a bitter, seemingly endless dispute in Washington, DC. But to many onlookers, it's not entirely obvious why there's so much fuss about a single infrastructure project

Read Full Article   


floridastatePolice identify shooter in Florida State tragedy - 91st school shooting since Sandy Hook 

A lawyer and Florida State University alum was identified by police Thursday as the gunman whose rampage left three people wounded and sent hundreds of panicked students scrambling for exits and ducking for cover

Read Full Article    


Political Bytes
tammyduckworthRep. Tammy Duckworth gives birth to daughter  

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who won a second term in the U.S. House two weeks ago, gave birth Tuesday to a daughter: Abigail O'kalani Bowlsbey. The child's arrival, announced by the lawmaker's office Thursday, came a few weeks before her due date.

Read Full Article 


Loretta Lynch has a remarkable civil rights story - but she seldom tells it
President Obama's nominee to replace Attorney General Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has a compelling story that suggests a deep personal commitment to civil rights. But she almost never talks about it.
Read Full Article

How Dark Money Is Taking Over Judicial Elections 
Most people don't think about judicial elections until they find themselves staring at a group of unfamiliar names on the ballot. But judges are selected by voters in 39 states, whether in an initial election or a retention election after being appointed. This article details how special-interest money has increasingly flooded the system over the last several decades-including the first ever set of data on campaign money in lower court races.
Read Full Article 

feministFeminist Is a 21st Century Word
I know, I know, TIME's annual word-banning poll feminist is meant as a joke, and this year's inclusion of the word wasn't an attempt to end a movement. But as a writer - and feminist who naturally has no sense of humor - banning words feels, well, uncomfortable. The fault lies in the usage or overusage, not the word - even dumb or faddish words.

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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 

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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.