JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

January 16, 2015  

Crowd At Paris Unity Rally Sings John Lennon's 'Imagine'
Marche "Je suis CHARLIE" : John Lennon : "IMAGINE"
Read More


Senator Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Elected to the Senate in 2006 as the first female Senator from Minnesota,  Klobuchar  has made a name for herself championing reproductive rights and other important issues for women.  She has earned a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America and sponsored a bill to override the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision. JAC can consistently count on Klobucher to promote our issues, especially the strong U.S.-Israel partnership. She has said that  "America and Israel are close allies whose interests in the Middle East and around the world remain strongly aligned." She was recently selected by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to serve in the Senate leadership as chair of the party's Steering and Outreach Committee.
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Deutch  was elected to serve as Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa. He is considered  a nationally-recognized expert on Iran sanctions policy, an outspoken advocate for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, and a passionate defender of global human rights. Deutch has served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee since his first election to Congress in April of 2010. He introduced the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act in the House.  "Despite enormous security challenges, our ally Israel has thrived as an open and free society with a vibrant economy, a strong democracy, and a global innovator in agriculture, energy, and countless other fields. The ... Act reflects our bipartisan commitment to a safe, to a secure and thriving Jewish State of Israel." He is a strong voice for JAC's issue, including reproductive freedom and separation of religion and state. 

We want YOU to be in our EZ read.  Send us your pictures of you watching the State of the Union, meeting with your elected officials, holding a JAC sign, phoning Members of Congress and all that you do to support our issues.  Send them to [email protected].  

We are waiting to see you!



Palm Beach Gardens 

Dinner and Israel Briefing

with Gidi Grinstein 

Director of the Reut Institute 

Thursday, January 29 

6 pm 

Club House at Marisol





Coffee with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)

Monday, February 2

9-11 am

Home of Richard and Betsy Sheerr




Los Angeles 

Coffee with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)

Friday, February 6

Home of AnnDee Levy

Details to follow



Want to host a JAC event in your area?
Call the JAC office to help coordinate.

Why It Matters:

20-Week Abortion Bans 


On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade this Thursday, Jan. 22, Congress wants to pass a
20-week abortion ban.

Key reasons to oppose a 20-week ban:

  • Contradicts Roe v Wade, which defines viability at 22-24 weeks
  • Overwhelmingly impacts young and poor women
  • Limits women's reproductive choices 
  • Certain fetal anomalies may not be discovered until after the 20th week
  • Some women experience serious health risks necessitating termination after 20 weeks
  • Women may need extra time to gather funds for the procedure 
  • Many young women (12-17 years of age) do not access care until after the 20th week
  • 20 weeks is an arbitrary number decided upon by legislators and objected to by medical professionals  
  • Leading medical experts have debunked the argument the "fetal-pain" argument cited by anti-choice groups

Tell the House:
Tell them to vote NO on HR36
 (The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act).  

This bill would:

  • Contradict to Roe v Wade 
  • Limit women's reproductive choices
  • Certain fetal anomalies may not be discovered until after the 20th week
  • Some women experience serious health risks necessitating termination after 20 weeks
  • Where public funding or insurance coverage are unavailable, women may need extra time to gather funds for the procedure 
  • Many young women (12-17 years of age) do not access care until after the 20th week
  • 20 weeks is an arbitrary number decided upon by legislators and objected to by medical professionals 
  • Leading medical experts have debunked the argument the "fetal-pain" argument cited by anti-choice groups
(Not sure who your Representative is? Click here.) 

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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 
obamaObama and Netanyahu discuss Tehran, Paris and 'tensions' with Ramallah

"The Palestinian Authority does not yet constitute a state and is therefore not eligible to accede to the Rome Statute," Obama told Netanyahu, reiterating the US position as outlined last week. "The United States does not believe Palestinian accession to the ICC is a constructive way forward."


Bipartisan momentum grows for halt to U.S. funding of Palestinian Authority 

U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Bob Corker (R-TN) on Friday released a joint statement calling on the U.S. government to defund the Palestinian Authority (PA) over its decision to join the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Read Full Article    


With talks on ice, Palestinians' Mahmoud Abbas declares diplomatic war on Israel

Frustrated by the failure of U.S.-brokered peace talks and under growing pressure from his people to confront the Israeli occupation, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is launching diplomatic war against Israel, betting on a risky campaign to fully "internationalize the struggle" by moving toward the United Nations and away from the United States.

gaza In Gaza, Hamas and the PA are at each other's throats again

By the end of last week, dozens of houses throughout the Gaza Strip were flooded by rainwater. Three babies froze to death. The humanitarian conditions continue to be bad, perhaps the worst in the past two decades, due to the withholding of the salaries of PA and Hamas employees. And yet, amid all the tumult, Hamas (the same organization that condemned the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris) found the time to clash with the Palestinian Authority and Fatah. 

Read Full Article   

Special Section: France
europeSharansky: Paris massacre shows time running out for Europe

On the day after Islamist terrorists massacred 12 people in the heart of Paris, committing what some called France's 9/11, Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky resisted the temptation to use the tragedy to push for upped immigration to Israel from an increasingly dangerous France. 

Read Full Article 


Two Scenes From the Grand Synagogue of Paris

Anyone who wants to understand how the Jews of France-and most other places in the Diaspora, including the United States-feel inside, especially at times when we are targeted by men with guns who represent a radical, fascistic ideology bent on killing us, should take a look at these two videos from the Grand Synagogue of Paris after a solidarity rally that brought an estimated 1.5 million people into the streets to declare their support for free speech and their opposition to Islamist terrorism.

Read Full Article 


After the Attacks in France, What Next?

The terrorist attacks that killed 17 innocent people in France last week have provoked widespread revulsion and condemnation.  All people of good will stand as one with France. Its citizens were attacked, and so were its laudable values, which have inspired the democratic spirit worldwide for well over two centuries. Those values were precisely the chosen targets of the jihadist gunmen. 


Will This Time Be Different?

The Charlie Hebdo atrocity has ended in more terror and more blood. Even before the killers and hostage-takers met their end, voices were raised to warn against the danger of an anti-Muslim "backlash." Lately, these warnings have been issued even before the completion of the terror attack that might supposedly provoke such a backlash. 

Read Full Article 

Anti-Semitism & BDS

US worried by 'rising tide' of European anti-Semitism

White House chief of staff promises Washington will wage 'tireless' fight against Jew hatred.

englandPolls show British Jews fear for future in rising anti-Semitic climate

Almost half of British Jewish people fear they have no long-term future in Britain or Europe, while nearly one in two British people hold anti-Semitic views, a pair of surveys published on Wednesday showed. 

Read Full Article


The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Media Coverage of French Terror

HonestReporting's Yarden Frankl delves into media coverage of last week's terror attacks in France. He says that while some journalists got the story right, others, including the BBC's Tim Wilcox, used the attacks to spew anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views. Some journalists, in conspiracy-theory mode, even accused the Mossad of instigating the French carnage.

Read Full Article

Reproductive Rights

F15 States Get an "F" in Reproductive Health

Read Full Article 

The Group Behind America's Biggest Anti-Abortion March Now Says Birth Control Causes Abortions
Each year on January 22-the anniversary of the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade-the March for Life draws thousands of protesters to Washington, DC, for what organizers bill as "world's largest anti-abortion event." But this year, there's an added wrinkle: Organizers of the march have spent the past six months arguing that birth control pills are a form of abortion. 
GOP hopes it has cracked the abortion code
Republicans are more united than they have been in years on a national strategy to roll back abortion rights, using state legislatures and the new GOP Congress to push for banning the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy - a platform that also has the backing of the party's presidential candidates.

Nearly one in three college men admit they might rape a woman if they knew no one would find out and they wouldn't face any consequences, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of North Dakota.  But, when the researchers actually used the word "rape" in their question, those numbers dropped much lower - suggesting that many college men don't associate the act of forcing a woman to have sex with them with the crime of committing rape.

Separation of Religion & State

cookiesHcookiesigh School Teacher Accused of Promoting Christianity, Giving 'Bible Cookies' to Students

A high school teacher in California is under investigation after a church-state separation group lodged a complaint that the teacher is promoting Christianity in the classroom and gives out "Bible cookies" to students.

Read Full Article 

 Protesters: Return Christian flag, statue to veterans memorial

Protesters gathered Sunday in a North Carolina park to register their disappointment in elected officials who ordered the removal of a statue of a praying soldier and a Christian flag as part of a legal settlement with an Afghanistan war veteran.

Read Full Article 


Beyond the Core
gunsGuntry clubs target a new breed of shooter: younger, more affluent and female

"This place is like a country club," Vaught said, looking at a concierge desk, granite countertops and sleek black couches. They were not at a country club. They were not at a steakhouse. They were at Elite Shooting Sports, a new gun range in Manassas, Va., that, like a wave of other new ranges around the country, is targeting a new breed of shooter - younger, more affluent, style-focused, increasingly female and even environmentally conscious. The gun industry's term for these shooting retreats: Guntry Clubs.

Read Full Article

Supreme Court agrees to hear gay marriage issue

The Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide this term a historic question about whether the Constitution requires same-sex couples be allowed to marry or whether states are free to limit marriage to its traditional definition as a union only between a man and a woman.

House passes bill to defund Obama's immigration orders

The House voted Wednesday to block funding for President Obama's immigration orders, firing the first shot in a high-stakes battle over deferred deportations for the millions of people who are in the country illegally. The measure passed in a 236-191 vote, with 10 Republicans voting against it and two Democrats voting in favor.

Read Full Article

Political Byte
Senate chamber 


Dems' next big issue

Democrats are seizing on the fight for mandatory paid leave in the United States as their next big pocketbook issue. The Obama administration has for months called upon Congress to require employers to offer paid leave, with Labor Secretary Tom Perez relentlessly pressing the case to anyone who will listen.

Read Full Article 


Despite Senate power shift, Obama seeks to shape U.S. judiciary

President Barack Obama plans to plow ahead with an effort to shape and diversify the U.S. judiciary, despite the ability of Republicans to block nominees now that they have a Senate majority, Obama's in-house lawyer said on Monday.

Read Full Article 


16 in '16: The new battle for the Senate

Republicans just won the Senate majority last month. But can they keep it? A cursory glance at the 2016 Senate map shows a slew of endangered Republicans up in two years - with few opportunities for offense as in 2014, when the GOP won nine Democratic-held seats to grab control of the chamber.

Read Full Article 


Jewish stars take home awards at the Golden Globes 

Some Jewish talent was honored at this year's Golden Globe Awards. The biggest, though uncredited, Jewish winner of the evening may have been the late novelist Stefan Zweig (1881-1942), whose writings inspired director Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel," winner of the Best Motion Picture-Comedy award. Sharing in the triumph was Jewish producer Scott Rudin.

Read Full Article 


submarineNavy Names Submarine After Jewish Admiral

And now, for some lighter news. The U.S. Navy announced today that a new attack submarine will be named after former U.S. Navy Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, an engineer credited with developing the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus. According to an eagle-eyed reader, the USS Hyman Rickover will be the only submarine with a Jewish namesake.

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 

Tuesday, January 20th, 9 pm EST 
President Obama will give his next to last State of the Union Address Tuesday night. What will take center stage?  Terrorism. Immigration. Keystone. Iran. Anti-Semitism. U.S.-Israel relationship. Healthcare.
JAC will be watching and listening very carefully -- and we hope you will too. 
JAC's issues have never been more important:
  • a strong U.S.-Israel relationship
  • reproductive freedom
  • separation between religion and state. 

Next week's EZ read will feature JAC analysis of the address to the nation. Let us know what you think at [email protected]

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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.