JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

February 6, 2015  

aroundtownThis week in Philadelphia, JAC members welcomed Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), who is the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affiars Committee and a strong proponent of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.Special thanks to Betsy and Richard Sheerr for hosting this special event. 

(l to r: Betsy Sheerr, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and  
Ari Mittelman) 

(l to r: Lonnie Levin, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Eve Klothen)

(l to r: Jill Zipin, Rep. Ted Deutch, Shira Goodman)

  (Rep. Ted Deutch and Eve Klothen)

(l to r: Betsy Sheerr, Rep. Ted Deutch, Rabbi George Stern)


Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Sherrod Brown served seven terms in the House before he won his race for the Senate in 2008.  He has worked to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship throughout his Congressional career. In the wake of Hamas' unprovoked attacks on Israel this summer,  Brown cosponsored a resolution supporting Israel and its right to defend its citizens. He also  cosponsored  the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014. 

He recently introduced a bi-partisan bill, The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which  would allow pharmacists to offer health care services to Medicare beneficiaries in underserved areas - such as health and wellness screenings, immunizations, and diabetes management.  He is also 100 pro-choice. 



 Rep. Ami Bera  (CA-7)

Ami Bera was first elected to Congress in 2012 and narrowly won re-election in 2014 after one of the most expensive races in the country.  He is the the only Indian American and one of only 15 doctors serving in Congress. Bera has been a consistent supporter of JAC's issues since her first arrived on Capitol Hill.

During Bera's 20-year medical career, he worked to improve the availability, quality, and affordability of healthcare. He has taken that commitment to Congress fighting any and all attacks on women's rights & their reproductive health choices.. "I strongly support a woman's constitutionally protected right to choose, and making contraception, family planning, and health care more available to women." One of the first bills he introduced as a Congressman was the Women's Preventive Health Campaign Awareness Act. 

Northbrook, IL 
Talking Points with 
Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-2) 
Monday, February 9
10 - 11:30 am
Home of Lisa Rubinstein 

Palm Beach, FL

Talking Points with Mona Reis
Founder & CEO of
Presidential Women's Center

in West Palm Beach
Wednesday, March 4
4 - 5:30 pm
Home of Merle and Jim Styer


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

The Week in Legislation

HR 596- To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. PASSED by 239-186.  The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2015. INTRODUCED. This bill would  ensure that women members of the Armed Forces and their families have access to the contraception they need in order to promote the health and readiness of all members of the Armed Forces.*

The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act. INTRODUCED in the House and Senate. This bill would prohibit the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of magazines that have a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition.*

* These are awaiting to be assigned formal bill numbers.

"You Should Get Your Kids Vaccinated....There is every reason to get vaccinated, there aren't reasons to not." - Pres. Obama


Tell them to vote YES on  
  Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2015    
Military women and their families deserve affordable access to reproductive health care.


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JAC's 5th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
June 1st - Mark Your Calendars Today!
This week's issue highlights these key developments here
 and in the Middle East... and some others that may have missed.
Israel & The Middle East 
tensionsSenior White House Official to Visit Israel Despite Tensions 
Despite recent tensions between Israel and the United States surrounding Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress, i24news reported on Tuesday that a senior White House advisor is expected to arrive in Israel for a visit later this month. 

Dems complain to Israel about Netanyahu visit to Congress 
Top House Democrats huddled with Israeli officials on Wednesday to push back against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coming speech before Congress.  
Read Full Article

Iranian nuclear facility. Image: Times of Israel

iranIran threatens nuclear enrichment expansion if US pursues sanctions 
Tehran will resume the expansion of its uranium enrichment capacity should Washington introduce more sanctions against the country, Iran's senior diplomat told reporters at the country's embassy in Moscow. 
Read Full Article

Netanyahu Calls Jordan's Abdullah After Ambassador Returned 
Netanyahu sends condolences over pilot burned to death by ISIS and notes 'importance' of envoy returning to Israel after Temple Mount rift.
Read Full Article  
Anti-Semitism & BDS

United Nations in New York.  Source: un.org 
UNConfronting Anti-Semitism at the United Nations
On January 22, the UN General Assembly held a special meeting to discuss anti-Semitism. With the exception of speeches by the Israeli and American ambassadors, and by the French philosopher Bernard-Henri L�vi, the session amounted to a gathering of foxes discussing how best to guard the hen house. Ben Cohen suggests a better approach:
Read Full Article

BDS, Support Of Israel Reason House Tagged With Swastikas 
On Saturday morning - the holiest day of the week for Jews - swastikas spray painted in red on their Jewish frat house were the last thing these brothers expected to wake up to. "I'm a freshman so I've never had to deal with such outward show of hate towards me and my people," Itai Ofir said. Ofir and his Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi call it anti-Semitism at its worst.
Read Full Article

UNESCO head nixes 'offensive, unacceptable' Palestine poster collection 
The head of UNESCO vetoed the inclusion of a vast collection of Palestine-themed posters in a register of world heritage, arguing that the posters fuel hatred and anti-Semitism. The decision by Irina Bokova to block the Liberation Graphics Collection of Palestine Posters from being accepted into UNESCO's Memory of the World program marks the first time such a nomination has been vetoed.
Read Full Article  
Reproductive Rights
weekWomen Who Had Abortions After 20 Weeks Explain Why They're Necessary  Abortion opponents are prepared to forge ahead with their goal to criminalize later abortions. Although a proposed 20-week abortion ban didn't come up for a vote in Congress last month, GOP leaders have vowed to bring back the legislation later this year. The policy has also gained significant traction on the state level, where it's on the books in 14 different states and currently being considered in three additional ones.
Read Full Article

The Strict Abortion Ban That Abortion Foes Fear 
Last month, a Kansas Republican promised that his state House committee would consider a bill banning abortions after the fetus has a detectable heartbeat-around the sixth week of development. The legislator, Steve Brunk, said he is confident the measure will pass in the GOP-controlled legislature. And Gov. Sam Brownback (R) has never vetoed an abortion bill. Many anti-abortion activists are cheering Brunk on. But one voice is noticeably absent: that of Kansans For Life, the state's most influential anti-abortion group.

militaryCongresswomen Reintroduce Military Contraception Equity Bill 
Democratic congresswomen reintroduced a bill on Wednesday that would guarantee equal access to contraception for all women who depend on the military for their health coverage.
Read Full Article

Supreme Court Says That Firing a Woman for Breastfeeding Isn't Sexist Because Men Can Lactate Too 
The Supreme Court has declined to hear a petition to overturn a lower court's ruling that a breastfeeding mother was not discriminated against and could not sue her employer. The woman's suit was dismissed by a trial court, but activists say that one of the trial court's findings - that breastfeeding-related firings aren't sexist because men can lactate, too - is ridiculous.
Read Full Article 
Separation of Religion & State

President Obama delivering remarks at the annual prayer breakfast.
Image: whitehouse.gov
freespeechObama Calls For Balancing Free Speech With Respect For Religion
 "They (the Founding Fathers) also understood the need to uphold freedom of speech... that there was a connection between freedom of speech and freedom of religion. For to infringe on one right under the pretext of protecting another is a betrayal of both."
Read Full Article

Wisconsin Group Threatens Oklahoma Schools Over Bible Class Curriculum
Districts across Oklahoma received a warning letter this week, threatening to sue if Steve Green's "Museum of the Bible Curriculum" was taught in their schools. The threat comes from a Wisconsin based group whose purpose is to educate the public on the separation of church and state.
Read Full Article

Beyond the Core


Click on the map to find Congress' climate deniers.
Source: billmoyers.com

maternity3 Male Lawmakers Propose Eliminating Obamacare's Maternity Coverage 
In their quest to repeal and replace Obamacare, three Republican lawmakers have offered an alternative proposal to the health reform law that would roll back some of its major consumer protections, including maternity care for pregnant women.
Read Full Article

Texas Gun Activist Warns Lawmakers 'Treason' Is 'Punishable By Death' 
The outspoken leader of a open carry gun group warned Texas lawmakers on Wednesday that putting restrictions on an individual's right to carry firearms is "treason" and "punishable by death" under the Constitution.
Newtown activists introduce bill banning high-capacity magazines
Newtown activists on Thursday helped introduce the first gun safety bill in this Congress, officially kicking off the gun control debate on Capitol Hill. 

The bill would ban large capacity ammunition magazines for everyone but military members and law enforcement officers. It was introduced by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, in the House and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., in the Senate.

Read Full Article  

Political Byte
adlRepublicans Ignored ADL Concerns Over Trip to Israel Led by 'Hate Group'   
The Anti-Defamation League asked the Republican National Committee to reconsider an Israel trip sponsored by a group associated with attacks on gays and minorities. The trip, funded by the American Family Association and the American Renewal Project, drew controversy last month when the Southern Poverty Legal Center urged all 168 members of the Republican National Committee, or RNC, not to join, naming the American Family Association, or AFA, as a "hate group." Some 60 RNC members had signed on for the trip.
Read Full Article

Why Mark Begich could run for the Senate again 
The possibility of a Mark Begich Senate comeback bid has suddenly become more conceivable. There are three reasons why: The Alaska Democrat is not running for mayor of Anchorage; he says he is getting encouragement to run for Congress; and he is embarking on a business venture that will keep him squarely at the intersection of Washington and Alaska issues.
Read Full Article

Are Media Crowning Jeb Bush A "Moderate," The Same Way They Promoted George W. Bush As A "Compassionate Conservative"? 
Mitt Romney's decision to not seek the Republican Party's presidential nomination set off a cavalcade of commentary regarding the political repercussion. One popular angle was that Jeb Bush would benefit because of his appeal as a moderate. At least what he is according to the Beltway press.  But a closer examine reveals that he is anything but moderate.
Read Full Article

Senator says restaurant employees shouldn't be required to wash their hands 
Once we're done debating whether children should be vaccinated, we can move on to other pressing public health questions, such as whether eateries can force their employees to wash their hands after they use the bathroom. At least one freshman U.S. senator thinks, "nah." Because freedom.
Read Full Article

This week, Congress voted for the 56th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Wearable device slows brain tumor growth
A novel wearable device, already used on nearly 2,000 patients to slow the growth of cancerous glioblastoma brain tumors using electrical fields, is now being tested to judge its effectiveness against other types of solid tumors. 

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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.