March 13, 2015  

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA36) with JAC Members 
Lolly Levy and AnnDee Levy in Palm Springs, CA.

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA36) with JAC Past President Jacqueline Cohen.

 Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA36) with Past JAC Research Director Linda Ruder and her husband Burton Ruder.

Highland Park, IL
Talking Points with Rep. Mike Quigley
Monday, April 20
Details to come

Lincolnwood, IL
5th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
International Correspondent
Amy Kellogg

Barbara Bluhm-Kaul
Leslie Bluhm & Meredith Bluhm-Wolf
Monday, June 1st

Want to host a JAC event in your area?
Contact the JAC office.
847.433.5999 or [email protected]

BAN AR-15 
Armor Piercing 
"Cop Killing Bullets"

Call your Congressman TODAY 

Call NOW. 

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The Week in Legislation

Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, S. 178

The GOP has taken a bipartisan bill to expand protections for victims of human trafficking, and inserted language to withhold funding for safe, legal abortion. 

The debate that is emerging over the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, S. 178, and the application of the Hyde Amendment to funds collected from perpetrators of human trafficking jeopardize this pragmatic balance in favor of a partisan confrontation that undermines the achievement of our joint goal of ending modern slavery in the United States and around the world.

Coffee with Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL17)
Chicago, IL
March 30th

Call the JAC office for more details or to RSVP
847.433.5999 or [email protected]

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Bennet is one of the Senate's chief champions of access to reproductive care for women.  He helped to introduce the Protect Women's Health from Corporate Interference Act , which would restore the contraceptive coverage requirement guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act and protect coverage of other health services from employers who want to impose their beliefs on their employees by denying benefits. He has earned a 100 percent approval rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Bennett was the driving force behind honoring former Israeli President Shimon Peres with the Congressional Gold Medal awarded last June.


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 you may have missed.
Israel & The Middle East 
IsraelHow Do Elections Work in Israel? Click Here to Find Out!

Obama Extends Sanctions on Iran While Noting Its Improved Behavior
President Barack Obama noted improved Iranian behavior while nuclear talks are underway, but said a yearlong extension of sanctions is still merited. On Wednesday, Obama extended the status of national emergency for Iran, which perpetuates existing sanctions on the regime for a year. Such extensions have been routine since 1995, when President Bill Clinton first imposed nuclear-related sanctions.

JPost Asks Netanyahu: What If You Lose- Is Your Career Over?
Four days ahead of Tuesday's election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life. The Zionist Union's lead is growing. The Likud's satellite parties on the Right and Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu are biting off chunks of its support.

Black Lawmakers Vow to Stand by Israel Despite Sitting Out Netanyahu Speech
It was not the first time John Lewis had invoked the Jewish-black alliance that fought for equality during the civil rights era. But it was the first time that the Georgia congressman, a civil rights hero, invoked it to explain why he was skipping a speech by an Israeli prime minister.
 Read Full Article

The Iranian Regime on Israel's Right to Exist
The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, wants Jews to know that he, and the country he represents, are their friends. In an interview with Ann Curry, he accused the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, of intentionally misreading Jewish scripture in order to make the case that Iran is malevolently predisposed toward Jews.
Read Full Article

Can We Trust Obama on Iran?
Can we trust President Obama? That seems to be the crux of the partisan divide regarding Iran. If we trust Obama to get and enforce a deal tough enough to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, then there is little need for congressional action. But if we don't trust Obama, and if we take seriously the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, then no deal probably is better than a deal negotiated by a president we cannot depend on.

Republicans Warn Iran - And Obama - That Deal Won't Last
A group of 47 Republican senators has written an open letter to Iran's leaders warning them that any nuclear deal they sign with President Barack Obama's administration won't last after Obama leaves office. Organized by freshman Senator Tom Cotton and signed by the chamber's entire party leadership as well as potential 2016 presidential contenders Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, the letter is meant not just to discourage the Iranian regime from signing a deal but also to pressure the White House into giving Congress some authority over the process. 
Read Full Article

Anti-Semitism & BDS
Photo by Paul Miller
Photo by Paul Miller

Beware of the Universities, For They Are Barometers
In his early days at the University of Vienna, Theodor Herzl - the father of modern political Zionism - applied to join the Lesehalle, a student association devoted to intellectual conversation and debate. But in March 1881 (when Herzl was 21), the Lesehalle was dissolved when a discussion devolved into a viciously anti-Semitic rant.
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
humantraffickingHuman Trafficking Bill Hits Abortion Snag
Senate Democrats are threatening to pull their support from a bipartisan anti-trafficking bill set for Senate action this week. They are infuriated over an abortion-related provision that Democrats say was slipped in without their knowledge.
Read Full Article

Inside the Quiet, State-Level Push to Expand Abortion Rights
For decades now, Vermont has had a law on the books that banned abortion. But nobody thought about it that much: Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that guarantees a legal right to abortion, has superseded the Vermont law for more than four decades now. But about a year and a half ago, Vermont State Senator Tim Ashe started to worry.
Colorado Debates Whether IUDs Are Contraception or Abortion
A popular contraception program in Colorado is receiving criticism from conservative lawmakers who say that the program's use of intrauterine devices, or IUDs, qualify as abortions.
Read Full Article
Separation of Religion & State
Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived the University of Notre Dame's religious objections to the requirement for contraception coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare law, throwing out a lower court decision in favor of the federal government.
Read Full Article
Beyond the Core

barbaraGun Owners Should Support Background Checks
I'm a hunter and gun owner. I support the Second Amendment. For many Americans, myself included, guns are part of our culture and our upbringing. Congress cannot ignore this fact in its efforts to curb gun violence. I am also the father of two first responders and a grandfather who believe that we need smart fun laws that help keep American families safe.
Read Full Article

Dems Push ATF to Revive Bullet Ban

Congressional Democrats are pressuring the Obama administration to move ahead  "swiftly" with a proposal that would ban a form of armor-piercing ammunition. In a draft letter first obtained by The Hill, Democrats are urging the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to use his "existing authority" to keep "dangerous ammunition out of our communities."

Boxer, Colleagues Introduce 'International Violence Against Women Act'
U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today introduced the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), bipartisan legislation that would make reducing the levels of violence against women and girls worldwide a top diplomatic priority for the United States. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives last week, where it has garnered 17 bipartisan cosponsors.
Read Full Article

Voting Laws Roundup 2015
As the early stages of the 2016 presidential race begin, state legislatures are already considering hundreds of laws that could determine access to the ballot.
Read Full Article
Political Byte

gabby2016's Top Most Vulnerable Senators

Senate Democrats are hoping to take advantage of a favorable electoral map in 2016 to swing majority control back their way. This cycle, Republicans are defending 24 seats compared to Democrats' 10, including seven in states President Obama carried twice. Democrats don't have any red-state incumbents facing reelection either, and they could be buoyed by higher turnout from a presidential cycle.


Rep. Ted Deutch is saying sayonara to "what little hair" he has left. The Florida Democrat will become the first member of Congress to "brave the shave" for theSt. Baldrick's Foundation, kissing his precious follicles goodbye in order to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

Read Full Article 

The Delicious Deli Man

If you think Jews are tough customers in general, try satisfying the hungry Jewish deli customer. As one deli maven observed in the new documentary "Deli Man," they are "the worst damn customers in the world." They look at the chicken soup and proclaim it too salty. Have they tasted it? No, but they say, "It looks too salty."

Read Full Article 

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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.