March 19, 2015  

Reaction to Israel Elections

Office of the Press Secretary
March 19, 2015

Readout o
f the President's Call with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel

"President Obama spoke today by telephone with Prime Minister Netanyahu to congratulate the Prime Minister on his party's success in winning a plurality of Knesset seats.  The President emphasized the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence, and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between both countries.  The President and the Prime Minister agreed to continue consultations on a range of regional issues, including the difficult path forward to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The President reaffirmed the United States' long-standing commitment to a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine.  On Iran, the President reiterated that the United States is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program."
March 18, 2015
IPF Statement on Israel Elections

Israel Policy Forum (IPF) congratulates Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his election victory, and applauds the Israeli people for turning out in record numbers to participate in Israel's democratic process. However, the election does raise a number of issues and challenges for the new government.

The election of Mr. Netanyahu and his new government will continue to test Israel's relations with the United States, the international community and American Jewry.

The statements made in recent days by Prime Minister Netanyahu in opposition to a two-state solution, as well as his election-day warning that large numbers of Arab voters posed a threat to his continued leadership are troubling and objectionable.

The prospect of these policies and positions, as well as intensified settlement activity by a right-wing government could threaten to exacerbate Israel's growing international isolation, strains between the U.S. and Israel, political polarization in Washington, and divisions within the American Jewish community.

At this time, we must recall that the strength of pro-Israel advocacy and US-Israel relations are rooted in three fundamental principles: 1) nonpartisan support for strong US-Israel ties and Israel's security, 2) a commitment to our shared democratic principles, and; 3) a pursuit of a lasting, realistic and secure peace between Israel and its Palestinian and Arab neighbors.  

The most significant challenge facing the newly elected government will be to work to advance these fundamental principles, while addressing the numerous threats to Israel's regional security and national well-being.

Israel Policy Forum will remain committed to mobilizing community leaders to advocate in support of preserving the goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and of securing Israel's long-term future as a Jewish and democratic state. 

JAC's 5th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
June 1st - Mark Your Calendars Today!

Confirm Loretta Lynch
for Attorney General
She supports common sense gun laws
Fight Back Against the NRA
Call YOUR Senator NOW 

Not sure who your Member of Congress is? Click here.

Coffee with Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL17)
Chicago, IL
1:30 -2:30 pm, March 30th

Talking Points with Rep. Mike Quigley
Highland Park, IL
10-11:30 am, Monday, April 20

5th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
International Correspondent
Amy Kellogg

Barbara Bluhm-Kaul
Leslie Bluhm & Meredith Bluhm-Wolf
Lincolnwood, IL
11 am - 1:30 pm, Monday, June 1st


For more information and to RSVP, contact the JAC office at 847-433-5999 or [email protected]

Pass the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act
Without Abortion Restrictions 

Call Your Senator TODAY 

Not sure who your Member of Congress is? Click here.

The Week in Legislation

S. 178: Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. Senate voted NOT to open up debate and vote on the bill.  The bill, which would have helped victims of sex trafficking by setting up an assistance fund. The GOP attached a provision which would have prevented victims from using the fund for abortions.

Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act. INTRODUCED. This bi-partisan bill  would establish a "commission to accelerate the end to breast cancer by 2020."

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA36)


Second-term Rep. Ruiz grew up in the community of Coachella, California, where both of his parents were farmworkers. He achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a physician through public education. He earned his Medical Degree, as well as a Masters of Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a Masters of Public Health from the School of Public Health, becoming the first Latino to earn three graduate degrees from Harvard University.   


He has been a strong and consistent voice on choice issues, earning a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.  Ruiz also co-sponsored the Women's Health Protection Act.  


When it comes to Israel, Ruiz supports a strong U.S. Israel Partnership and increased funding for Iron dome. 

Let JAC help you plan an event in your area.
Call the office at 847-433-5999 or [email protected].
And then we will feature YOU here!

2015 Israel Election Roundup
JAC compiled the lastest news, opinion and analysis on the Israeli elections.  We will keep you updated on all the developments.

Obama calls Netanyahu to congratulate him on Israeli election
President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to congratulate him on winning his country's election Tuesday. 
The president phoned Netanyahu to congratulate "his party's success in winning a plurality of Knesset seats," according to a White House statement.
Read Full Article

Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu Tells NBC: U.S. Has 'No Greater Ally' 

"There are so many areas where we must work together, will work together with the United States, and the president, because we have no other alternative," he said. "America has no greater ally than Israel and Israel has no greater ally than the United States."

Watch Video 


Benjamin Netanyahu dials back rhetoric 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is rushing to dial back comments he made in the days before Israeli elections this week that seemed to rule out a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "I don't want a one-state solution," Netanyahu told NBC News in an interview broadcast Thursday.
Netanyahu won, but Israel was brought to its knees - Ari Shavit
There really was a chance this time. There really was hope this time. Netanyahu was weak, Likud was falling apart, and the right-wing was in a real crisis. The alternative in the Zionist Union made it truly possible to change the face of Israel, bring it back into itself, and its true self-image. But in order to do that, leadership, responsibility and good judgement are necessary.  


Lawmakers urge Obama to mend fences with Netanyahu

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are urging President Obama to mend fences with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The relationship between the two leaders has soured in the run-up to the prime minister's election triumph this week. But members of Congress say it's time to bury the hatchet.

Read Full Article


From Tel Aviv to Turtle Bay

The White House hoped a new Israeli prime minister would resume peace talks with the Palestinians. With Netanyahu holding on, the administration is weighing a turn to the U.N. to help force a deal. After years of blocking U.N. efforts to pressure Israelis and Palestinians into accepting a lasting two-state solution, the United States is edging closer toward supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution that would call for the resumption of political talks to conclude a final peace settlement, according to Western diplomats.

Read Full Article

Record number of women elected to Knesset

The number of women elected broke the record of 27 set in the 2013 elections, according to the Israel Democracy Institute. Number of female MKs increases to 28, up one from 2013 elections; overall voter turnout reached 71.8%. In an election with the highest voter turnout since 1999, a record 28 women were chosen for the 20th Knesset.

Read Full Article



Bibi Deploys the Southern Strategy

The chairman of Israel's Central Election Committee, Salim Joubran, a judge on the country's Supreme Court, is an Arab Israeli. In other words, the man who just supervised the Jewish state's latest election (and who also, by the way, sent a former Israeli president to jail), is not Jewish. This, of course, is a good thing. Arab Israelis (or Palestinian-Israelis, as many prefer to be called), suffer from various forms of discrimination as a minority group, but they have the franchise (17 members, out of 120, of the next Knesset will be Arab), and they are playing increasingly important roles in Israeli society. 

Read Full Article

Obama administration won't commit to making Iran deal public
Some details of a nuclear deal with Iran may not be made public, a senior Obama administration official said Thursday. "With regard to whether the agreement will be made public, certainly the core elements will," Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
White House blitzes Hill on Iran
Even the president himself is trying to contain Democratic defections on Iran legislation.
The White House is moving aggressively to limit Democratic defections on Capitol Hill that could undermine its negotiations with Iran, dispatching senior officials and President Barack Obama himself to lobby senators against taking action before a nuclear deal with the rogue regime is reached.
Read Full Article

Anti-Semitism & BDS

Swastikas painted in Jewish frat house at Vanderbilt
Three swastikas were spray-painted inside a Jewish fraternity house at Vanderbilt University over the weekend, prompting condemnation from the administration and Jewish groups on and off campus.
Read Full Article

Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe? - Jeffery Goldberg
For half a century, memories of the Holocaust limited anti-Semitism on the Continent. That period has ended-the recent fatal attacks in Paris and Copenhagen are merely the latest examples of rising violence against Jews. Renewed vitriol among right-wing fascists and new threats from radicalized Islamists have created a crisis, confronting Jews with an agonizing choice.
Read Full Article

Israeli singer rocks Paris with Hava Nagila to protest anti-Semitism

A city where anti-Semitic attacks occur on a daily basis may not seem like the obvious backdrop for an Israeli production of a music video titled Hava Nagila.
Watch Video

Reproductive Rights
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) stands up for women's rights in an incredible floor debate with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

The Senate GOP's Self-Made Debacle On Sex Trafficking And Abortion

An overwhelmingly bipartisan Senate bill to combat human trafficking hit a wall last week after Democrats said they discovered  a provision to impose new limits on abortion rights, and threatened to filibuster the bill unless the provision is removed.

Read Full Article


Most College Presidents Believe Sexual Assault Isn't a Problem on Their Campuses

More than 100 institutions of higher learning are currently under federal investigation for potentially mishandling sexual assault complaints, but nearly 80 percent of college and university presidents say sexual assault isn't prevalent on their campuses.

Read Full Article


Iowa House Passes Forced Abortion Counseling Bill

Lawmakers in the Iowa house passed a bill last week that would force a pregnant person seeking an abortion to undergo counseling prior to the procedure.

Read Full Article


Separation of Religion & State

Podcast: The Real Agenda Behind 'Religious Liberty' Bills
This episode takes a look at the explosion of so-called religious freedom bills at the states and the push by conservatives to enshrine practically everything they can under the First Amendment. The result? Disasters like the Hobby Lobby decision, anti-LGBT legislation and even the measles outbreak.
To Listen  

Michigan House votes Oks discrimination by adoption agencies 
Despite the passionate, well-reasoned arguments of opponents, a package of discriminatory adoption bills passed the Michigan House on Wednesday and were given immediate effect. House Bills 4188-4190 allow faith-based adoption agencies to place their religious views above the best interests of children in need - even when the agencies are funded by the state. 
Read Full Article
Beyond the Core


Questions raised on authorship of chemicals bill 
It's certainly well-known in Washington that when it comes to the making of the sausage, lobbyists frequently have their thumbs in the pork. But usually, they don't actually leave their electronic signatures on bills. The elaborately titled Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is a high-stakes bill: If it becomes law, it would be the first update in 39 years of federal regulation of toxic substances like asbestos, formaldehyde and hundreds of other chemicals.
Read Full Article

Rape Survivors Tell The NRA To Stop Speaking For Them 
Activists working to address the rates of sexual assault among college students don't want gun enthusiasts to co-opt their issue in order to push for more weapons on campus, and have launched several advocacy campaigns to fight back.
Read Full Article
You're Not Alone 
You're Not Alone

Derrick Rose Opens Up About Gun Violence In Joakim Noah's Documentary 

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has recruited teammates Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson to share how gun violence has affected them in a new documentary titled "You're Not Alone."

Florida Senate panel approves campus guns bill 
Despite vehement opposition from university presidents, campus police chiefs and student government associations, the Senate Higher Education Committee on Monday approved a proposal that would allow guns on college campuses.
Read Full Article

Political Byte

The GOP Budget: More War on Women
Republicans claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility. They're now in a race with themselves to prove it. Having declared the president's budget DOA when it was presented in February, they unveiled their own "set of solutions that will restore accountability to government" and balance the budget within 10 years.
The Grand Old Party has been trying desperately to appeal to women -- the majority of voters -- and denies that it has engaged in a so-called war on women in the last few years. If that's true, their budget should -- but doesn't -- show it.
Read Full Article
The Heroic and Visionary Women of Passover by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Rabbi Lauren Holzblatt  
On Passover, Jews are commanded to tell the story of the Exodus and to see ourselves as having lived through that story, so that we may better learn how to live our lives today. The stories we tell our children shape what they believe to be possible-which is why at Passover, we must tell the stories of the women who 
played a crucial role in the Exodus narrative. 

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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.