April 17, 2015  

Yom HaShoah

President Obama Condemns Anti-Semitism
"It is incumbent upon us to make real those timeless words 'Never forget. Never again.'" 
EU statement
We mourn the deaths of six million Jews and millions of other victims. Innocent men, women and children were murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices, simply for being Jewish. Honoring their memory means for us to stand strong against anti-Semitism, prejudice and racial discrimination in all their forms and wherever they occur.  
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JAC Statement 
From those dark, dark days, the Jewish people, with our unending resilience, proved we can survive and once again flourish. We must never forget; and we must never take our future for granted." 
Watch: Israel comes to a standstill as sirens blare  
At 10 a.m. on Thursday morning, Israel came to a standstill as sirens blared throughout the country to commemorate the 6 million Jewish victims of the Nazi regime.
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A beach-goer stands still as a two-minute siren marking Holocaust Remembrance Day is sounded in Tel Aviv. Click here to see more images. 

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

Meeting for the 2015 JAC Power of Women Luncheon
(l to r: Susan Berk, Jacki Parmacek, Penny Keeshin, Ilene Tucker, Janna Berk)

Tina Wolf stuffing invitations to mail out.

Janna Berk & Merle Styer getting invitations ready to mail.

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]

Rep. Jan Schakowsky's
14th Annual Ultimate Women's Power Lunch
Chicago, IL
Monday, May 18

Come sit at the JAC table!


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

Don't Let the NRA Make the Decisions 
Call Your Senator TODAY 
Confirm Loretta Lynch for U.S. Attorney General 

The NRA doesn't like Loretta Lynch.
She supports common sense gun laws.
Tell your Senator to listen to YOU and NOT the NRA.


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Not sure who your Senator is? Click here.


JAC Welcomes
Hillary Clinton

"... I have seen the great accomplishments (in Israel)," Clinton said. "The pride of the desert blooming and the start-ups springing up. I've held hands with the victims of terrorism in their hospital rooms, visited a bombed-out pizzeria in Jerusalem, walked along the fence near Gilo. And I know with all my heart how important it is that our relationship go from strength to strength."

If you'd like to help Hillary, please contact the JAC office at 847-433-5999 or [email protected]

Our combined contributions make our voices stronger.  Give together.

source: i24news 

This Week in Legislation

Paycheck Fairness Act
(HR 1619 and SB 862). Introduced. This bill will help close the wage gap between women and men working equivalent jobs, costing women and their families $434,000 over their careers.

Woman on the Twenty Act. Introduced in the Senate. It would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to convene a panel of citizens to recommend a woman whose likeness would be featured on a new twenty dollar bill. In an online ballot, people can vote for the woman they would like to see featured. The campaign hopes to make the change by 2020, which marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

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Israel & The Middle East 
Iran bill passes committee unanimously
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation that would allow members of Congress to vote on a final nuclear deal with Iran. The compromise legislation, which was negotiated by committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) and ranking Democrat Ben Cardin (D-MD), passed the committee in a 19-0 vote.
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Obama, in meetings with Jewish leaders and donors, stresses how much he cares
Jewish leaders expected President Barack Obama to sell them hard on the Iran nuclear deal. Instead, participants in two White House meetings on Monday said he offered a softer pitch on how deeply he cares for Israel and the Jewish people. "He tried to explain he understands Jewish trauma, history, the Jewish feeling of being alone in a bad neighborhood," said a participant in the first meeting, which was attended by 15 top officials from Jewish organizations. Another described the meeting as "intense." "There was an openheartedness, there were some deep reflections by the president," this participant said.
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Is more going on between Israel and the Palestinians than meets the eye? 
For the first time since the signing of the Oslo Accords more than 20 years ago, Israel allowed armed and uniformed Palestinian policemen to operate in E-Ram, Abu Dis, Eizariya and Bido. 
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Hamas tunnels. Credit: Getty Images.

New tunnel detection system to operate on Gaza border 
After two months of development, the Israel-based international defense electronics company says that they have created an effective system which uses sensors to detect tunnel building activity. The system will be implemented along the entire Israel-Gaza border, Elbit said.

Land berm going up on Lebanon border to thwart Hezbollah 
The IDF has begun erecting a dirt berm along Israel's border with Lebanon to obstruct potential attacks by the Shiite terror group Hezbollah. The 11-kilometer-long (7 mile) earth barrier is being constructed on a cliff in the northwestern Galilee.
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Bloomberg Politics National Poll Finds Deep Partisan Split on Israel and Iran 
Israel has become a deeply partisan issue for ordinary Americans as well as for politicians in Washington, a shift that may represent a watershed moment in foreign policy and carry implications for domestic politics after decades of general bipartisan consensus.
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Anti-Semitism & BDS
Is Zionism Racism? 
Zionism is not about race. It is a nationalism. It makes a claim for the Jewish people that they are a folk like other folk and entitled to a land of their own just like the French have France and the English have England and the Bulgarians have Bulgaria. Nations have histories and the Jews have a history, long and eventful, rich in creative moments, overflowing with sorrowful memories, complete with documents, music, stories, language and also religion, and a religious memory of temples bygone and exiles endured and architecture described and columns buried in the soil and a millennium dream of return.
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How the Haters Handed Defeat to Students at Stanford 
One of the most prestigious universities in the United States recently fell victim to anti-Israel madness. How did it happen? And how can it be prevented on other campuses?
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Why I require FBI agents to visit the Holocaust Museum,
by FBI Director James B. Comey  

I believe that the Holocaust is the most significant event in human history. And I mean "significant" in two different ways. It is, of course, significant because it was the most horrific display in world history of inhumanity, one that simply defies words and challenges meaning.  

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Israel Launches Initiative to Have Antisemitism Recognized as an International Crime 
Attorney Alan Baker, Israel's former ambassador to Canada and a legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry wants antisemitism to be treated as an international crime. In a new Israeli initiative, Baker is proposing that international courts be used to combat global hate crimes against Jews.
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Reproductive Rights
Transparency About Abortion Coverage Still Lacking, But Achievable
Individuals purchasing coverage through the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) health insurance marketplaces may have difficulty finding consistent, clear information on whether a plan includes or excludes abortion coverage. However, transparency about abortion coverage is both necessary and achievable, according to a new analysis published in the Guttmacher Policy Review.
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Jemima Kirke's Abortion Story Reminds Us Why Reproductive Rights Matter
Jemima Kirke wants to strip the stigma away from abortion -- and she's using her own story to do so. The "Girls" actress, artist and mom opens up about her personal experience with abortion in a new video, as part of the Center for Reproductive Rights' "Draw The Line" campaign.
Arkansas Legislature's Anti-Choice Bill Spree 'Absolutely Devastating' for Women
There has been an avalanche of anti-choice legislation introduced this year by state lawmakers across the country, and 2015 may match the record number of such laws passed in 2011 and 2013.
North Carolina legislators want to stop medical schools from teaching abortions
North Carolina legislators are testing out a new way to restrict abortion access that could serve as the next fight in the abortion wars: bar the procedure at state-run medical schools. A new bill in the North Carolina legislature, House Bill 465, would make it impossible for East Carolina University or University of North Carolina's medical schools to train ob-gyn residents to perform abortions.
When a pharmacist turns a woman away
A miscarrying woman was reportedly turned away at a Walmart pharmacy in Georgia, possibly because the pharmacist disapproved of a drug for religious reasons.
Samantha Bee Loses it Over Rapists' Rights
Readers, you might want grab a mug of something strong for this: In 15 states and the District of Columbia, women who become pregnant by rape do not have the right to contest their rapists' parental rights.
Separation of Religion & State
Tennessee House Approves Bill To Make Bible Official State Book
Tennessee state legislators on Wednesday advanced a bill to make the Bible the official state book, a measure the state attorney general said would be unconstitutional and Republican Governor Bill Haslam has called disrespectful. The Republican-controlled state House of Representatives voted 55-38 to approve the Bible as state book. A companion bill could be considered as soon as Thursday in the state Senate, where Republicans hold 28 seats to five for Democrats.
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Louisiana Religious Freedom bill amendments proposed, then deferred
A controversial religious freedom bill that worries the LGBT community is likely to be significantly amended, after facing an uphill battle in the Louisiana Legislature.
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Beyond the Core
Business Owners Must Serve Gays
A case involving the owner of Geno's Steaks shows that the compromise between religious liberty and non-discrimination laws is hiding in plain sight, in the right to free speech. Business owners should be free to express their religious beliefs, and their preference to not serve gays, but should not be allowed to actually deny service.
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What Does Gun Violence in America Really Cost?
What Does Gun Violence in America Really Cost?

How much does gun violence cost our country?
It's a question we've been looking into at Mother Jones ever since the 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, left 58 injured and 12 dead. How much care would the survivors and the victims' families need? What would be the effects on the broader community, and how far out would those costs ripple? As we've continued to investigate gun violence, one of our more startling discoveries is that nobody really knows.
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Political Byte
16 Female Senators Give Their Best Advice to Young Women

In the history of the United States, just 46 women have ever served in the Senate. A full 20 of them are serving right now - a record high. Twenty out of 100, though, is far from equality, and female senators remain notable for their successes in such a male-dominated environment. Their best advice on succeeding in your career - and perhaps taking your own Senate seat someday - is below.

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How Ben Cardin and Bob Corker clinched the Iran deal

Days after Sen. Robert Menendez was indicted on federal corruption charges, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was on the phone with the man who would replace him as the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: Ben Cardin of Maryland. The delicate negotiations in Congress over how to respond to the Iran nuclear framework were coming to a head - and Democrats were all over the map. "Every team has one quarterback," Reid told Cardin, according to sources familiar with the call. "And you're it."

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New GOP Trafficking Bill Proposal Meets Resistance

It's the latest twist in the weeks-long battle to finish off what was expected to be a rare showing of bipartisan comity that instead has devolved into partisan bickering, holding up a vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch as attorney general. Democrats have protested the inclusion of abortion funding language into the bill.

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All 14 declared and potential GOP presidential candidates support a national 20-week abortion ban? This ad appeared in the print version of Politico this week. 




The PAC that aims to elect pro-life women holds its annual conference in D.C. Thursday - and it's gotten 14 potential GOP presidential candidates to promise they'd sign a 20-week ban on abortion, most recently CHRIS CHRISTIE.

  • On getting Republican candidates to voluntarily talk about abortion: "Inserting this into the presidential debate is way easier said than done. It only works when they've decided this is a winning issue...What will really make a difference is what they say and do on the trail...We see our job as establishing a bar that everyone should meet...A candidate is the most risk averse human being on the planet."
  • "Changing the debate changes the electorate ... Clinton does not want to talk about abortion....We believe the pro-life movement is stronger than at any time since Roe."

Read More 

Holocaust survivors' kids more fearful of Iranian threat - study 
A new study in Israel shows that adult children of Holocaust survivors are more concerned about the threat of a nuclear Iran than those whose parents were not survivors. 
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US chief justice called for jury duty 
Even the head of the highest court in the land has to report for jury duty. John Roberts, the chief justice of the US Supreme Court, showed up for jury duty Wednesday in a Maryland county court in the Washington suburbs. 
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People ask Google very stupid questions about 2016 candidates 

Not to be excluded from the exciting trend of tech companies glomming onto political news events to pitch their products, Google has been faithfully reporting the most common questions its users ask the search engine about the 2016ers after they declare their presidential candidacies. And, America? You are asking some very, very stupid questions.

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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.