July 17, 2015
This Week at JAC
Centrifuges. Heavy water. Uranium. Isotopes. Snap-back sanctions.  These were the words of the week as JAC, the Jewish community and Congress received its first glimpse of the Iran nuclear deal.  No one doubts that the 159-page deal is filled with complicated information and guidelines. The deal certainly has its share of critics and supporters.

The Iran nuclear deal did not detract anti-choice Members of Congress from pushing their agenda -- even if meant denying breast cancer research funds to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The GOP forced a modification to a bill that would have funded the center's important research work because it funds cancer screening programs at Planned Parenthood.

Congress will be busy the next two weeks wrapping up their business before their August recess.  JAC will be watching the Hill carefully.  Stay tuned.

Round Up --The Iran Nuclear Deal
President Obama's Press Conference

President Obama held a news conference on Wednesday, saying he expects the debate over the historic nuclear deal with Iran to be robust. Click below for the full text of his remarks.

Secretary of State John Kerry's Statement
"The true measure of this agreement is not whether it meets all of the desires of one side at the expense of the other; the test is whether or not it will leave the world safer and more secure than it would be without it."

It's been a busy summer for JAC members meeting with candidates around the county, including New Jersey and Martha's Vineyard.

Former JAC President Gail Yamner and fellow JAC members met with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
(l to r: Gail Yamner, Senator Gillibrand, LaRue Porter,
and Julie Porter)

Former JAC President Betsy Sheerr with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) on Martha's Vineyard.

  Meeting with Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) on Martha's Vineyard. (l to r: Lee Wolf, Sen. Brian Schatz, and
Betsy Sheerr)

Betsy Sheerr with Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Senate Candidate Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) on Martha's Vineyard.


Have you been to candidate events, or been working on JAC issues? Do you have photos from JAC events? Send them to info@jacpac.org to be included in future EZ Reads! 

Talking Points Los Angeles
Details to come

Talking Points Highland Park
August 12
with Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Details to come

Detroit Membership Event 
Details to come

Want to host a JAC event near you? Plea
se contact the JAC office and we will help coordinate.

For more information and to RSVP, contact the JAC office at 847-433-5999 or info@jacpac.org



Senator Kirsten Gillibrand  


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has taken the lead on issues important to women during her tenure in the Senate. She introduced the Military Justice Improvement Act aimed at stemming the epidemic of sexual assault in the military, and legislation taking on sexual assault on college campuses. Gillibrand has a 100 percent pro-choice record, vowing to "always protect a woman's right to choose - no matter what." She strongly supports Israel's right to self-defense and the U.S. funding for Iron Dome. "Strengthening U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation is critical to ensuring one of our closest democratic allies can defend itself from terrorism." She is a strong proponent of legislative efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those who are gravely mentally ill. This year Gillibrand was named one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People In The World" for her ability to work across the aisle and build consensus. She served in Congress prior to being appointed, and then elected, to fill the seat of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY).  Throughout her time in the House and Senate, she has fought to preserve and protect JAC's issues.   
Join with Hillary

If you would like to support Hillary,
please contact the JAC office at
847-433-5999 or

Our combined contributions make our voices stronger.  There IS
Iran Nuclear Deal
At JAC, we strive to keep you informed about the latest news and developments as it impacts our issues.  Below we have attempted to share with you a variety of opinions, analysis and articles on the the Iran nuclear deal. Even though you may not agree with all, we hope you will take time to stay informed and familiarize yourself with the many issues surrounding this complicated deal.
How should American Jews React on Iran?
We can be productive, or antagonistic. We can be reasoned, or hysterical. We can be easily appeased, or appropriately skeptical. We can be predictable, or thoughtful. We can be apathetic, or engaged. We can be partisan, or principled. What we can't do is turn Iran into a litmus test of our Jewish identity and our commitment to Israel.
Iran deal leaves U.S. with tough questions, by Dennis Ross
The deal with Iran is finally done. Given the stakes, it should be scrutinized. It makes sense to reserve judgment and see how the administration explains all the clauses of the agreement and how they will be implemented.

After a well-crafted deal, the question is: Will Iran behave?
As the Iran nuclear talks neared the endgame, some observers worried that President Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry, in their eagerness for a deal, would give away the store with last-minute concessions. Those fears turned out to be misplaced, notwithstanding Tuesday's howls of protest from Israeli and GOP critics. The agreement is a well-crafted pact that maintains the framework reached in Lausanne, Switzerland, in April.
Split Community Looks to Congress
As the Jewish community digests the historic deal to limit Iran's nuclear capability in exchange for lifting crippling economic sanctions - with more or less predictable reactions from groups on the left and right - the focus now shifts to Congress.
Read Full Article
Israel & The Middle East 
After Iran deal, Obama offers military upgrade to Israel
U.S. President Barack Obama has offered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediate talks to upgrade the Israel Defense Forces' offensive and defensive capabilities in the wake of the deal on Iran's nuclear program. [T]his was the second time Obama has made a direct offer to Netanyahu on launching such talks. The first time was in an April 2 phone call, a few hours after the announcement of the framework nuclear deal in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Israel slowing settlement construction in bid to boost ties with PA
Secret contacts between the senior officials, who are representing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, have been taking place for several months and are still continuing, despite official peace talks that have stagnated for over a year.
Anti-Semitism & BDS

Anti-BDS Activits Starting to Line Up Victories on Behalf of Israel  

BDS (the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel) is an international campaign that was started in 2005 by several different Palestinian NGOs to pressure individuals, organizations, and nations to apply economic, academic, and cultural pressure on Israel. But now, opponents of BDS are fighting back. 

Read Full Article 

ADL chief warns anti-Semitism worst since WWII, event US Jewish kids feel intimidated
Stepping down after 50 years with Anti-Defamation League, Abe Foxman rails at Israeli backtracking on democracy and pluralism, West's failure to call Islamic extremism by its name.
Reproductive Rights

That Planned Parenthood Video Isn't the Scandal Abortion Opponents Are Making It Out to Be  

It's mostly a matter of clever wording, unsubstantiated allegations, and a reliance on the fact that most people find medical practices kind of gross. 

Read Full Article 


Senators plan post-recess markup of late-term abortion bill
Republican senators are planning a markup of the bill - which would ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks - in September, with a final vote expected shortly after, according to a GOP aide. The Senate Judiciary Committee is also planning a hearing on the topic "sometime this fall," spokeswoman Beth Levine said Thursday.
Read Full Article

Breast Cancer Bill Pulled Amid Abortion-Funding Concerns 
Republican leaders pulled yet another bill from the House floor Tuesday after conservatives expressed concern that a seemingly harmless piece of legislation supporting breast cancer research might actually fund Planned Parenthood. The Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act would have directed the Treasury to sell commemorative coins and give the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.

Photo credit Gary Cameron/Reuters

California, Oregon first to allow birth control pills without prescription 
California and Oregon will be the first states in the nation to allow women to get birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives directly from their pharmacists - without a doctor's prescription.
Separation of Religion & State
'Religious freedom' bill picks  up momentum in House
Pressure is mounting on House GOP leaders to call a vote this month on a religious-freedom bill banning the federal government from punishing churches, charities or private schools for actions in opposition to same-sex marriage.
Read Full Article

Some Lawmakers Are Making The Separation Of Church And State Seem Like A Total Joke
While there are some legitimate debates to be had about what, exactly, the government can and can't do when it comes to protecting religion -- the Supreme Court has considered this issue in a number of cases -- the examples below suggest that many lawmakers are trying their hardest to chip away at the separation between church and state.
Beyond the Core
N.C. Trial Outcome Could Sway National Voting Rights Measures
A federal trial in Winston-Salem, N.C., that begins Monday will have big implications for voting rights in the state and, potentially, across the country. The U.S. Justice Department and several groups are suing North Carolina over the sweeping election overhaul it passed two years ago, which narrowed the early voting period, among other provisions.
Read Full Article

Photo credit: PBS

Gas pipeline bills threaten national parks
The grandeur of our national parks includes nearly every conceivable environment our country has to offer, from the dense woodlands of Shenandoah to the desert expanses of Death Valley. These parks were established to ensure these landscapes are protected and "unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations," but thanks to legislation working through Congress now, it would be easier to puncture these landscapes with natural gas pipelines.
Read Full Article

Gillibrand: End the Trafficking of Illegal Guns
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was joined in Manhattan Sunday by community advocates and the New York Police Department as she announced bipartisan legislation aimed at cracking down on the daily flow of illegal guns on the nation's streets. The legislation would make gun trafficking a federal crime.
Gunfight or Flee: New Study Finds No Advantages to Using a Firearm in Self-Defense Situations 
A recent study published in The Journal of Preventive Medicine offers new support for the argument that owning a gun does not make you safer.
Political Byte

Joe Biden, the man by Barack Obama's side
The partnership between Obama and his vice president has never been as visible as it has been in the last few weeks. One reason is that these have been big, defining moments of this administration, and Obama thinks of them as ones he achieved with Biden at his side, figuratively and increasingly, literally.
Read Full Article
Jewish Man Who Fled Nazis Funds Rescue of 2,000 Christians from ISIS to Repay 'Debt'
A Jewish man in the U.K. is funding the rescue of up to 2,000 Christian families from Islamic State terrorists in Syria and Iraq to show his gratitude for the Christians who saved him from Nazi persecution. The man behind the project is Lord Weidenfeld, 94, a former publisher who said he has "a debt to repay" to Christians because they provided him as a child with food and clothing, and helped him reach Britain after he fled Nazi-occupied Austria. In 1938, a year before the start of World War II, he arrived in Britain by train as part of the Kindertransport rescue effort that brought thousands of Jewish refugee children to the U.K.

Lord Weidenfeld is funding rescue of 2,000 Christian families in Syria and Iraq.

Oskar Groening Trial: 'Accountant of Auschwitz' Sentenced to 4 Years in Jail
The 94-year-old former guard known as the "accountant of Auschwitz" was convicted Wednesday on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder.
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 

Find Us Online:

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  Visit our blog 
better jac logo
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.