January 15, 2016

JAC members met with Chelsea Clinton in Chicago

JAC members at a Hillary for America function in Chicago

JAC Executive Director Marcia Balonick
with Chelsea Clinton

Talking Points Highland Park looked at the issues through a Jewish perspective with Rabbis Wendi Geffen and Debra Newman Kamin

Great turnout to discuss Israel, Choice, Separation and more through a Jewish Lens.
(l to r: Peggy Lewis,
Rabbi Debra Newman Kamin, Sheryl Dorfman)

Planning has started for the 2016 Power of Women Luncheon. 

Reception with
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD-8)
U.S. Senate Candidate for MD 
January 21
10:00 am

Coffee with
U.S. Senate Candidate
Russ Feingold (D-WI)

January 21
Highland Park, IL

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
February 25-26
Details to follow

Reception with
Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
U.S. Senate Candidate for FL
March 20
West Palm Beach, FL
Details to follow
  For more information and to RSVP, contact the JAC office at 847-433-5999 or [email protected]
Meet the Members
Russ Feingold
Senate Candidate Russ Feingold (D-WI)  
Feingold is seeking to regain the seat he lost in 2010. He previously served three terms in the Senate and was a member of the Foreign Relation Committee, where he gained a a deep understanding of the Mideast. He has always been committed to the U.S.-Israel relationship. "We must never forget the depth and breadth of our alliance and always do our utmost to reinforce a relationship that has benefited both nations for more than six decades," he wrote in a letter to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Feingold is running against an extremely conservative, anti-choice candidate. While in the Senate, Feingold earned a 100 percent pro-choice rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.

This is an important seat to win back in our efforts to protect women's reproductive freedom. JAC has always been able to count on Feingold and we are proud to support him once again. He will be an important champion for all of our issues.
This Election, Your Vote will be a Vote for the Supreme Court
Supreme Court justices serve for life and consequently their ability to affect change in our country far surpasses that of the presidents who appoint them. Each of the last four presidents have appointed two members to the Court. Four members of the current Court are over 80 years old, so the next President could potentially see three to four nominations. The nominees will then need to be confirmed by the Senate.

The Supreme Court's decisions impact every aspect of our lives from education, health care, religion, marriage and privacy.

Elections matter -- especially when it comes to the Supreme Court. This elections when you vote, think about the Supreme Court.
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Israel & the Middle East
Intense Diplomacy Secured Sailors' Release in Iran 
Intense diplomatic negotiations between U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart through channels established during the nuclear negotiations led to the release of 10 American sailors who had been captured after straying into Iranian waters.
Pentagon Official in Jerusalem Discussing Israel's Military Edge 
U.S. deputy defense secretary met with senior Israeli military leaders to discuss sustaining Israel's qualitative military edge in the Middle East. Meeting comes during the finalization of a 10-year memorandum of understanding extending the existing defense assistance relationship. 

Israel: Bar Sweden from Future Role in Peace Process
Sweden will have no role in the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process due to Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom's hostility toward Israel, following her call to investigate if Israel was guilty of extrajudicial killings of Palestinians during the current wave of terrorist attacks.

K'nesset to UN: Condemn Iran's Holocaust Denial Contest 
The Speaker of the Knesset called for public condemnation by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with a coordinated social media campaign with all 120 MKs, directly addressing an international cartoon contest sponsored by Iran to promote denial of the Holocaust. 

Indonesians to Israel: We Will Retell Your Story of Rocket Attacks 
In a big step in the growing interaction between Israel and Muslim countries outside the Middle East, a group of emergency relief experts from Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka recently toured areas impacted by Operation Protective Edge in 2014, from Sderot to Ashkelon.
Anti-Semitism & BDS
Twitter Campaign Wants All France to Wear Kippot 
A call for French Jews to stop wearing kippot in light of recent attacks has prompted a social media campaign calling on all French to wear kippot in solidarity, "because if everyone wears one, nobody is a target anymore."
Read Full Article

#TousAvecUneKippa (Everyone With A Kippah)

United Methodist Church Divests from Israeli Banks 
The pension fund for the United Methodist Church, one of the largest Protestant denominations in the U.S., has removed five Israeli banks from its investment portfolio.
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
#AllLivesMatter Now Being Used Against Abortion Rights
Opponents of the Black Lives Matter movement use the phrase "all lives matter" to dismiss activists concerns about police violence against black Americans. Now lawmakers in Missouri, where the BLM movement began, are using the phrase in "fetal personhood" legislation. 

NC Lawmakers Demand Copies of Abortion Ultrasounds
As of January 1, all doctors performing abortions after the 16th week must submit copies of the patient's ultrasound to the State Department of Health & Human Services. 

Who Is Driving High Abortion Rates? The Religious Right 
Fact: Banning abortion does not make it stop, it just makes it more dangerous. U.S. legislators have been merrily passing laws making abortion clinics impossible to run while denying effective childhood sex ed. 

Norwegian Cruise Line Removes Employee Access to Plan B
Employees of the cruise line were recently informed they would no longer have access to emergency contraceptives unless they had been raped or sexually assaulted. 
Separation of Religion & State
Crisis Pregnancy Centers Must Inform Women About Options
The 9th Circuit refused to block a new law requiring faith-based crisis pregnancy centers to notify patients of all options - including state-funded contraception and abortion services. 

Scalia: Religious Neutrality Not Rooted in Constitutional Tradition
Speaking at at Catholic high school in Louisiana, the Supreme Court Justice said God has been good to this country. He went on to say there is "no place" in U.S. constitutional traditional for the idea that the state maintain a separation from religion. He maintained that there is nothing wrong with the government favoring "religion over non-religion," it just can't show favoritism to a specific denomination.
Another Catholic Hospital Interferes with Patient Care
Want a tubal ligation during your next c-section? Mercy Medical Center of California and it's owner, Dignity Health Services, won't allow it -- it violates the Catholic religious principles.
Read Full Article

Catholic Hospitals are the fastest-growing sector in healthcare next to for-profits. (source: ACLU)
Beyond the Core
Majority Supports Next President Pushing Tighter Gun Laws 
According to a new poll, half of Americans support President Obama's executive action on gun control, and a majority would support additional steps to tighten federal gun laws by the next president. 
Facebook Still a Haven for Unregulated Gun Sales
As President Obama moves to expand background checks, private gun sales are going strong on social media. 
Obama Pushes for Bipartisan Redistricting Reform 
During the State of the Union address, President Obama called for an end to gerrymandering, which allows politicians to "pick their voters and not the other way around." He also called to expanding voting access and campaign finance reform.  
Political Byte
Click above to see a 360 view of the Senate Chamber on SOTU Night
The State of the Union: Obama at his Aspirational Best 
In his final State of the Union address, the Union got a kind of secular self-help messge, a law-and-reason-themed homily that also brought to mind vintage Obama at his best.
Iran Vote Fails After Ryan Closes Voting Early to Punish Tardiness 
Speaker Paul Ryan wasn't kidding when he said voting tardiness was a problem he intended to address. He closed voting on a bill to prevent the Administration from lifting sanctions on Iran after the allotted 15 minutes, and over 130 members missed the vote. 

Note: When Discussing Foreign Policy, Count to 10 Slowly First
A seemingly ongoing trend in foreign policy coverage is a lot of allegedly smart people saying not terribly smart things during a foreign policy crisis. It's important to remember, after the crisis has passed, just who kept their head - and who didn't. 

The Millenials' Agenda for the Next President
Millennial message for the next? Get serious about renewable energy, require every gun buyer to have a background check, put body cameras on police officers and welcome refugees from war-torn countries. 

Celebrity reactions to the State of the Union 
Kerry Washington, Bette Midler, Bill Maher, Zoe Saldana, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and more took to social media to react to President Obama's final State of the Union address.

Trump Support Among Non-GOP Voters May Not Be a Problem
One of the biggest "known unknowns" of the GOP primary is whether Donald Trump will be able to translate his raucous rally goers into actual votes come election time. Moreover, no one really knows for sure if the Trump campaign organization is actually actively registering or targeting these supportive potential voters. 
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Lesson (& Challenge) for Moral Activists
One of the most important lessons that Dr. King leaves us with is that what is important must be spoken, made verbal, and shared even at the risk of losing friends, being mocked, or called names.

Snapchat & Notorious RBG in Statuary Hall 
"There she is!" someone from the crowd said as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg entered the hall. Ginsburg, followed by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, seemed well aware of the attention, although the "Notorious RBG" did not acknowledge the crowd, nor the flood of photographs being taken of her. 

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!



Marcia Balonick, Executive Director
Joy Malkus, Research Director

Dana Gordon, Membership & Outreach

Hollis Wein, Communications Director 


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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a pro-Israel PAC with a domestic agenda. We support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate for reproductive health and the separation of religion and state and incorporate other issues of importance to the Jewish community, including gun violence prevention and climate change. In addition to providing financial support for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, JACPAC educates our membership with outreach events designed to inform and activate their participation in the political process.