February 12, 2016

JAC attended the Equality Illinois Gala this week with several friends from Congress.

JAC's Executive Director Marcia Balonick
with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

Marcia Balonick with Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-2)
and Brad Schneider, candidate for IL-10

Have you been out working on JAC issues? Send us photos of you and your friends at candidate events, out campaigning, or advocating for JAC issues and we will will post them!

Reception with
Rep. Eliot Engel (NY-16)
in support of
Brad Schneider
Congressional Candidate IL-10
February 16
Click for details

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
February 26
(two opportunities -
call the JAC office for details)

Lunch with
Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
U.S. Senate Candidate for NH
February 29
Click for details


Reception with
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)
March 17
Boca Raton, FL
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 info@jacpac.org
"Women's rights are human rights"
Hillary Clinton
She Gets the Job Done!
  • Co-sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help close the wage gap 
  • Worked to expand family leave and affordable child care
  • Spearheaded public-private partnerships to improve status of women and girls
  • Introduced legislation to ensure that rape and incest victims have access to emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms
  • Voted consistently to strengthen a woman's right to make her own health care decisions

Don't Miss a Chance to Meet Hillary! 

Monday, February 15th
Palm Beach and Boca Raton
Click for details

Wednesday, February 17th
Click for details

Monday, February 22
Los Angeles
Click for details

In the Chicago area? Let's go together!
Join with fellow JAC members to stand with Hillary and show our support on February 17th. Call for carpool details.

Contact the JAC office for details
847.433.5999 or info@jacpac.org
Meet the Members
Representative Tammy Duckworth (IL-8)

Rep. Duckworth was elected to Congress in 2012. Prior to that, she was Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where she advocated on behalf of homeless veterans and women. JAC has always been impressed with Tammy's determination and passion. 
In 2003, her Army National Guard unit was deployed to Iraq. She was one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, until her helicopter was hit by an RPG on November 12, 2004. Duckworth lost her legs and partial use of her right arm and was awarded a Purple Heart.
Duckworth is strong on all of JAC's issues. In Congress, she has been an effective leader for women, fighting for greater access to reproductive health services and increased funding for Planned Parenthood. She has a firm commitment to Israel's security.  "Israel is one of the United States' most important allies and as a Member of the Armed Services Committee it is a priority of mine to find ways to strengthen our strategic partnerships in areas such as missile defense and Iron Dome."
Duckworth is running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois. This will be a highly competitive race, but it offers JAC an opportunity to help elect a candidate that will consistently fight for the issues we care about. JAC is proud to support Duckworth and hope you will too.

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Israel & the Middle East
World Powers Agree to 'Cessation of Hostilities' in Syria
The agreement calls for the immediate acceleration and expansion of humanitarian aid to besieged parts of the country - like the city of Madaya, whose residents have been starving to death.
Egypt Flooded Hamas Tunnels at Israel's Request 
Since last fall, the Egyptian military has periodically flooded cross-border tunnels between Sinai and the Gaza Strip as part of a campaign to root out terror activity in the area.
Read Full Article

The Peace Process - So Many Proposals, No Way Forward 
The next American President will have a very different Middle East to contend with. This is not your grandfather's Israel, your NATO's Turkey, your oil company's Saudi Arabia. 

Turkey's Erdogan Met with U.S. Jewish Leaders 
In a further sign of thawing relations between Turkey and Israel, Turkish President Erdogan met with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.  
Anti-Semitism & BDS
Ted Nugent's Anti-Semitic, Anti-Gun-Control Post Raises Ire 
Right-wing rocker Ted Nugent came under fire from Jewish groups for an anti-Semitic Facebook post blaming prominent Jews for pushing gun control.   
Read Full Article

Obama signs anti-BDS bill into law
After a grueling legislative battle, President Barack Obama signed into law a controversial trade measure that also contains landmark legislation combating the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in Europe.  
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
The 8 Most Absurd Laws Men Wrote to 'Protect' Women
In March, SCOTUS will hear a landmark case about abortion, deciding if a Texas law that would close 3/4 of the abortion clinics in the state, places undue burdens on pregnant women. In a brief, 16 historians reminded  the Court of previous laws that have been passed to 'protect' women, but in reality were discriminatory and unconstitutional. 
Laws That Put Pregnant Women & New Mothers in Handcuffs 
In 2014, Tennessee enacted a law that threatens women with jail time if they give birth to babies who show evidence of narcotics use during pregnancy. Women are receiving random drug tests in the hospital after giving birth, and arrested days after bringing home their babies. This law has been used to punish women who have used narcotic drugs and given birth to healthy babies, as well as women who never used drugs.

'Trapped': No Moral Divide Between Religion & Abortion
Viewers might expect Trapped to be a grim, national montage-but it's not. Instead, it's much more powerful: an intimate portrait of a handful of providers in Texas and Alabama who are fighting to keep their doors open, and to reduce the stigma against abortion propagated by the religious right.
Read Full Article

App Lets Women Swipe Right for Birth Control
Last month a new website was launched where women can obtain a birth control prescription along with a 3-month supply. It is currently available in California and expanding to New York. 
Read Full Article
Separation of Religion & State
President Obama: Religious freedom keeps us strong
Our Founders knew that religious liberty is essential not only to protect religion, but because religion helps strengthen our nation. From our Revolution to the abolition of slavery, from women's rights to civil rights, men and women of faith have often helped move our nation closer to our founding ideals. This progress is part of what makes us a beacon to the world.
Beyond the Core
Obama's Clean-Power Plan Halted by Supreme Court 
A divided U.S. Supreme Court blocked President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to cut emissions from power plants, putting on hold his most ambitious effort to combat climate change
Read Full Article

North Carolina Gerrymandering Deemed Unconstitutional
A federal court declared that two of North Carolina's congressional districts were gerrymandered in a way that was racially discriminatory, deliberately clustering many black voters - who often vote Democratic - into large, oddly shaped districts in violation of their constitutional rights
Read Full Article

Study Shows Voter ID Laws Impact Minority & Liberal Turnout 
Voter ID laws adversely affected the turnout of minorities, and particularly that of Latinos. The study also revealed that turnout among Democrats was disproportionately affected, backing up claims of a political motivation behind the laws, which have been overwhelmingly championed by GOP legislators.
Read Full Article 

Why Toddlers Keep Getting Hold Grandparents' Guns
All told, in the first five weeks of this year at least six children age 5 or under have shot themselves or someone else either in a grandparent's home, or after finding a gun that belonged to a grandparent. 
Election 2016
Gloria, Madeleine and We, By Connie Schultz 
At 58, I'm young enough to have found Steinem and Albright inspiring for many years. I even admire their impatience in this presidential year. It is confusing to see a small part of me in my heroes. It's not that I believe young women have to support Hillary Clinton. I just want them to understand why it's so personal for many of us who do. 
Cruz' Backer Seeks to Convert Jews, Predicts New Camps 
The controversial Christian evangelical leader, whose endorsement is being proudly trumpeted by the GOP presidential hopeful, works to convert Jews to Christianity and has predicted a new era of concentration camps for Jews before the return of Jesus. He has also said that God sent Hitler to punish the Jews for not accepting Jesus. 
Read Full Article

Kasich - Not So Moderate After All 
Fresh from a strong showing in New Hampshire, Gov Kasich is likely to sign a law that effectively stripes Ohio's Planned Parenthood of $1.3 million. In five years as governor, he has signed every anti-abortion bill to cross his desk. 

Abortion Rights Take Center State at Republican Debate
Republicans facing off in Saturday night's presidential debate sparred over whose anti-choice stances were the most draconian.  
Read Full Article

The Rise of Trump Is a Terrifying Moment in American Politics
Trump is the most dangerous major candidate for president in memory. He pairs terrible ideas with an alarming temperament; he's a racist, a sexist, and a demagogue, but he's also a narcissist, a bully, and a dilettante. And he is in serious contention to win the Republican presidential nomination.  
Read Full Article
Political Byte
Nevada's Democratic Caucus Falls on Shabbat
Sabbath-observing Jews will be shut out of the Democratic caucus in Nevada, scheduled for Feb. 20th. Party leaders said that date would be the most convenient to the largest number of people. 

Guns May Threaten Mental Health Package in Congress 
Senators are continuing to negotiate a mental health system overhaul package, but one issue threatens its future: guns.
Lavish Trip to Israel in Oscar 'Goody Bag'
A free trip to Israel, valued at $55,000, is the most valuable gift in the Oscar "goody bag" that will be given to nominees for this year's Academy Awards.
Meet the Rabbi Fighting Islamophobia Across the Country
"If we're going to be the family of Abraham, we together have to call out Islamophobia," Pesner told a packed crowd at the Islamic Center of Tennessee in Antioch, last month. "We have to beat back the forces of bigotry, whether it's anti-Jewish bigotry, anti-Muslim bigotry or bigotry in any form in America."

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.