February 3rd, 2017
JAC Members at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Week In Review Commentary
The most important decision a President makes is to appoint a Supreme Court justice. A Supreme Court justice serves for life. Consequently, justices' decisions reverberate for generations. President Trump's Supreme Court appointment of Neil Gorsuch is a threat to women's access to safe and legal abortion and other JAC issues. He would be part of a conservative majority that criminalizes abortion care, according to Dr. Daniel Grossman, director of Advancing New Standards In Reproductive Health.

Gorsuch is anti- Roe v Wade, anti-birth control, and anti-Planned Parenthood funding. A recent report from the Center for Reproductive Rights found that 22 states would be likely to roll back abortion rights immediately if  Roe v Wade were overturned. 

At 49, Gorsuch would be the youngest judge on the Court. He would continue to push the Court to the right if approved. Unfortunately, Gorsuch likely won't be the only extreme judge named by Trump. With the average justice age at 70, Trump has promised to fill these vacancies with extreme, anti-choice judges.

In conjunction with the Supreme Court fight, we must still continue to urge our Senators to deny the confirmations of Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is anti-choice, and Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos, who would allow more guns in schools. Lastly, Trump's executive order placing a religious test of refugees coming to America must be overturned as well.

Call your Senators often. These calls are making a difference.  

Donate to JAC now. So we can keep fighting for our reproductive rights.

Take Action
We are 1 Senator Away from Blocking
Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos

Dean Heller (R-NV)
Deb Fischer (R-NE)

John McCain (R-AZ)

Rob Portman (R-OH)
Tell these Senators to:

VOTE NO on DeVos 
  • She will be a threat to the separation of religion & state
  • Her views on public education are too extreme
  • She is inexperienced, unqualified and unprepared to serve
Trump's Non-Policy on Israeli Settlements

In declining to take an "official position" on the issue, the president departs from a decades-old American posture.While we don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace," he said, "the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal." Spicer added that the president "has not taken an official position on settlement activity" and will seek to discuss it with Netanyahu when the two meet later this month. While these remarks were widely interpreted as an official rebuke, that Trump wasn't willing to declare an official position on settlements is a notable departure from some five decades of U.S. policy. 
Trump Is Doing Everything He Said He Would: Except On Israel

Trump, the presidential hopeful, vowed to make a radical departure from the Israel policies Republicans so loathed in Barack Obama. He  told a crowd of roughly 18,000 at last year's AIPAC's policy conference that he would move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, dismantle the Iran nuclear accord and send "a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally." After the Obama administration allowed passage of a United Nations Security resolution that condemned Israeli settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace, he tweeted to Israelis that  "things would be different" when he took over as commander in chief.
Israel and Turkey Set for First Official Talks in Six Years After Diplomatic Thaw

Turkey and Israel are making further steps to rebuild relations, with the first first official bilateral negotiations between the two countries  in six years .  An Israeli delegation will travel to Turkey, a further sign of improvement after the countries ended the six-year freeze in June 2016.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the diplomatic rapprochement would be an "immense" boost to the Israeli economy.  An Israeli Foreign Ministry statement said that the visit  would "continue developing bilateral ties and strengthen cooperation on the political, economic and cultural spheres."
Continued Reading

The Administration's Flirtation with Holocaust Denial

The White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance day didn't mention Jews or antisemitism.   Deborah Lipstadt, consultant to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and author of the film based on her book Denial shares her deeply distributing thoughts that Holocaust denial is alive and being spread by Trump's innermost circle. 
Texas Governor Calls For Laws Blocking BDS

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called in his budget for passing laws cutting off businesses from Texas pension plans that adhere to Israel boycotts and broadening laws banning state investments in Iran.  Bills under consideration in both the Texas House and Senate would ban state pensions from dealing with companies complying with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel.  
What Trump's Supreme Court Nominee Could Mean to Women

President Donald Trump campaigned on an anti-abortion platform, while vowing to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices who could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade. So it's no surprise that his nominee for the Supreme Court seat that has been vacant since Justice Antonin Scalia's death nearly a year ago - 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch of Colorado - could pose a severe risk to women's reproductive rights.
The Trump-era Supreme Court Could Erode Abortion Access 

Since opposing abortion is part of the GOP platform, Americans can expect a reproductive-rights fight will be part of Trump's agenda.  The most drastic way the court could get rid of Roe v Wade would be to overturn the case. The more likely scenario would see the court letting Roe stand but incrementally upholding laws that restrict access, making abortions impossible to get - rendering the procedure virtually illegal over time.
New Arkansas Law Lets Men Block Wives' Abortions, Even In Cases of Spousal Rape

A new law in Arkansas bans most second trimester abortions and allows a woman's husband to sue the doctor for civil damages or "injunctive relief," which would block the woman from having the procedure. The husband of a woman seeking an abortion, if he is the baby's father, can file a civil lawsuit against the physician for monetary damages. The law states that the husband cannot sue the doctor for money in cases of "criminal conduct" against his wife, namely, spousal rape, but he could still sue to block her from having the abortion. 
Continued Reading

The Johnson Amendment, Which Trump Vows to 'Destroy', Explained

When President Trump told an audience of religious leaders on Thursday that he would 'destroy' the Johnson Amendment, he declared his intention to sign a bill that would fundamentally alter a major aspect of the church-state divide that has been a constant in American politics for generations. Conservative groups which favor a greater role for religion in the public space, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, have long sought to repeal the amendment.
Leaked Draft of Trump's Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legitimize Discrimination

The draft order seeks to create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious or moral objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity, and it seeks to curtail women's access to contraception and abortion through the Affordable Care Act. In particular,  the draft order "privileges" a certain set of beliefs about sexual orientation and gender identity-beliefs identified most closely with conservative Catholics and evangelical  Christians-over others.
Here's Why Democrats Should Block Neil Gorsuch's Nomination to the Supreme Court

The smartest move the Trump administration has pulled since winning the November election was nominating Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.   He is a nomination designed to test Democrats' will to fight, one Trump made in the height of the chaos and protests surrounding his immigration executive order, and as opposition to his cabinet nominees amplified.  Trump's team is counting on Democrats and the public to be overwhelmed and unable to resist each executive overreach and crony cabinet choice.
House GOP Vote to End Rule Stopping Coal Mining Dumping

Moving to dismantle former President Barack Obama's legacy on the environment and other issues, the GOP approved a measure that scuttles a regulation aimed at preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams.  Lawmakers also voted to rescind a separate rule requiring companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments relating to mining and drilling.  Republicans said the votes were first in a series of actions to reverse years of what they see as excessive government regulation during Obama's presidency. 
House Rolls Back Obama Gun Background Check Rule

The Republican-led House voted Thursday to repeal an Obama-era regulation that required the Social Security Administration to disclose to the national gun background check system information about people with mental illness. The Senate is expected to pass the National Rifle Association-backed measure soon and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it.
Why American Jews Must Relentlessly Oppose Trump's Refugee Ban

We have been both beneficiaries and victims of American refugee policies: We've seen America at its best and its worst. We can't let Trump betray our nation's values. As Jews, we have a mandate to welcome the stranger. The call echoing back to our experience as slaves in Egypt is central to how we understand ourselves as a people. As Jews, we also have a special role to play, with outsized impact. We have a responsibility called by our tradition, but we also have a history that gives added power to our advocacy.
A Clarifying Moment In American History

There should be nothing surprising about what Donald Trump has done in his first week-but he has underestimated the resilience of Americans and their institutions. Trump has already shown he has no regard for the truth, who does not know the Constitution, does not read and therefore does not understand our history, and who, at his moment of greatest success, obsesses about approval ratings,  What should Americans do about it?
United By Post-Inauguration Marches, Democratic Women Plan to Step Up Activism

Large numbers of liberals are saying they plan to step up their political activity, with Democratic women particularly motivated to take action, according to a new Washington Post poll.  The poll finds 40 percent of Democratic women say they will become more involved in political causes this year, compared with 25 percent of Americans more broadly and 27 percent of Democratic men.The results suggest that the "women's marches" immediately after Trump's inauguration, which brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators into the nation's streets to protest his agenda, could reflect something more than a momentary burst in activism.
Continued Reading

Obama Supports Protestors, the "Guardians of Our Democracy"

Former President Barack Obama said he'd only speak out against his successor when he felt "our core values may be at stake." Ten days into Trump's presidency, that moment has come.
Jews Hand Muslims Synagogue Keys When a Texas Mosque Burns 

In Victoria, Texas, there are several churches, but just one synagogue, and one mosque - at least, until the mosque mysteriously burned down  In a sense, the synagogue has become a mosque: the Jews of Victoria handed the Muslims the key to the building, so they would a place to worship while rebuilding.
How Political Will the 2017 Super Bowl Ads Be?

For brands, it's harder than ever to take a bipartisan approach to the biggest night of the year.  Super Bowl ads often offer surprising insight into the state of the American psyche.  With the country still largely divided over the efficacy and legitimacy of President Donald Trump, will brands lean in to the conflict or try their utmost to avoid it? 
The Last Word
"If confirmed, President Trump's (Supreme Court) choice will have a deep and indelible impact on the quality of justice in our country and the rights of the American people."

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi 
Fundraising Breakfast
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Monday, February 6th
8-9 am 
Chicago, IL

Tuesday, February 7th
10 am- 3 pm
JAC Office
Make phone calls with us at the JAC office
Contact the JAC office (847-433-5999) for more information

Talking Points 
Featuring Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8)
and Aviv Ezra - Israel Consul General to the Midwest
Monday, February 13

9:30-11:00 am
Deerfield, IL
Details to follow

Join JAC on Capitol Hill!
JAC's Annual Meeting
May 3 - 4th 
Washington, DC 
Details to follow
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.
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