March 3, 2017
Join JAC in Washington May 3-4
JAC Members in Chicago with
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
l to r: Hollis Wein, Marcia Balonick, Scott Canel, Debbie Stabenow, Jonathan Canel,
 Lynda Canel, Amy Small

Week In Review Commentary
When JAC began in 1980, there were only 18 women in Congress. Today 105 women serve in the House and Senate. Women have made significant strides in government. They have contributed to every aspect of society, as well. During Women's History month in March, we honor women for their achievements and impact in our lives. However, we must also remember the challenges that remain.

Roe v Wade has never been more at risk. More than 1,000 abortion restrictions have been enacted since that landmark court decision. A new bill introduced in Congress would constitute a total abortion ban. This bill would prohibit abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy -- before many women even realize they're pregnant.

These are challenging and frightening times. We have an anti-choice President and a Congress filled with extremists committed to ending women's reproductive freedom. If we aren't successful in our fight to block Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, safe and legal abortion may end.

JAC candidates are fighting to protect our rights for access to health care, to protecting women from domestic violence to economic parity. In honor of Women's History Month, make a donation to JAC. We can't end Congress' war on women without electing women - and men - who share that commitment. Your contribution to JAC helps us in that important mission. Thank you for your support.
Take Action
Call Your Senator
Tell them to
the proposed elimination of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism

  • Anti-semitic incidents are occurring on an almost daily basis across the country:
    • Since Monday, more than 30 JCCs have received bomb threats
    • Jewish Cemeteries in St. Louis & Philadelphia have been vandalized
    • Since January, there have been 101 threats to the Jewish community reported.
  • There has been a resurgence on the extreme right leading to a significant increase in violence.
    • Over 1,000 hate crimes across the country have been reported since January.
  • Now more than ever, the Jewish community needs policies and projects that support efforts to combat anti-Semitism.
We Need a Plan to Fight Anti-Semitism;
Don't Eliminate the Special Envoy Position.
Not sure who your Senators are?
*Source: Times of Israel 
GOP Lawmakers Unveil Measure to Cut Off U.S. Aid to Palestinians

House and Senate Republicans have introduced legislation that would cut off U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority under certain conditions.The bill would halt funding "to the Palestinian Authority if they continue their policy of paying monetary rewards to terrorists and their surviving family members." The Palestinian Authority receives about $400 million in funding annually, according to the Congressional Research Service. 
Abbas Rejects Regional Approach, 'Temporary Solutions' to Conflict

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday rejected the idea of "temporary" and regional frameworks for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which have been endorsed recently by the leaders of both Israel and the United States. Addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Abbas said, "It is impractical for the sake of peace and justice to discuss temporary solutions or merge the question of Palestine within the framework of regional affairs as the current Israeli government has attempted to do."
U.N. Envoy Slams Rocket Attack from Gaza

The United Nations' special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, made a stunning comment this week when he condemned a Palestinian rocket attack Wednesday night. In a statement, Mladenov said, "Such provocations seek only to undermine peace." He noted that, "This is the third such incident in the past 30 days after a period of almost four months of quiet," and called on all sides to employ restraint in order to avoid escalations "that jeopardize the lives of Palestinians and Israelis."  
Continued Reading

House Anti-Semitism Task Force Urges Trump to Set Up Interagency Mechanism 

A bipartisan House task force on anti-Semitism has sent a letter urging President Donald Trump to set up an interagency mechanism to tackle the issue in the wake of waves of bomb threats against Jewish institutions and several cemetery vandalism attacks. 
DHS to Help Jewish Community Centers Enhance Security Protocols 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is stepping up its support for Jewish institutions across the nation who've received more than 120 bomb threats in the past two months. Jewish Community Centers have been pressing for help as they've been targeted by waves of threatening calls as well as vandalism.
Trump Questions Who Is Really Behind Anti-Semitic Threats and Vandalism  

President Trump questioned who was behind a recent spate of anti-Semitic threats and incidents during a meeting with state attorneys general, according to two people present. When Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro asked him about the recent threats against Jewish facilities, the president responded by condemning the incidents but then "suggested the 'reverse' may be true." Trump's reported comments would not be the first time he has suggested that racist, anti-Semitic or other "horrible" sentiment has been expressed by his political opponents seeking to make him or his supporters look bad. 
Continued Reading

Birth Control Coverage Is in Serious Danger  
The Trump administration may weaken or eliminate the provision for full coverage of contraception in the Affordable Care Act, and it may not require any action from Republican allies in Congress. The provision that allow women to receive full coverage for birth control -- including insertion and removal of an IUD -- could be eliminated or at least weakened through regulations, guidance, or law. Reproductive rights advocates are also waiting to see whether the Trump administration will continue to defend the mandate in the courts.   
Planned Parenthood Fight Could Slow Obamacare Repeal, Trigger Shutdown

Republicans in Congress have made cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood one of their top priorities, but the issue could stymie President Donald Trump's Obamacare repeal plans and even trigger a government shutdown. House Republicans insist that the emerging plan to end Obamacare must cut off an estimated $500 million in annual federal funding for Planned Parenthood over its provision of abortions, aiming to carry out two longtime GOP campaign promises at once. Democrats are equally determined to ensure that won't happen, and a few Republicans may stand with them.
$190 Million Raised To Fill Aid Gap Left By Trump's Abortion Rule

At a conference in Brussels on Thursday, more than a dozen nations and private funders pledged a combined total of $190 million for international family planning charities that stand to lose their U.S. support as a result of President Trump's Jan. 23 executive action to block U.S. foreign aid funding of groups linked to abortion.   
Continued Reading

In Religious Freedom Debate, Two American Values Clash

The collision of two core American values - freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination - is prompting a showdown in legislatures and courts across the country. For some conservatives, religious freedom means the right to act on their opposition to same-sex marriage and other practices that go against their beliefs. LGBT advocates and their allies, meanwhile, say no one in the United States should face discrimination because of their sexual orientation. 
When Charters Go to Church

Our religious groups are a creative bunch. They have invaded our school boards and forced religion into our textbooks in states like Texas, and they have been finding numerous ways to fight for things like school prayer for decades. However, one way in which religious groups have been able to push their ideology on our children that often goes unnoticed is currently happening inside our charter schools.
Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Open-Carry of Guns

Rejecting arguments by supporters of the Second Amendment, the Florida Supreme Court  upheld a longstanding state ban on people openly carrying firearms in public. Justices, in a 4-2 ruling, said the state law "regulates only one manner of bearing arms and does not impair the exercise of the fundamental right to bear arms."   
Trump Signs Bill Revoking Obama-Era Gun Checks for People with Mental Illnesses

President Donald Trump quietly signed a bill into law Tuesday rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun. The rule, which was finalized in December, added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs to the national background check database.
UN Climate Chief's Request to Meet Tillerson Goes Unanswered

The top United Nations climate change official continues to wait for a response to her request to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson over whether the U.S. will remain in the landmark Paris environmental accord. Environmental groups have warned of dire consequences if the U.S. abandons the Paris Accord.
Continued Reading

Why Gorsuch Could Lead the Court in Wrong Direction

It's no big deal, the thinking goes, that the Senate seems likely to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, this perspective obscures the fact that keeping the steady course with a conservative replacement for Scalia will be bad enough across a range of topics important to many Americans, from environmental protection to immigration law to the ability of labor unions to collect dues from their members.
Mike Pence Used Private Email as Governor, and It Got Hacked

Back when he was governor of Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence used a private email account to conduct official government business. This is, as any sane person would admit, not the biggest deal in the world. And in a sane universe, it would be a relatively small story. But in the actual universe, the most-covered story of the 2016 presidential election campaign - by far - was a pseudo-scandal over Hillary Clinton's use of a private email account to conduct official State Department business.
The First 40 Days -
by Barbra Streisand 

Whenever the doorbell rang, the legendary Dorothy Parker reportedly said, "What fresh hell is this?" I feel the same way every day under President Trump. Trump has promised to "make America great again." What makes America great is when our government is as good as our people, and acts with compassion and decency and humility... When it encourages people to support one another ... When we celebrate our diversity and work together to make our bonds even stronger instead of living under a more authoritarian government trying to divide us. He has failed this test already in his first 40 days.
Women's History Month: This Movement Is for Everyone 

We have work to do. It is rooted in the grass at our feet and in the collective power of women who are not new to the marginalization caused by systematic sexism, racism, and class discrimination: Black women who have been fighting for reproductive justice in the South for decades but who still do not have health insurance themselves; undocumented women who advocate for all women's access to public supports but who are not eligible for assistance in their own states; Native women who have sacrificed their bodies to protect sacred ground. 
Continued Reading

Barack Obama Named Recipient of JFK Profile in Courage Award

Former President Barack Obama was named the 2017 winner of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Thursday for carrying on his fellow Democrat's legacy. "President Kennedy called on a new generation of Americans to give their talents to the service of the country," Kennedy's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, said in a statement. "With exceptional dignity and courage, President Obama has carried that torch into our own time, providing young people of all backgrounds with an example they can emulate in their own lives."  
David Rubinger, Israel's Iconic Photographer, Has Died

David Rubinger, who died on March 1 at age 92, was the most famous photographer in Israel, the nation whose creation, conflicts and leaders he made his life's work. Rubinger's black-and-white images for TIME and sometimes for LIFE were the iconic images of the Jewish state. And his personal elegance over nine decades of life carried an essential quality of the country's founding generation into a more prosaic present. Think of a photograph from Israel, and chances are it was taken by David Rubinger. The Israeli paratroopers gaping in awe at the just-captured Western Wall - that was his. A jubilant crowd carrying a leader of the Entebbe raid on its shoulders? He got that. Prime Minister Menachem Begin, bent over to help his wife into her shoe on the official plane, Rubinger captured that, too.  
The Last Word
"Let us salute the contributions of women by fighting to preserve the victories we've won. Let us renew our commitment to stopping vicious attacks on women's health freedoms and attempts to return to the days when being a woman was considered a 'pre-existing condition'. Let us celebrate Women's History Month by striving to create equality of opportunity for all."

Nancy Pelosi 2/1/17

JAC Annual Meeting 2017
May 3-4
Washington, DC

Breakfast with Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
March 6th
8 am
East Bank Club
Chicago. IL

Lunch with Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
March 6th  11:15 am
Chicago, IL

Coffee with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)

March 17

8:00 am
Chicago, IL

JAC II Event
March 26th
Detroit Area
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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