November 3, 2017

JAC Detroit Membership Meeting (l to r: Pamela Lippitt, Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Lisa Lis, and Roz Blanck). Stabenow and Peters discussed the GOP budget, Congress's support for Israel and other issues of importance to JAC.

JACII women in Detroit meet with their Michigan Senators, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters during JAC's event.

Detroit JAC members listen to Sens. Stabenow and Peters discuss the importance of staying politically involved.

Week In Review Commentary
Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. That watershed moment gave birth to the Jewish homeland and turned a dream into a reality for Jews everywhere.

Israel certainly didn't have an easy start and throughout the years its strength and fortitude has been tested with violence and bloodshed. Its neighbors seek Israel's destruction. World opinion is often not on Israel's side.

However, through tough odds and difficult times, Israel has not only made the desert bloom, but the world as well. Its numerous contributions to technology, medicine, agriculture, business and the arts have changed the way we live.

The Intel Pentium processor chips in our computers are from Israel. The Waze app that keeps us from getting lost was developed in Israel, along with texting and the first mobile phones. Many of the drugs we take are developed and manufactured at Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world largest generic drug company. This week a company in Israel released the first of it kind - an electric car that folds and shrinks to fit motorbike parking. 

Besides products, Israel takes it responsibility of Tikun Olam, repairing the world, seriously. Sometimes this means helping civilians injured in a country like Syria, which considers Israel a sworn enemy, or aiding a country devastated by an earthquake.

Despite all of this, anti-Semitism continues to rise here and across the world. We have seen Jews targeted for simply being Jews in Europe and the U.S. Jewish students on campus routinely face anti-Semitism.

Through JAC's hard work, we have elected Members of Congress who support a strong and secure Israel and who support efforts to combat anti-Semitism. Foreign aid to Israel has enabled Israel to defend itself.

We cannot, however, afford to become complacent when it comes to Congressional support for Israel. The Balfour Declaration was the beginning. Now it's up to us to ensure that Israel continues to thrive.


Support JAC candidates who will work to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Urge your Members of Congress to support anti-BDS legislation.

Encourage your friends and family to join JAC.

Take Action
Stop the Abortion Ban
Tell Your Representative to Vote NO on 
H.R. 490
(Heartbeat Protection Act)
Keep Abortion Safe & Legal
  • Violates Roe v Wade
  • Punishes doctors with 5 years in prison if they perform an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected (generally at 6 weeks)
  • Prevents women from accessing abortion care after 6 weeks, when many women may not even know they are pregnant
  • NO exception for rape or incest
  • NO exception if women's health is threatened -- only their life
Abbas: Any Minister in Future Unity Gov't Must Recognize Israel

The Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he wouldn't appoint Hamas officials to a Palestinian government of unity if they didn't recognize the State of Israel.  The PA president's comments on a potential unity government came after his party, Fatah, and Hamas signed an Egyptian-brokered deal to advance reconciliation efforts and restore the PA's rule in the Gaza Strip.   
A Time to Celebrate Israel

The 100-year anniversary of the "Balfour Declaration" on Nov. 2, 1917, which paved the way for Israel's creation, should be a time of unbridled celebration, an occasion to honor the region's lone democracy and most dynamic economy. Instead, it has also become an opportunity for critics of Israel to relaunch their misguided, often dishonest, attacks that seek to undermine the country's global legitimacy.
Why Israel Is Giving Syrians Free Spaghetti (and Health Care)

What started with this one isolated event in 2013 has, over four years later, expanded into a massive Israeli army operation providing thousands of Syrians across the border medical assistance, humanitarian aid, food and basic infrastructure. Israeli military officers are clear about the purpose of this, dubbed the "Good Neighbor" policy. It is to assist desperate Syrians ravaged by years of civil war, and in the process stabilize the border region by showing the enemy population that Israel is not, in fact, the devil.
Continued Reading

Anti-Semitic Incidents Surge in United States

Anti-Semitic incidents in the first 9 months of 2017 have risen 67 percent over the same period last year. States with high Jewish populations including NY, CA, MA, and FL saw the most incidents.  
Deputy Foreign Minister Sets Out on U.S. Campus Tour to Combat BDS  

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely set out on a campus tour in a first-ever visit of a senior Israeli politician to Ivy League campuses in order to combat prevalent propaganda against the Jewish state.  "I come as a representative of the government on a journey that will begin the hard work of changing the trend toward Israel on US campuses," she said.     
Here's the Next Way the Trump Administration Could Go After Abortion Providers 

Republicans could soon go after abortion providers by adding new restrictions to the federal family planning program. The Department of Health & Human Services is expected to release a notice of funding to the Title X program, which awards grants to clinics for providing birth control and family planning services. Conservatives who hold the power to reshape federal programs, don't want any abortion providers to receive taxpayer dollars.  
GOP Consider a Bill That Would Ban Most Abortions

A House committee held a hearing on a bill that would make abortions illegal as early as six weeks into a pregnancy-before many women know they are pregnant. "The Heartbeat Protection Act" would make it a crime, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, for doctors to perform abortions after they can detect a fetal heartbeat. The bill provides no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, or that threaten a woman's health. 
Catholic Hospital Pressured Women to Bury Their Fetuses--Then Pence Made It Law

St. Joseph, a Catholic hospital, pressed its fetal burial program on patients, a coercive approach to pregnancy loss to which Vice President Pence, as Indiana governor, sought to give the blessing of law. The law's melding of religion and public policy has defined the legacy of Pence, who now plays a crucial role in steering such policy at the national level. 
Continued Reading

Senate Confirms Trump Judge Opposed By 27 LGBTQ Rights Groups

The Senate voted to confirm Joan Larsen to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit although more than two dozen LGBTQ rights groups that sent a letter warning that Larsen's "views on civil rights issues are fundamentally at odds with the notion that LGBT people are entitled to equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law." 
Liberty University Police Detain Anti-Trump Evangelical Pastor Who Planned Protest at School

Police at Liberty University, a conservative evangelical Christian college, detained an evangelical pastor on campus after he called for a protest of the school. Later, authorities kept a watchful eye on students who may be sympathetic to his cause.   
GOP Tax Bill Would Allow Churches to Endorse Political Candidates

The House GOP tax bill would allow churches to endorse political candidates, rolling back a 1950s-era law that bars such activities. The change to what is known as the Johnson Amendment has long been a priority of leaders on the religious right and could weaken the separation between religion and state. 
See for Where All 533 Members of Congress Stand on Bump Stocks
After the Las Vegas shooting  lawmakers were quick to call for a review of the bump stock attachments found on 12 of the rifles in the gunman's hotel room. Most lawmakers have signaled they support more strictly regulating the devices. But GOP and Democratic leaders diverge on whether the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives already has the authority under current gun laws to regulate them. Here is each member's position on bump stocks. 
Despite Trump, the World is Turning a Corner on Climate Change  
The first major United Nations gathering on climate change since Trump withdrew from the Paris climate accord will take place next week. Despite the White House decision, climate action is continuing around the world as other nations keep their pledges and sub-national entities double theirs.  
Trump Court Pick Rated 'Not Qualified' Sits Through Humiliating Senate Hearing  
Two days after the American Bar Association (ABA) rated Leonard Steven Grasz "not qualified" to be a judge, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing for his nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.    The ABA found that temperament issues, particularly bias and lack of open-mindedness, were problematic. However, if Trump doesn't withdraw his nomination, he be could voted to advance to the full Senate in a matter of weeks.
Here's What America Makes of Monday's Indictments

Americans' reactions to the news that roiled Washington are largely split between condemnation and confusion. Trump's opponents feel this is proof of wrongdoing, while the president's supporters are largely reserving judgment. The revelations have done little to change opinions on the issues surrounding the Trump administration's relationship with Russia. 
Mueller's Charges Send a Message to the Trump Campaign - You Could Be Next
Robert Mueller has sent a warning to individuals in President Trump's orbit: If they lie about contacts between the president's campaign and Russians, they'll end up on the wrong end of federal criminal charges. Mueller has showed that he will not hesitate to bring charges against people close to the campaign even if they don't specifically pertain to Russian election interference & possible collusion with the Trump campaign. 
Poll: 59% of Americans Said This Is the Lowest Point in U.S. History They Can Remember 

The American Psychological Association (APA) asked Americans how they're feeling. The answers were bleak. To help underscore just how difficult people perceive the current moment to be, the APA made a graphic to remind us of the most horrible events each generation has lived through - WW11, Vietnam, Cuban Missile Crisis and 9/11. Each group said now is the worst time.  
Read Full Article
The Wave of Women Running for Office Is Now 20,000 Strong -- & Growing 

There are now 20,000 more cracks (and counting) in the glass ceiling. More than 20,000 women across the country have thrown their hat into the ring to run for public office. The interested started after Hillary Cliton's loss. Women hold just 19.6% of seats in Congress, and only 25% of the seats in state legislatures.
Read Full Article
Continued Reading

Thurgood Marshall Movie Faithful to the Facts, and the Man

The movie "Marshall" is about the Supreme Court Justice and his victory in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case outlawing segregation in public schools. In the 1940s, Marshall at great personal risk, traveled the U.S. defending black men accused of crimes.
'I Feel Closer to My Religion,' American-Jewish Actor Paul Rudd Says 

While taping an episode of "Finding Your Roots," Rudd discussed his grandfather, David Rudnitsky, who served five years in the British military only to return home to face anti-Semitism from neighborhood fascist groups. 
The Last Word
"If you're the wealthiest one percent, Republicans will give you the sun, the moon, and the stars - all of that at the expense of the great middle class."

Democratic Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

A Reception for   
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)
Friday, November 17th
Chicago, IL
Call the JAC office for details.  
Talking Points with
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)
Monday, December 11th
9:15 - 11:00 am 
Riverwoods, IL

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.
Federal law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual who contributed to JACPAC. Maximum contribution per person may not exceed $5,000 per calendar year. According to law, JACPAC cannot accept corporate contributions. Membership, gifts, or other payments to JACPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.