October 20, 2017

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) talks with JAC Members after receiving
JAC's Shirley Byron Award for Excellence in Leadership

 l to r: Linda Fisher, Jonathan Spagat, Leslie Spagat, Marcia Balonick 

Discussing the issues with Rep. Schiff

Week In Review Commentary
This week President Trump spoke to the Family Research Council's (FRC) Values Voter Summit. The FRC has been described as the most powerful and influential political organization on the evangelical far right. The Summit's gathering was an opportunity to engage the extreme religious right's mission "to preserve the bedrock values of traditional marriage, religious liberty, sanctity of life and limited government that make our nation strong," according to the group's website. 

Trump was the first sitting president to appear before the group, where he boasted that,"if we have faith in God then America will prevail."  This message clearly resonates with the religious right, where their agenda has become intertwined with Trump's agenda. Trump's push against LGBTQ rights, abortion rights and other social issues emboldens social conservatives and religious extremists.

Trump'sappointment earlier this year of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education was seen as the crowning achievement of the Christian right's campaign to infiltrate America's secular institutions. 

Today the extreme religious right has found strength within the alt-right movement. Tony Perkins, the head of the FRC has courted close ties with Breitbart News. He has openly admitted that FRC's message appeals to the Alt-Right and far right.

Our religious freedom hinges on the separation of religion and state - a key JAC issue. Attempts to weaken this important principle are a danger to all. JAC was founded after the 1980 election when the extreme radical right opposed Israel and the values of mainstream American Jewry. We must continue to be diligent in our efforts to fight the religious right's influence in government. 


Stay informed. Share this information with your friends and family. 

Remember: Elections matter. JAC supports candidates who will fight to preserve and protect the separation of religion and state. Help us.  Donate now.  

source:  RollingStone, Rewire

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- oppose the 20-week abortion ban

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U.S. Says Hamas Must Disarm, Recognize Israel If It Joins Palestinian Unity Government

Hamas should disarm and recognize Israel if it is to join a Palestinian unity government with rival group Fatah, the United States' Mideast envoy said. It's the first comment from the U.S. following the landmark agreement between the two factions last week. 
Strike on Syrian Anti-Aircraft Battery Shows Israel Will Do What Is Needed to Collect Info on Hezbollah Buildup

The Israeli strike targeting an anti-aircraft missile battery in Syria was an "important" event that sent a message to the Jewish state's enemies, a former IDF Military Intelligence chief said.  "It demonstrates that Israel will not shy away from its need to collect intelligence on the buildup of Hezbollah with the support of Iran and the Assad regime." The SA-5 battery - located about 30 miles east of the Syrian capital of Damascus - was bombed hours after it had fired a missile toward IAF planes conducting a reconnaissance mission over Lebanon. 
Israel's Planned Withdrawal From UNESCO Unlikely to Improve Anything  

Very few things enjoy across the board support from rival political camps in Israel, but Netanyahu's decision  to start "preparing" to leave UNESCO was one of them.  Israel's pullout is unlikely to bring about the desired change at the organization and may negatively affect the Jewish state's interests.  Israelis have long debated whether it is better to engage with biased organizations, trying to improve them from the inside, or to quit. The irony, however, is Israel announced its desire to leave a day after it finally had some success. And in part, the decision was spurred not by Israeli planning, but by a surprise U.S. decision to quit.
Continued Reading

White Nationalist Richard Spencer to Noisy Florida Protesters: You Didn't Shut Me Down

Students and other audience members heavily booed white nationalist Richard Spencer as he gave a speech at the University of Florida, where the atmosphere was tense but mostly peaceful as police in riot gear kept watch. "You are trying to stifle our free speech," Spencer said as the crowd continuously booed and chanted through his speech, in which he recited his ideas about the "ideal" of a white nation. 
'Scaramucci Post' Yanks Twitter Poll on Holocaust Death Toll  

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci used Twitter to conduct a poll on how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust.  The multiple-choice question gave four options for answers: "Less than one million," "Between 1-2 million," "Between 2-3 million" and "More than 5 million."  The quiz was subsequently yanked.   
New Analysis Shows Supporters of Family Research Council Embrace White Supremacy and Neo-Nazism  

A social media network analysis performed by Rewire shows the Family Research Council's (FRC) messages are resonating with other factions of the far right that explicitly endorse and advocate white supremacist views.The FRC is among the most powerful and influential political organizations on the evangelical far right. Its website boasts of its role as a kingmaker in U.S. politics, and the group's embrace of then-candidate Donald Trump at its annual Values Voter Summit conference last year solidified his support from evangelicals; their votes proved crucial to his victory in November.  
Despite Leaving Key Questions Unanswered, New Contraceptive Coverage Exemptions Will Do Clear Harm

The Trump administration's overhaul of federal regulations governing religious objections to ACA will create sweeping new exemptions for employers, schools, individuals and insurers with religious or moral objections to contraceptive methods. Although the new regulations do not eliminate the ACA's contraceptive coverage, they now include potential exemptions. Any employer (nonprofit or for-profit) can exclude some or all contraceptive methods and services from the health plans if employer has religious or moral objections.    
The Fight Against Trump's Birth Control Benefit Rollback Heats Up

A series of lawsuits filed to challenge the Trump administration's attack on the birth control benefit show advocates do not intend to let this administration run over the rights of students and employees. These lawsuits present the public health benefits of contraception, such as preventing unwanted pregnancies, treating other serious medical conditions like ovarian cysts, and keeping women in the workplace. More importantly, the lawsuits claim the rule violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause by "having a predominant purpose" and "effect of advancing a particular set of religious beliefs". 
How Trump Stole the Soul of the Values Voter Summit

The Values Voters Summit, a gathering of the nation's most dedicated Christian activists, had Trump as guest speaker, the first sitting president ever to do so. Other speakers included Sebastian Gorka, Steve Bannon and Michelle Bachmann. Trump declared "America is a nation of believers.  And together we are strengthened and sustained by the power of prayer."   
Trump's Pick for White House Environmental Post Once Said Coal Helped End Slavery
President Trump named Kathleen Hartnett White, a hard-line critic of climate change science, to the White House's Council on Environmental Quality. Hartnett White, a former Texas environmental regulator whose six-year tenure was marked by her vote to greenlight a new coal-fired plant over the objections of 24 Dallas-area cities. Hartnett White's impending nomination is described as "a major win for Steve Bannon." 
Making People Wait After Buying a Gun Could Save 900 Lives a Year
Making would-be gun owners wait a few days between purchase and possession could reduce deaths from handgun violence. States with waiting period laws, usually between two and seven days, before a purchaser can take gun home, had about 17 percent fewer homicides per year. The delay also reduced gun suicides by up to 11 percent. 
The Danger of President Pence

Trump's critics yearn for his exit. But Mike Pence, the corporate right's inside man, poses his own risks. Pence's odds of becoming President are long but not prohibitive. Of his forty-seven predecessors, nine eventually assumed the Presidency, because of a death or a resignation. If the job is a gamble for Pence, he himself is something of a gamble for the country. 
George W. Bush Slams 'Bigotry,' Politics of Populism that Led to Trump, Sanders
You might say George W. Bush wants to make America great again. In remarks, he criticized the kind of politics, sentiment and populism that led to Trump's rise and election. He slammed a discourse that seems "degraded by casual cruelty," disagreement that "escalates into dehumanization" and a "nationalism distorted into nativism."
Trump's Health Subsidy Shutdown Could Lead to Free Insurance

If President Trump prevails in shutting down a major "Obamacare" health insurance subsidy, it would have the unintended consequence of making free basic coverage available to more people, and making upper-tier plans more affordable.   
Read Full Article
Another Obama Decision Reversed? Now It's About Food Safety 

Republican lawmakers are aggressively lobbying to speed up poultry inspection lines - a change the Obama administration rejected after warnings it would endanger workers and increase food contamination. The council says this will help cut costs and expand production to meet rising demand. However, worker safety advocates worry this will harm plant employees. 
Read Full Article
Continued Reading

When Hitler Sent His Minions to LA: The True-Life Nazi Plot Against Hollywood

It reads like a scene from a nightmare Hollywood script: Nazis in Los Angeles plan to kill some of the most beloved names in show business - including Charlie Chaplin - and use the mass execution to launch pogroms against Jews in the U.S. But this scheme was all too real during the 1930s. Plans were thwarted thanks to a spy ring run by Leon Lewis, a founder of the Anti-Defamation League. Details  will be included in new book,  "Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots against Hollywood and America." 
School Named After Confederate Leader Will Be Renamed for Barack Obama 

A Mississippi elementary school will change its name to honor former President  Obama instead of its original namesake, Confederate President Jefferson Davis. There are now at least 20 schools across the country that bear the Obama name.     
Continued Reading

The Last Word
"When you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You didn't place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)
Meet & Greet with
Dan Kohl
Candidate for WI-6
Wednesday, October 25th
11:00 am
JAC Office in Highland Park
Call for more information
A Reception with  
Rep. Jacky Rosen
Candidate for U.S. Senate for Nevada
Monday, October 30th
5:30-7:30 pm 
Chicago, IL
Detroit Membership Meeting Event with
Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI)

Monday, October 30th
9:15 - 10:45 am
Franklin, MI

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.