April 5, 2019
WEEK IN REVIEW

When President Trump was recently asked if white supremacy is a rising threat, he responded, "I don't, really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess."

It's not a "small problem" to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). A recent SPLC study of hate groups active in the US showed that their numbers rose to the highest levels in two decades last year.

It's not a "small problem" either to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Their Center on Extremism found that in 2018 domestic extremists killed at least 50 people in the U.S., the fourth deadliest year on record for domestic extremist-related killings since 1970.  Over the last 10 years, right-wing extremists have been responsible for 73.3 percent of the 427 extremist-related murders in the U.S.

This right-wing extremist violence is a direct threat to the Jewish Community. We saw this when 11 people were killed last October at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in 2017, "white supremacist extremism poses (a) persistent threat of lethal violence." Yet it was announced this week that the DHS group that has gathered information about domestic terrorist groups and violent extremists has been disbanded. Their information helped guide policy while enabling local law enforcement to better prepare to handle these threats.

The government should be doing more, not less, to address these threats. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) recently introduced legislation, "The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act" (S.894 and HR 1931), to enhance government's efforts to protect our country. The bills mandate that law enforcement agencies share information and reports for better coordination.

Reducing any efforts to combat and detect domestic terrorism jeopardizes our nation's security. On September 9, 2011, we witnessed the horrific results when agencies operate in isolation.

Congress has the power to ensure that government protects its citizens. Racial and religious violence is not going away anytime soon. Durbin's and Schneider's bills, introduced before the changes at DHS, are not only fortuitous, but necessary.
 
Sources:  PBS News 
____________________________________________________

Do you know a high school or college student who would like to intern at JAC during the school year or next summer? Call the JAC office at 847.433.5999 about opportunities.

ISRAEL
Trump Backs Netanyahu, but Will Voters? Your Guide to Israel's Elections    
  
As Israelis prepare to head to the polls on April 9, Benjamin Netanyahu faces perhaps the toughest election campaign of his long political career. The Prime Minister faces multiple corruption investigations, not to mention a formidable opponent. Netanyahu's Likud party, which has held power since 2009, has trailed in some election polls the Blue and White party led by the former military general Benny Gantz. 
Continued Reading

Cultural Obstacles Are the Real Barriers to Israeli-Palestinian Peace

With Turkish Loss of the F-35, Israel Keeps Its Aerial Superiority

ANTI-SEMITISM & BDS
United Nations Condemns Islamophobia and Antisemitism
 
The UN General Assembly adopted, by a consensus on Tuesday, a resolution that condemns Islamophobia and antisemitism - in the wake of the latest attack on two New Zealand mosques, in which 50 people were murdered and 50 others were injured. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon led a diplomatic effort to change the wording of the resolution, which initially included a condemnation to Islamophobia but had no mention of antisemitism.      
Continued Reading



CHOICE
Supreme Court Rebuffs Anti-Abortion Activists in Planned Parenthood Suit

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a bid by anti-abortion activists to narrow a Planned Parenthood lawsuit accusing them of illegally recording video of abortion providers to try to falsely show the illicit sale of aborted fetal tissue for profit. The justices declined to hear an appeal by the activists of a lower court's refusal to toss out fraud, invasion of privacy and other claims under California law made in the civil lawsuit by Planned Parenthood, a women's healthcare and abortion provider .
Continued Reading


SEPARATION
The Measles Emergency: What Are Religious Exemptions?
  
Measles cases have spread across the country this year. The vast majority of states allow families to opt out of getting vaccinated if they object on religious grounds. Parents seem to take advantage of these rules: Researchers have found that broad philosophical and religious exemptions to vaccine requirements are associated with higher rates of unvaccinated children. But this year's outbreaks are now raising public health questions about why states allow such exemptions. Here is how religious exemptions work: 
Continued Reading


BEYOND THE CORE
The NRA Tried to Block an Updated Violence Against Women Act in the House - and Failed

The House just overwhelmingly approved a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, the United States' landmark legislation funding programs meant to prevent and prosecute abuse against women. It did so in the face of staunch opposition from the National Rifle Association, which argued that a new provision in the bill barring dating partners convicted of abuse and stalking from owning firearms went too far..  
Continued Reading



POLITICAL BYTE
Mitch McConnell Undid 213 Years of Senate History in 33 Minutes          
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in his latest move to seize power by dismantling the chamber's centuries-old safeguards, was about to push through another vote to break another rule. But first he gave a speech blaming the other side."The Democratic leader started all of this," McConnell proclaimed, his face blotchy red with anger.   
FYI
A History of American Jewish Women Shows How the Country Influenced Them, and Vice Versa
 
Considering that the very definition of Judaism and what it means to be a Jew has changed so much over the last three centuries of American history, it's a near impossible endeavor - yeoman's work - to capture succinctly the role of Jewish women over that long span. But that is the task that Pamela S. Nadell has set for herself in "America's Jewish Women": summarizing what cannot really be summarized. She's mostly successful. 
JAC II
Introducing JACII, a JAC group for young professionals, advocates, and those young at heart who are looking to get involved. Groups have started in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Events will feature elected officials and speakers in lively settings. JACII is by and for young people. Now is the perfect time to get involved.

Know someone who would be interested in joining or hosting a meeting? Let us know at info@jacpac.org. We will be happy to help organize a JACII in your city.
LAST WORD
"This (changing the Senate rules) is all about avoiding close scrutiny for extreme ideological nominees that Republicans want to pack on to the federal courts for lifetime appointments."

- Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
    
    
SAVE THE DATE
June 3, 2019
JAC's 2019 Power of Women Luncheon
Lincolnwood, IL
_____________________________________
 
Friday, April 12
Join a special breakfast to  
thank JAC members
with 
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
9:00 am
Chicago
 
_________________________________________
 
Monday, April 15
Lunch with Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA)
12 noon
Chicago
Call the JAC office for details - 847.433.4999
 
________________________________________
 
Sunday, April 14 
Talking Points Los Angeles
Coffee & Conversation with
Rep. Harley Rouda (CA-48)
10:30 am
Santa Monica, CA
 
  ________________________________________
 
 
Monday, May 6 
Rep. Jan Schakowsky's Ultimate Women's Power Lunch
Featuring special guest
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
12 noon
Chicago, IL
Call JAC office for details
847.433.5999  
_____________________________________________ 
 
(Want to host a JAC event? Contact the office and we will help organize it. 847.433.5999 or info@jacpac.org) 
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 contributes over $200 in a calendar year. 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.