August 4 , 2017
l to r: Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), member of House Democratic Leadership; JAC Executive Director Marcia Balonick; and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Ranking Member on the House Intelligence Committee 
Week In Review Commentary
It is official. Congress is finally on recess having very little to show for their efforts. The failure to pass any major legislative priorities has stymied the Trump Administration's agenda.

In the meantime, President Trump has also been busy shoring up his extreme, Christian-right base. His cabinet has been having regular bible study sessions with a preacher, Donald Drollinger, Jr., who aims to bring together "godly individuals that God has risen to a position of prominence in our culture." Drollinger, Jr., believes that "public servants are lost without God" and has suggested women lawmakers who have young children at home are sinners.

Recently Trump met with 20 Evangelical leaders in the Oval Office for his own prayer session. Evangelical Christians are "on speed dial" with the Administration, according to an activist who prayed over the President. They enjoy unique access to this President.

The religious right scored another victory when Trump appointed Kansas Governor Sam Brownback Ambassador-At-Large for International Religious Freedom. As governor, Brownback waged constant war on separation of church and state, especially in public schools. He consistently promoted religious events and programming in his official capacity as governor.

Separation of religion and state is also under attack on the state level. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a bill making it easier for schools to introduce prayer in school and curricula debasing science and evolution.

What can you do? STAY INFORMED. Read and share JAC's information; continue to support JAC candidates that will ensure that there is always a strong separation between government and religion.

Take Action
They may be on recess, but don't let them rest.

Congress is on recess until September 8th.

What you can do:
  • Attend a town hall near you
  • Take a friend to the local offices
  • Attend a rally
  • Keep speaking out on the issues important to us all
Be sure to send photos of you at events and in Congressional offices to JAC to feature in our EZ Read.  

Former IDF General Raises Alarm Over Trump's Wavering on Iranian Military Presence in Syria

One of Israel's foremost military intelligence experts is expressing concern that the recent deal on Syria reached between the U.S. and Russian presidents leaves the Jewish state dangerously exposed to the increasing presence of Iran and its proxies on the ground there.   
Relations Between Israel and Jordan Have Become 'Very Dangerous'

Relations between Israel and Jordan, neighboring states that signed a peace treaty in 1994, have hit rock bottom after twin decisions by the Israeli government that have been widely seen as an affront to Jordan's King Abdullah II.  The first was Israel's order, since rescinded, to install metal detectors at the Noble Sanctuary, the Muslim name for the disputed plateau in Jerusalem's Old City that holds the Al Aqsa Mosque and gold Dome of the Rock. The other involved Israel's response to a deadly incident in the Jordanian capital, Amman, in which an Israeli Embassy guard killed two Jordanians, a 17-year-old delivery boy and an orthopedic surgeon.
Senate Panel Okays Bill Cutting PA Funding over Terrorist Salaries

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill Thursday to cut US funding to the Palestinian Authority if it does not stop paying salaries to terrorists and their families. Passed by a vote of 17-4, the legislation received bipartisan support. Every Republican member of the committee supported the measure, as well as several Democrats, including Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the panel's ranking member, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
Continued Reading

Consul General of Israel in New York Dani Dayan: Actually, Israel Is Right Not to Let In Supporters of BDS. Here's Why

Like on so many occasions, the same measures widely considered reasonable and legitimate when taken by any other country are suddenly condemned and reviled when taken by Israel. If even a metal detector becomes a 'reckless provocation' when an Israeli installs it, what hope is there for anything more robust? It is an established principle of democracies around the world that the right of their citizens to freedom of speech and freedom of opinion does not entail the right of foreign agents to enter the country with the purpose of challenging its legitimacy and undermining its existence. Israel need be no exception.    
North Carolina Governor Signs Anti-BDS Legislation  

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law legislation that would bar the state from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.  The bill requires divestment from, and prohibits state agencies from contracting with, companies that boycott Israel. North Carolina becomes  at least the 22nd state with laws or executive orders banning state business with companies that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, against Israel.   
States With the Most Abortion Restrictions Also Have the Worst Women's Health

In recent years, several states throughout the country have taken drastic measures to curtail women's reproductive freedoms-particularly abortion rights-all in the name of keeping families "safe." Among these supposed protections: Measures that have forced numerous health care clinics that offer abortions to shutter their doors because they don't meet stringent regulations. But a new report from two prominent reproductive-rights advocacy groups shows that these laws have done little to improve public health-instead, women & children have suffered because of them.    
Judge Blocks Arkansas Law That Could Have Forced Women to Notify Their Rapists of Abortions

On Friday night, a federal judge blocked four recently passed Arkansas abortion restrictions, including one that seemingly could require rape survivors to get input from their rapists before terminating their pregnancies. That law, in addition to a ban on the most common second-trimester abortion procedure and a requirement that doctors report teens' abortions to the police, would have taken effect on Tuesday.  
Court Battle Against Obamacare's Birth Control Benefit Isn't Over

Religiously-affiliated nonprofits remain wrapped up in litigation over the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) birth control benefit, despite assurances by the Trump administration that the fight over mandating nondiscriminatory health insurance benefits is over. The cases remain alive in the appellate circuits after the U.S. Supreme Court in Zubick v. Burwell told the Obama administration, which at the time was defending the benefit from religiously-affiliated nonprofits challenging the process for receiving an accommodation, to come to some kind of agreement. 
Continued Reading

Trump Cabinet Members Attend Weekly Bible Study

Many of President Trump's Cabinet members gather at a weekly session to study the Bible.  Ralph Drollinger says he leads a weekly Bible study with Cabinet members such as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. "It's the best Bible study that I've ever taught in my life. They are so teachable. They're so noble. They're so learned," Drollinger said.  Vice President Pence, who is a sponsor of the faith sessions, reportedly joins the group when his schedule allows.   
EPA Walks Back Delay of Obama Air Pollution Rule

The Trump administration is reversing course on its plan to delay by one year enforcement of the Obama administration's ozone pollution regulation. The EPA is still reviewing the 2015 ozone rule for potential changes or repeal. The reversal came a day after 15 states and the District of Columbia sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying the delay exceeded the agency's authority under the Clean Air Act. Environmental groups filed a similar lawsuit last month.    
Lawmakers Must Have the Courage to Oppose Concealed-Carry Proposal
Right now, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are debating a dangerous proposal that would force each state to recognize the concealed-carry laws of other states, even those that have far weaker standards. Twelve states - including Pennsylvania's neighbor, West Virginia - do not require any permit or training to carry hidden loaded guns in public. Most alarmingly, the bill in the House goes so far as to open up law enforcement to the threat of personal litigation. If a law enforcement officer mistakenly questions a person's legal authority to carry a concealed firearm, they can be sued, personally. 
The Americans Waiting to Welcome Refugees Who May Never Come
Somewhere in a rented storage unit in northwestern Arkansas, an apartment full of furniture donated by well-meaning Americans waits for a refugee family who might never come. Several of them, in fact.  In Arkansas, where Donald Trump was elected by more than 20 points, hundreds of residents are ready to welcome refugees. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is not.  
Continued Reading

Trump Is Losing, and the Weakest Among Us Will Pay the Price

Trump is losing. His health reform push is in tatters. Republican senators are speaking out against him. Congress is tying his hands on Russia. Bob Mueller's investigation is advancing, and two senators have introduced a bipartisan bill to protect it from Trump's ire. His poll numbers are poor. He just fired his chief of staff and communications director. He needs to regain control. And over the past week, we've seen he'll do it by returning to his campaign's darkest roots: fear of immigrants, defense of police brutality, and appeals to white resentment.   
Republicans Leave Town With Nothing to Show
The GOP's failure to pass any major legislative priorities has imperiled the Trump administration's agenda. Despite failing to pass any major piece of President Donald Trump's agenda, Senate Republicans joined their House colleagues for August recess on Thursday, heading out of town for 33 days with looming legislative deadlines and no clear path forward on health care.
Bipartisan Efforts to Protect Special Counsel in Russia Probe

Two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are moving to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's job, putting forth new legislation that aims to ensure the integrity of current and future independent investigations. Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons introduced the legislation.
Read Full Article
On Justice Ginsburg's Summer Docket: Blunt Talk on Big Cases

Recently, Justice Ginsburg critiqued the Trump administration's travel ban, previewed the coming court term, predicted an end to capital punishment and suggested that the other branches of government are in disarray. Ginsburg discussed several other cases on the court's docket next term, including ones on the privacy of information held by cellphone companies, a clash between claims of religious freedom and same-sex marriage and a constitutional challenge to partisan gerrymandering - calling the last, "perhaps the most important grant so far."    
Read Full Article
Continued Reading

Netflix Gets Comfortable in Israel

More than a year and a half after the content-streaming network launched locally, Netflix said it's now "Israeli." This week, Netflix announced that it was now available to local viewers in Hebrew, with a price in shekels and translated and dubbed movies and TV shows - as well local Israeli content. When the streaming service first came to Israel in January 2016, along with Netflix's expansion to 130 countries worldwide, there were severe limitations which this latest rollout is looking to rectify.
Soon There Will Only Be One Judaica Store Left In Manhattan

Yaakov Seltzer remembers a different world, when he would sell his customers prayer books, then hand them an invitation to his daughter's wedding. When they would come in to Seltzer's store to order a kippah for their new grandson, then ask him to attend the bris. Or they would stop in on a Friday afternoon with nothing to buy, just to wish him a good Shabbat. But though the Upper West Side of Manhattan is still heavily Jewish, the world Seltzer longs for has disappeared. And soon, so will his store, West Side Judaica, which Seltzer plans to close sometime next year.
The Last Word
"My reaction was, I've been slimed like a character from 'Ghost Busters.' My second reaction was, he really should've talked to my friends from grade school; with a name like Schiff, they did much better than he did."

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on Trump calling him "sleazy."

Click here
for his full interview with Seth Meyers

From Personal to Policy: Make Your Vote Matter 
A Conversation on Voting Rights & Redistricting
Tuesday, August 8
7-9 pm
Royal O
ak, MI  

A Special Evening with 
Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-28) 
Ranking Member, House Intelligence Committee
Tuesday, October 17 
Chicago, IL 
Watch for details
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.