February 22, 2019

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When President Trump continuously tears down the mainstream media, he is pushing people towards alternative sources of information. These sources often times breed hate and extremism. Trump renders the media irrelevant, non-credible and untrustworthy. Consequently the media, which can and does counter the misinformation, is considered unreliable.

For example, the "yellow jacket" social-protest movement in France has encouraged anti-Semitism, which is terrorizing the Jewish community. A poll conducted in France shows that members of the movement get their information from social media, where conspiracy theories can flourish further and faster than actual facts from mainstream news organizations. This dangerous trend will only grow.

Trump at home has even condoned physical violence towards reporters. He praised Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte last October when Gianforte assaulted a journalist. "He's my guy," Trump said. A Trump supporter recently attacked a cameraman at a Trump rally.

The continuous refrain of "fake news," generated by Trump, and open hostility towards the media, has dangerous repercussions. A coast guard officer was arrested for allegedly planning terrorist attacks against journalists.

Authoritarian leaders want to control the media and the message. State-sponsored media outlets are merely a propaganda arm for their leaders. Anyone who doesn't agree is declared an enemy and is subject to persecution.

When Trump declared that The New York Times an "enemy of the state," he crossed into dangerous territory. Hugo Chavez, Adolf Hitler, and other leaders squashed a free press to promote their ideology.

Freedom of the press is guaranteed in the Constitution and protected by the Supreme Court. The Court has ruled in the past ( New York Times v Sullivan) to significantly limit the scope of defamation lawsuits that could be brought against publishers or reporters by public officials and other prominent figures. This ruling has empowered journalists to highlight official corruption and expose wrongdoing by the powerful, such as the president, without fear of repercussions.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas indicated in a writing this week that he is ready to overturn the Sullivan case. Trump would then have even more leeway to use his powers to stop the press.

We are all safer, and our democracy stronger, when the media has the ability and protection to expose anti-Semitism, debunk conspiracy theories, and challenge our elected leaders.


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.

Don't Just Remember the Victims of Parkland -  
Call 202-225-3121
Tell your Representative & Senators
PASS Expanded Background Checks (HR 8)
BAN Assault Weapons (HR 1296 and S 66)
BAN High Capacity Magazines  (HR 1186 and S 447)

Benjamin Netanyahu Strikes Deal with Hardline Parties Ahead of Israel Elections
Netanyahu's Likud party announced it would reserve the 28th spot on its parliamentary list for the Jewish Home party and grant it two cabinet ministries in a future government if it merges with the Jewish Power party. Jewish Power is comprised of hardline religious nationalists who have cast themselves as successors to the banned Kahanist movement, which dreamed of turning Israel into a Jewish theocracy and advocated the forced removal of its Palestinians.
Continued Reading

Only 11% of Israeli Voters to Prioritize Palestinian Conflict in Elections

There Is a Record Number of Hate Groups Active in the U.S., Civil Rights Center Finds
The number of active hate groups in the United States is at a record high - and many are anti-Semitic in nature. That comes from a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center saying that 1,020 hate groups were active last year, an increase of about 7 percent from 2017. The number exceeds the record of 1,018 groups in 2011; the Montgomery, Alabama-based civil rights organization started counting hate groups in 1990.   
Continued Reading

In the Battle over Abortion Rights, Words Are Weapons

The fight over abortion rights has always been intense. The issue is deeply personal and like lighter fluid to ideas that already spark controversy: women's reproductive rights, contraception, science versus religion. But in this political moment, words are like matches-and women and doctors are the ones most likely to get burned.  
Continued Reading

Some Anti-Vaccination Parents Cite Religious Exemptions. Measles Outbreaks Could Change That.
In recent weeks, lawmakers in the New Jersey, New York, Iowa, Maine and Vermont state legislatures have proposed eliminating religious exemptions for vaccines. A Washington state representative has proposed tightening the state's religious exemption while eliminating a separate law that allows for a personal or philosophical exemption from immunization.
Continued Reading

We Need to Get Serious About Firearm Removal

It is a scene that we are all too familiar with: gun violence in America. Last week, the setting was a manufacturing plant. A year ago, it was a Florida high school. These horrors unfold everywhere - a movie theater, a house of worship, a mall, a yoga studio, a grocery store, a neighborhood park, in our homes. Every day, nearly 100 people die from gun violence. No space is safe.
Continued Reading

Adam Schiff: An Open Letter to My Republican Colleagues      
To my Republican colleagues: When the president attacked the independence of the Justice Department by intervening in a case in which he is implicated, you did not speak out. When he attacked the press as the enemy of the people, you again were silent. When he targeted the judiciary, labeling judges and decisions he didn't like as illegitimate, we heard not a word. And now he comes for Congress, the first branch of government, seeking to strip it of its greatest power, that of the purse.
How Karl Lagerfeld Cleared Chanel of Its Antisemitic, Nazi Roots
If you walk into any wealthy American neighborhood, a careful eye will spot designer duds - Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton - sported by well-coiffed men and women as they walk through town. But in a sea of expensive excess, one designer's name is spoken of with an air of reverence: Chanel. But Chanel wasn't always beloved by the upwardly mobile Jewish American elite. The namesake French founder Coco Chanel, despite her contributions to the development of modern fashion and luxury sportswear, was, as other writers have put it, a "wretched human being" and an "incorrigible antisemite." 
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 [email protected]. We will be happy to help organize a JACII in your city.
The Last Word
"We know that the battles we've won for our hard-earned (reproductive) rights don't stay won. Constant vigilance is key."
- Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)  
Join JAC in Washington, D.C. for our  
Annual Conference
March 13-14
June 3, 2019
JAC's 2019 Power of Women Luncheon
Lincolnwood, IL
(Want to host a JAC event? Contact the office and we will help organize it. 847.433.5999 or [email protected]) 
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.