May 5, 2017

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Washington, D.C. this week for our JAC Annual Conference.
See more photos from our Conference on Facebook.
Week In Review Commentary

JAC members just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. We met with over 60  Representatives and Senators,  both in their offices on Capitol Hill and at special events we hosted, while advocating for our issues. It was an empowering and motivating few days. We hosted six freshman JAC-supported House members for breakfast, such as Reps. Jacky Rosen (NV-3) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), and heard from seven Senators who joined us for lunch: Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). We also visited with old friends such as Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

Former Senator Mary Landrieu hosted JAC at her home along with special guests Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Next year, we hope more JAC members will travel with us to Washington. 

Members of Congress urged us to keep up our engagement. They told us how important it was that they hear from us. Phone calls are making a difference. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) told us that it's "not just about resisting, but insisting for a better future." Despite these challenging times, we can not give up, she said. We must continue fight for our values and remain politically engaged.

We must also remember that every vote counts. The House repealed the ACA by only four votes. This dangerous bill now heads to the Senate. Women's health care is in jeopardy as well as the health care of millions of Americans. We need to make sure this bill does NOT pass the Senate. Similarly, we must fight Trump's attacks on the separation of religion and state, including his most recent religious freedom executive order. We urge you to call your Senators. Keep the pressure on and stay involved with JAC.

Take Action
Call Your Senator 

Tell them #WeDISAGREE with the funding cuts to Planned Parenthood and women's health in the ACA Repeal Plan.  
Call Congress
Tell your Senators the Senate version MUST
- Access to abortion
- Planned Parenthood funding
- Insurance coverage for contraception 

Not sure who to call?

Click here. 

Trump's Approach to an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal: Get to Yes, and Figure Out the Details Later

Vowing to achieve where successive U.S. governments have failed, President Trump hosted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House on Wednesday and expressed broad if unsubstantiated confidence that he might be able to broker "the toughest deal" - peace between Israelis and Palestinians.    
Trump Will Visit Israel on First Overseas Trip

President Donald Trump said his first overseas trip as president would be to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican.  Trump's announcement sought to allay concerns stoked during his presidential campaign and the first weeks of his presidency that he is anti-Muslim.  In a briefing for reporters, a senior aide to Trump said the thrust of the tour, which will precede a previously announced visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels, is to unite the world's nations and the three faiths - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - against terrorism.
Israel To Withhold $1 Million to United Nations in Wake of UNESCO Vote on Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he has instructed Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem to deduct the money. He called the resolution "delusional."  "Israel will not sit by while the organization calls for the denial of our sovereignty in Jerusalem," Netanyahu said. He noted more countries opposed the resolution than the UNESCO one from last year and fewer supported it.
Continued Reading

Is Trump Setting Up the Next Anti-Semitism Envoy for Failure? 

Responding to American Jewish anxieties, the Trump administration has indicated it will be filling the post of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism (SEAS). Before popping Champagne corks, we should understand the severe limitations of such a role amid a retrenchment of U.S. diplomacy and serious challenges to civil rights by our own government.  
These Are the Two Most Common Kinds of Anti-Semitism  

In the United States today, both right and left wing anti-Semitism, of difference and of sameness, blend and feed off each other. How to defeat this scourge? To diminish left-wing anti-Semitism, American Jews can support progressive causes, ally with people of color and Muslims, and oppose the Israeli occupation while remaining watchful for anti-Zionism that bleeds into Jew-hatred. Fighting the rising anti-Semitism of the right, however, will require education, vigilance and a sturdier spine.
Pence: Trump 'Has Literally Filled This White House' With Anti-Abortion Leaders

Vice President Mike Pence declared victory for the anti-abortion movement boasting that Trump has "literally filled" his administration with politicians who oppose reproductive rights. Pence, who led the fight against reproductive rights in Congress and as governor of Indiana, went on to list the members of what he called the anti-abortion "A-team" -- Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Housing Secretary Ben Carson, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway, Charmaine Yoest, the former CEO of Americans United for Life, who is assistant secretary of health and human services, and Teresa Manning, a former lobbyist for the National Right to Life Committee who is expected to be appointed to oversee the nation's family planning program at HHS. 
Defunding Planned Parenthood Is Just One of the Attacks on Women's Health in GOP's Repeal Bill

When you add up all the changes to health care in the House GOP reform bill, they look like a not-so-veiled attack on women's health. The Affordable Care Act was a big leap forward for women - it expanded contraceptive access, required private small-group insurers to cover maternity care, and broadened the number of people who could access Medicaid - which pays for half of all births in this country. The GOP's health reform bill looks like a big step backward, doctors and reproductive health advocates are saying. The bill overhauls and dramatically cuts Medicaid, defunds Planned Parenthood, makes essential health benefits - including maternity coverage optional and cuts access to private insurance coverage of abortion. A separate executive order could make contraception coverage optional for employers.
Rape Could Become a 'Pre-Existing Condition' Again Under Trumpcare

Before the ACA, insurance companies could refuse to pay for crucial medical services for rape survivors because sexual assault was considered a pre-existing condition. The GOP's new healthcare plan could reinstate that cruel reality. While a rape may seem like an isolated incident, it's actually a precursor to other chronic health conditions, Tennessee explains-such as PTSD, withdrawal, depression, and other mental illnesses.
Continued Reading

ADL Slams Trump's Order on Religious Freedom While OU Commends It

The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday criticized US President Donald Trump's latest executive order on religious freedom that would weaken enforcement of an IRS rule barring churches and tax-exempt groups from endorsing political candidates. Meanwhile, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations (OU) commended Trump for the order, saying it guaranteed "fair and equal treatment under the law for religious individuals and institutions" that address moral or political issues from a religious perspective.
Trump's Religious Liberty Order Slammed as 'Pretty Much Nothing'

President Trump signed a highly anticipated executive order on religious liberty at a sun-splashed Rose Garden ceremony on the National Day of Prayer, basking in the praise of religious leaders who blessed his action as an answer to their prayers. Yet even before the carefully orchestrated event was over, Trump's grand gesture toward his religious base appeared to falter as a matter of policy, and perhaps as politics: Social conservatives who had been expecting much more, and much sooner, expressed sharp disappointment, and the order itself seems unlikely to have much real impact on current laws and regulations.
Jewish Groups Decry House Approval of Republican Health Care Bill

Jewish groups criticized the passage of a health care bill by the House of Representatives to repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act. The bill, backed by Republicans and President Donald Trump, passed Thursday in a 217-213 vote almost entirely along party lines. The measure, which is now headed for the Senate, would nix tax penalties for those without health insurance and decrease state programs to insure low-income Americans expanded by President Barack Obama. Among those that criticized the passage were the Reform movement, the Jewish Federations of North America, B'nai B'rith International, the National Jewish Democratic Council and Jewish Women International. However, the Republican Jewish Coalition praised the bill as "an important legislative victory for President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan."  
Gabrielle Giffords, Elected Officials Rally Against NRA Efforts, Gun Violence

Arizona's former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and a group of elected officials joined gun violence prevention advocates on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to argue against what they called a corporate gun lobby agenda. Stopping gun violence takes courage," said Giffords, who was wounded by a gunman who opened fire at a 2011 event near Tucson, an attack that killed six people.
Judge Orders Georgia to Extend Voter Registration for Runoff

U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten ruled in favor of civil rights advocacy groups who argued that Georgia violated federal law by preventing more new voter registrations before the June 20 runoff. A federal judge ordered Georgia officials to reopen voter registration in a suburban Atlanta congressional district ahead of a heated special election that's seen by many as a test of President Donald Trump's influence.
4 Winners and 4 Losers from the Republican Vote to Replace Obamacare

House Republicans have passed the American Health Care Act, a bill that would greatly reduce funding for the Affordable Care Act's coverage programs, leaving millions fewer people with health insurance. The bill would dramatically remake the American health care system, changing who can afford coverage in the individual market - and who will be left uninsured. It also revealed new fault lines in the Republican Congress, showing who had the power to shift the bill's priorities and who yielded little influence.
Read Full Article
While House Passes GOP Health-Care Bill, Senate Prepares to Do Its Own Thing

House Republicans journeyed to the White House on Thursday for a health-care victory lap in the Rose Garden, but Senate Republicans were in no mood for celebration. Instead, they sent an unmistakable message: When it comes to health care, we're going to do our own thing.  
Clinton to Launch 'Resistance' PAC

Hillary Clinton, reentering the political fray months after her 2016 campaign loss, will soon launch a political organization aimed at funding "resistance" groups that are standing up to President Donald Trump, sources with knowledge of the plans tell CNN. Clinton, according to the sources, is currently working with former aides and donors to build an organization that will look to fund and invest in groups that have impressed her since her 2016 election loss. 
Read Full Article
Continued Reading

Israeli Schnitzel Conquers the World

It was only a matter of time before the Israeli schnitzel reached the U.S., successfully riding the chicken trend and fueled by the growing popularity of all things flattened and deep fried. This is, undoubtedly, the beauty of the Israeli schnitzel: It's nostalgic yet cosmopolitan, kosher, fast, and convenient, and instantly comforting. And now, Americans don't even need to have an Israeli grandma to call it their own.  
The Last Word
"Some of you have said ... well, they'll fix it in the Senate. But you have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. You will glow in the dark on this one."

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)


Cocktail Reception in support of
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
May 18th @ 6 PM
contact the JAC office for details


July 10th
Special JAC Event
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.
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