What's On Our Mind ...
What a month. The most restrictive anti-abortion law in the nation went into effect in Texas on September 1st - after anti-Choice members of the Supreme Court refused to block it. The Court has instead scheduled arguments for another lawsuit from Mississippi asking for Roe v Wade to be completely overturned.
Meanwhile, more state legislatures are following Texas and writing more restrictive bills using ‘alternative facts’ to deny women access to health care, and the first two ‘bounty-hunter’ lawsuits against an abortion provider in Texas have been filed.
Today, the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act - a bill that was first introduced in 2013 - to finally codify the protections enshrined in the Roe v Wade decision into federal law. The bill now moves onto the Senate and we must urge Senators to vote yes for these protections. If passed and signed into law, the WHPA would mean all the restrictive state laws - including the 90 that were enacted just this year - would be overturned and women’s right to choose what to do with her body would be federal law.
On top of that, Israel has once again become a partisan issue, with funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system subject to political gamesmanship.
JAC was founded after the 1980 election, when many friends of Israel in Congress were defeated by political groups that opposed Israel. Our primary mission in the beginning was to build support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship by electing pro-Israel candidates, which we continue to do today. Support for Israel was uncertain and not always bipartisan in the 1980s.
Immediately JAC members began working to stop President Ronald Reagan’s plan to sell AWACS, a highly advanced and sophisticated weapons system, to Saudi Arabia. The sale was a direct threat to Israel’s security. The sale went through, but JAC was not deterred in its mission.
JAC went to Washington every year to advocate for aid and support for Israel, which included loan guarantees and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Loan guarantees allowed the U.S. to cosign loans for Israel so they could borrow money at more favorable terms with no impact to our economy. The MOU enables Israel to acquire additional advanced military capabilities from the U.S. to strengthen its security.
This week we saw a group of lawmakers play politics with financial support for Israel when they forced the removal of Iron Dome funding from a spending bill. It was the first time a vote passed the House reducing financial assistance for Israel’s defense. An additional bill eventually did pass the House for the extra funding.
Candidates that JAC helped elect, such as Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), continue to work to strengthen our bonds with Israel despite the current political situation in Congress. They introduced a bipartisan bill this week, the U.S.-Israel Military Technology Cooperation Act. The bill enhances collaboration between the U.S. and Israel to improve our mutual security and the security of the Middle East. (Ask your Representative to co-sponsor the Act.)
After more than 40 years of JAC’s successful work advocating for Israel and electing candidates who are committed to strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship, we still cannot take Congressional support for Israel for granted. Our work continues — with your help.
Complacency is dangerous to Israel’s security and ours. Help elect JAC candidates.