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Volume 11, Number 38
November 10, 2008

 

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In This Issue
Iran Initiative
JCPA/UJC Israel Advocacy Initiative
Save Darfur
This Week in Washington
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JCPA speaks to you each week, alerting you to what the community relations field is doing to safeguard the rights of Jews here, in Israel, and around the world and to protect, preserve and promote a just, democratic and pluralistic American society. For three generations, we have brought together diverse voices in the Jewish community to unite a strong Jewish public policy force.

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About Us
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the united voice of the organized Jewish community, was formally established as National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC) in 1944 by the Council of Jewish Federations. NJCRAC, designed to be the public affairs branch of the organized Jewish community, changed its name in 1997 to the Jewish Council for Public Affairs to more accurately reflect its mission.

For over half a century, the JCPA has served as an effective mechanism to identify issues, formulate policy, develop strategies and programs, and has given expression to a strongly united Jewish communal voice. By virtue of the JCPA's unique position and structure, our ability to reach out and motivate Jews and non-Jews alike to action is unparalleled. Through our network of 14 national and 125 local equal and independent partner agencies, the JCPA serves as a catalyst that heightens community awareness, encourages civic and social involvement, and deliberates key issues of importance to the Jewish community.
Iran Initiative
Iran Economists Denounce Ahmadinejad's Policies. A group of 60 Iranian economists on November 9 condemned the economic policies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and contradicted recent boasts by Tehran officials who said the Islamic Republic has been successfully weathering the global financial crisis. In a 30-page letter quoted by several newspapers and state-run television and published on the website of the independent Iranian Labor News Agency, the economists say Iran is in dire economic straits and must drastically change course. The letter also says Ahmadinejad's "tension-creating" foreign policy has "scared off foreign investment and inflicted heavy damage" on the economy. "Meager economic growth, widespread jobless rate, chronic and double-digit inflation, crisis in capital markets, government's expansionary budget, disturbed interaction with the world, inequity and poverty have combined with the global economic downturn to leave undeniably big impacts on exports and imports," the letter says. Read the full article from the LA Times -- http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran10-2008nov10,0,1799465.story.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Shuts Down Iranian Weekly that Featured Obama on Cover. A Tehran news weekly that featured a smiling photograph of the American President-elect on its front cover last week and asked "Why doesn't Iran have an Obama?" has been closed down. It appeared to be a taunt too far for Iran's notoriously thin-skinned president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and saw the magazine Shahrvand-e Emrouz (Today's Citizen) promptly banned by Iran's Press Supervisory Board. The closure of the popular reformist weekly suggests that Mr. Ahmadinejad is determined to silence his critics as he prepares for elections next June that could hand him a second-four year term. Where victory had once seemed assured, now he must expect a bruising contest with an uncertain outcome. Read the article from the Times UK -- http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5125628.ece.
JCPA/UJC Israel Advocacy Initiative

Thousands Mark Rabin's Assassination. Tens of thousands of Israelis joined a rally on November 8 to mark the 13th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the hands of a Jewish extremist opposed to peace with the Palestinians. Israeli politicians including President Shimon Peres joined the massive crowd which gathered in the same Tel Aviv Park where the Labor party leader was gunned down in November 1995. "Yitzhak we miss you, the country misses you, every one of us misses you, but the path you drew is not lost," said Peres, who was at the rally where Rabin was shot. "Yitzhak, your dream of peace will be achieved," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak, current Labor leader. "We will achieve it not by words but by actions." Read the story from AFP http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5i_v-KpXBw7jBTKIKOd7dcSlhewDA.

Olmert: To Honor Rabin, Israel Must Cede Land. Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert voiced his support for the peace process with the Palestinians in his address at the annual memorial ceremony for slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 10, saying that in order to honor the memory of Rabin, Israel must cede land. "Rabin was not ecstatic about arriving at that moment, and we won't do justice to his memory and to his life's work if we try to present his last years as if he lived without doubts and hesitation." "He understood that if we want to maintain Israel as democratic Jewish state, we must concede to a lack of choice and to our great torments and give up parts of our homeland for which we dreamt for generations of yearning and prayers," Olmert continued. Read the article from Ha'aretz -- http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1036034.html.

Why? Because there are no Jews in Pakistan. Earlier this month, a veteran Pakistani television journalist, Khalid Ansari, was filming in the United States for a rare and ambitious project - a major documentary on the Jewish people - to be screened later this year on his country's widely watched GEO TV network. If you're doing a serious program on the Jews, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center reasonably suggested to him, you really ought to go to the Jewish state for some of your footage and interviews. And lo, it came to pass: Ansari promptly applied for a visa. And within a couple of days, Israel's New York consulate contacted him to tell him that it had been granted. Ansari this week thus became probably the first Pakistani journalist to report extensively from Israel for his highly significant home country - the world's sixth most populous, the second largest Muslim nation (after Indonesia), bordered by India, China, Afghanistan and Iran, and with a nuclear arsenal estimated at anything from 40 to 100-plus warheads. Read the full story from Israel21c -- http://web.israel21c.net/bin/en.jsp?enDispWho=Views%5El382&enPage=BlankPage&enDisplay=view&enDispWhat=object&enVersion=0&enZone=Views&.

Save Darfur
Sudan rejects one-on-one Darfur rebel talks.  Sudan on Sunday rejected a Darfur rebel group's calls for one-on-one negotiations, creating a stalemate in the early stages of a new peace push.  The powerful rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) demanded direct talks with Khartoum on Friday and said it would not go to a planned peace conference in Qatar, involving a large number of Darfur's fractured insurgent movements.  But government officials on Sunday told state media they would not hold individual negotiations with separate groups and said they were determined to find a "comprehensive" solution to the five-year conflict.  Visit http://africa.reuters.com/top/news/usnJOE4A805K.html to read the entire article.
This Week in Washington
This Week in Washington.  Last Tuesday, citizens across the United States went to the polls to elect new national, state and local officials.  Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) was elected to be the next President of the United States.  The Democratic majorities in both the House or Representatives and Senate significantly increased.  The 111th Congress will include 255 Democrats and 174 Republicans.  Six House races are still undecided.  In the Senate, there will be 55 Democratic Senators, 40 Republican Senators, and 2 Independents.  Three Senate races remain undecided.  

This year, 3 new Jewish Representatives were elected.  The number of Jewish Senators is expected to remain the same.  Minnesota's Senate race is still unresolved--both candidates, Senator Norm Coleman and challenger Al Franken are Jewish.  This was one of two Senate contests that featured two Jewish candidates. 
JCPA Programs

New Faces…..New Politics? Plenum 2009 registration is now open! The JCPA Plenum is back in the nation's capital for the first major Jewish conference following the historic 2008 election. New leaders and new ideas are emerging on the political scene. How will these new policies impact our work on social justice, human rights, and Jewish security at home and abroad? Register now at www.jcpaplenum.org.

Contribute to JCPA

JCPA speaks to you each week, alerting you to what the community relations field is doing to safeguard the rights of Jews here, in Israel, and around the world and to protect, preserve and promote a just, democratic and pluralistic American society. For three generations, we have brought together diverse voices in the Jewish community to unite a strong Jewish public policy force.

We hope you will continue to enjoy our three weekly emails.

Contribute Now!

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