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JCPA Insider
Volume 12, Number 37
October 5, 2009
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In This Issue
Iran Initiative
JCPA/UJC Israel Advocacy Initiative
Save Darfur
This Week in Washington
Congratulations
JCPA Programs

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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.

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


About Us
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is the united voice of the organized Jewish community.  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.

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

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Iran Initiative
Black Market Shows Iran Can Adapt to Sanctions. President Obama has vowed to keep the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program after last week's meeting in Geneva, and his advisers said the United States was intensively recruiting other nations to join in a harsher economic embargo against Tehran should diplomacy fail. But as the focus on sanctions intensifies, a review of the United States' experiences in enforcing its own longstanding restrictions on trade with Iran suggests it would be difficult to truly quarantine the Iranian economy. Black market networks have sprouted up all over the globe to circumvent the sanctions. A typical embargo-busting scheme was detailed in a plea agreement filed in federal court on Sept. 24, the day before Mr. Obama and European allies announced the existence of a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear enrichment facility near Qum. In the court filings, a Dutch aviation services company and its owner admitted that they had illegally funneled American aircraft and electronics components to Iran from 2005 to 2007. Under the scheme, Iranian customers secretly placed orders with the company, which served as a front, buying the parts and having them shipped to the Netherlands, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates. The materials were then quietly repackaged and shipped on to the real buyers in Iran. Read the article from the New York Times here.

Russia Confirms Plans to Help Enrich Uranium. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday, October 5, that a plan for Russia to help enrich uranium for an Iranian reactor has yet to be finalized, in the highest-level Russian confirmation of a tentative agreement reached between Tehran and six world powers last week. Lavrov said that experts would have to work out specifics of the deal involving the United States, France, Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency. IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei has said that experts will meet in Vienna on October 19 to discuss the deal for Russia to take some of Iran's processed uranium and enrich it. He said Iran would take part. On October 3, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said U.S. President Barack Obama made a big mistake when he accused the country of having hidden a newly revealed nuclear site. Iran reported the facility to the United Nations even earlier than required, he said. Ahmadinejad's comments came hours before the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBaradei, arrived in Iran to arrange an inspection of the uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom. Read the article from Haaretz here.
JCPA/UJC Israel Advocacy Initiative
UJC-JCPA Israel Advocacy Initiative Call with Ambassador Michael Oren. On Friday, October 2, the UJC-JCPA Israel Advocacy Initiative was most pleased to host Ambassador Michael Oren, Israel's Ambassador to the United States, on an Israel Perspectives Conference Call. Ambassador Oren discussed recent developments in the Middle East pertaining to Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and the United Nations Goldstone Report. During the second half of the call, Ron Kampeas, Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief for JTA, provided his analysis of Ambassador Oren's remarks as well as a journalist's perspective on these issues. For coverage of the call, click here for a Jerusalem Post article.

Noam Shalit: Deal 'A Long Way Away'. Noam Shalit, father of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, stressed that while the negotiations "are on the right track," his son's release was not close. "We are on the right track. However, we are not there yet," he emphasized, "and we have a long way to go before we reach our goal." Noam Shalit spoke at the protest tent in front of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, the ending point of a demonstrative stretcher-carry - a long-distance march IDF troops usually undergo for training and initiation purposes - staged Monday, October 5, by a large group of young activists to support the family and promote Shalit's return. Shalit told the activists that "Even if for a moment it appears that the release is close and that matters have been agreed upon, all I can inform you is that this is not the case." An overwhelmed Shalit thanked the youths for taking a stance on Gilad's cause rather than spending their vacation time at the beach. He promised that efforts to release his son would not cease. Read the article from the Jerusalem Post here.
Save Darfur
Genocide in Darfur: Remnant or Current Reality?  New Jersey Forges a Pathway to Peace. The NJ Coalition Responds to the Crisis in Darfur is organizing a Conference on October 16 at Kean University.  The Conference will provide updates on the current status of international diplomacy and the Obama administration's policy on Darfur and then explore effective ways for achieving peace and reconciliation. The day long conference will include:

• Panels on understanding the complex history of Darfur
• A discussion with refugee leaders
• A session on international diplomacy
• A panel on how to impact the U.S. national agenda in order to end the genocide in Darfur.

The conference's featured speakers include General (Retired) Scott Gration, US Envoy to Sudan

This event is free and open to the public.  To learn more please visit www.njdarfur.org.  To download the event flyer, click here.

JCPA Will Host a Discussion on Darfur at the October Meetings.  Israel, World Jewry and International Human Rights Task Force members will hear a briefing by the Alex Meixner of the Save Darfur Coalition on current legislation and political matters regarding Sudan and an on-the-ground update in Darfur.  Alex Meixner leads the coalition's efforts to directly petition the U.S. government, focusing on Congress, the White House, the State Department and the National Security Council.  Prior to joining the Save Darfur Coalition in September 2005, Mr. Meixner worked on a variety of legislative issues for former Congressman Robert Matsui (D-CA) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA). Preceding his work with Congressman and then Congresswoman Matsui, Mr. Meixner worked on political affairs for former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, serving as the Deputy Political Coordinator of the Senator's Leadership PAC.

Click here to register for the meetings, October 25-26 at UJA Federation of New York.
This Week in Washington
This Week in Washington.  Congress is in session this week and will consider several pieces of legislation including an extension to unemployment benefits and health insurance reform.  President Obama will continue his review of the Afghan war strategy.   The Supreme Court will open its October 2009 term this week.  

Healthcare Reform.  After several long mark-up sessions, the Senate Finance Committee is poised to approve its version of healthcare reform legislation this week.  The Finance Committee is the final Congressional Committee with jurisdiction over this healthcare to complete its work.  After the Finance Committee's vote, Senators will attempt to meld the Finance Committee's bill and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee bill into a single piece of legislation.  The combined legislation will be considered by the full Senate.  

Defense Authorization.  Before the August recess, the Senate voted overwhelming to approve its version of the Department of Defense (DOD) Authorization Bill.  The House approved its DOD Authorization bill several weeks earlier.  Over the past few months, House and Senate leaders have met to reconcile the two bills in a DOD Authorization Conference Committee.  The final Conference Report may be considered as early as this week.  This year's Defense Authorization bill is notable in several respects.  First, the Senate voted to attach the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA) to this measure.  HCPA has been a top JCPA priority for over a decade.  Second, this legislation includes several substantive changes to the Military Commissions Act which governs the military tribunals for detainees held at Guantanamo.  These changes provide increased civil liberties safeguards for the detainees and bring the Military Commissions process closer to the standard Court Martial proceedings.  

Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court opens its October 2009 session this week, joined by the newest Justice on the high bench, Sonia Sotomayor.  The Court will hear oral arguments in eight cases this week including Salazar v. Bouno which considers the issue of a religious display on public land.  The JCPA, along with several of our national member agencies, filed a amicus brief before the Supreme Court in this case. 
Congratulations
Steve Silverman.  Mazel tov to Steve Silverman, JCPA board member, on the recen tbirth of a grandchild.
JCPA Programs
What You Need to Know about Iran and Middle East Peace - Yossi Klein Halevi to Speak at JCPA's October Meetings.  Come to the October meetings to hear an insider's view on Middle East Peace Process, Iran, and the US-Israeli relationship.  Yossi Klein Halevi will join JCPA leadership on Monday, October 26th for a discussion on Iran's nuclear ambitions, the Middle East peace process, and the developing relationship between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama.  

Heckscher Tzedek and Your Community.  Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Orthodox Union Kosher Division will participate in a panel discussion on business ethics and Heckscher Tzedek.  The panel will also feature a representative of the Rabbinical Assembly and moderated by Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.  

The JCPA October Meetings will be held at the offices of UJA Federation of New York located at 130 East 59th Street in New York City.  Click here to register! .
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!

Please consider a gift of $500, $100, or any other amount that you can, so that JCPA can enhance our efforts to provide information and resources to your community, and to mobilize our national network in support of Israel and of all the public issues we care about so dearly. Click here to make a contribution to the JCPA. Contributions can also be sent to JCPA, 116 E. 27th, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016.

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