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JCPA Insider
Volume 12, Number 41
November 16, 2009

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In This Issue
Iran Initiative
JCPA/UJC Israel Advocacy Initiative
Save Darfur
This Week in Washington
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
Ahmadinejad: Western Nuclear Pressure Empowers Iran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tehran would not negotiate its right to a nuclear program, adding that Western pressure was only pushing his country harder to advance its technology."The Iranian nation's nuclear rights are not negotiable and our nuclear cooperation will be done within the UN nuclear watchdog's framework ... Nuclear cooperation with Iran is beneficial to the West," said Ahmadinejad. U.S. President Barack Obama said on November 15 that time was running out for diplomacy in the dispute over Iran's nuclear program. Read the full article from Haaretz here.

Authorities Move to Seize U.S. Properties Allegedly Tied to Iran. On November 12, federal authorities moved to seize an array of U.S.- based properties, bank accounts and religious sites that they charged in court documents were funneling money to an Iranian bank involved in that country's suspected nuclear weapons program. Prosecutors sought the forfeiture of assets that included Islamic centers and mosques in California, Maryland, New York City and Houston, as well as land in Virginia.They also took steps to seize financial control of a 36-story office tower at 650 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan that they said was part of a business empire controlled by the Alavi Foundation. Prosecutors alleged that Alavi has been illegally "providing numerous services to the Iranian government" -- as well as large amountS of funds. Read the story from the Los Angeles Times here.
JCPA/UJC Israel Advocacy Initiative
Senators: U.S. Would Veto Palestinian State Moves. U.S. senators visiting Israel said on November 16 that the United States would veto a Palestinian declaration of statehood in the United Nations Security Council. They said the threat by Palestinian officials to take the issue to a United Nations resolution was a waste of time and would go nowhere. They urged Arab states to stop it. "It would be D.O.A. - dead on arrival," Democratic Party Senator Ted Kaufman (DE) told a news conference in Jerusalem. "It's a waste of time."Senator Joseph Lieberman (CT), an independent, said "an essentially unilateral" declaration of statehood was the one thing that would not move the stalled peace process forward. U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) said a "unilateral" declaration by the Palestinians "would take a desperate situation and make it more chaotic." Read the full article from Reuters here.

Israeli Yuri Foreman Takes World Boxing Title. On Saturday night, November 14, Yuri Foreman became the first Israeli to claim a professional boxing crown when he defeated Daniel Santos of Puerto Rico to take the WBA junior middleweight title. Foreman, a Belarus-born Israeli who has lived in Brooklyn for ten years and is studying to be an Orthodox rabbi, won the 12-round bout by unanimous decision. The 29-year-old Foreman was so excited after his victory that a few minutes after midnight he called his father in Haifa from his MGM hotel suite in Las Vegas to give him the big news. Read the full article from Haaretz here.
Save Darfur
Darfur on the Agenda.  As a candidate, Barack Obama pledged to make resolving the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region a priority, and the Save Darfur Coalition is holding President Obama to his word. Since 2003, warfare and crimes against humanity in Darfur have claimed as many as 400,000 lives in that region, and the activists say the President's China visit this week is his golden opportunity to press his hosts about Darfur.  "China has been a large part of the problem," Jerry Fowler, president of the Save Darfur Coalition, told The Courier-Journal's editorial board last week. And what the coalition wants, he explained, is for Mr. Obama to challenge China's policy of non-interference in Sudan's domestic affairs and to make a strong pitch to President Hu Jintao that China's huge oil investments in Sudan will be better protected if the U.S. and China work together to try to achieve a negotiated peace in Darfur.  Click here to read the entire article.
This Week in Washington
This Week in Washington.  This week, President Obama visits Asia for the first time.  He will meet with leaders of China, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is accompanying President Obama on his trip.  Congress is in session this week and will continue to focus on health care reform legislation.  The Supreme Court will not be hearing oral arguments this week.
 
Terrorism Cases.  Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that five detainees currently held in Guantanamo will face charges in federal District Court in New York.  These detainees include Khalid Sheik Mohammad, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks who also claims responsibility for the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.   

ENDA.  The House Education and Labor Committee has announced that they will mark-up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  This legislation would expand civil rights employment protections and prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender-identity.  

President Obama in Asia.  Last week, President Obama headed to Asia for his first visit as President to the continent.  Over ten days, he will visit China, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea to discuss economic, global security, nuclear proliferation, and human rights issues with the leaders of these Asian nations.

Health Care Reform.  After the House passed their version of a health care reform bill in a 220-215 vote last week, all eyes have turned to the Senate, which has yet to vote on this important piece of legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said that he hopes the Senate will pass a comprehensive health reform bill before the Thanksgiving Recess, but that timeline has the possibility of slipping. There are still a number of outstanding issues that are being negotiated by key Senators, including the use of a public option, the requirements for employer provided coverage, and the financing mechanism.

Hunger Issues.  Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a study that says 49 million Americans in the past year lacked dependable access to sufficient food. This is the largest number since the U.S. government has released this report, starting in 1995. This past year 17 million children (compared to 12 million the year before) were living in families where there was a food shortage at times.  In addition, the number of children who were outright hungry at one point during the year rose from nearly 700,000 to almost 1.1 million. This report reflects the mounting reality of our country's economic state and suggests that some federal feeding programs are not being accessed in adequate numbers to meet the needs of children and families facing food insecurity. To read the whole report please click here.
JCPA Programs

2010 Plenum Registration is Open!  Make plans to join us in Dallas, Texas on February 20 - 23 for the 2010 JCPA Plenum.  The theme of this year's Plenum is, B'Yachad: Building Bridges - Acting Together.  Plenum registration, hotel information, and program updates are now available at www.jcpaplenum.org

 

Religion in Public Schools.  The JCPA has confirmed Kathy Miller to participate in a session on religion in public schools at the 2010 JCPA Plenum.  Kathy will be joined by Austin CRC Director Lisa Goodgame as they discuss the legality and community relations issues as they explore the role of religion in public schools.  

Kathy Miller became president of the Texas Freedom Network in January 2005. Kathy has also served as communications director for the Texas Council on Family Violence and National Domestic Violence Hotline and as public affairs director for Planned Parenthood Federation of Austin. She served as TFN's deputy director from 1996 to 2000.

Kathy has appeared on Texas and national broadcast media and has testified before the Texas Legislature and Congress. Kathy created and directed a nationally acclaimed public awareness campaign that included television, radio and print advertising and reached thousands of Texas victims of domestic violence and connected them to lifesaving services

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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