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JCPA Insider
Volume 12, Number 42
November 23, 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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The JCPA wishes you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
Iran and Hezballah: Significance of the Francop Interception. Jeffrey White writes for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, "On November 3, 2009, Israeli naval forces intercepted an Antigua-flagged cargo ship approximately 100 miles off Israel's coast. The ship, the Francop, was brought to the port of Ashdod and searched, leading to the discovery of some 500 tons of weapons reportedly from Iran. Israeli officials believe the cargo was bound for Hizballah via Syria. While Iran has been sending arms to Hezballah through Syria for years, this case has important military and political implications.

Iranian arms supplies underwrite Hizballah's political position in Lebanon, increase the risk for a conflict with Israel, and ensure that any such conflict will be more intense and lengthier than if Hizballah lacked such support. This most recent affair also shows Iran's willingness to risk embarrassing exposure in its support for Hizballah, even as it engages in sensitive negotiations with the international community over its nuclear program. This underlines the strategic nature of the Iran-Hizballah relationship and the importance Iran attaches to Hizballah as a component of its own deterrent arm." Read the full article here.

Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago JCRC Forum on Iran. Diplomats, academics, journalists, ministers, city officials, senior law enforcement officers and other civic leaders were brought together on November 18 by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago JCRC to hear an update and analysis on Iran from one of the leading experts in the field, Professor Shaul Bakhash. Bakhash addressed the Islamic Republic's changing position on the world stage and in its internal policies, while focusing in particular on the nation's nuclear aspirations and the power dynamics at the highest levels of its government, especially in the aftermath of this past summer's protests. Speaking on the nuclear issue, Bakhash said that analysts were initially surprised by Iran's apparent willingness to send the bulk of its uranium to Russia and France for further enrichment. However, Iran announced Wednesday that it would not export its enriched uranium for further processing, according to the LA Times.
JCPA/UJC Israel Advocacy Initiative
What Does "Pro-Palestinian" Really Mean? Khaled Abu Toameh writes in op-ed for Hudson New York, "It is hard to see how organizing events such as "Israel Apartheid Week" on a university campus could help the cause of the Palestinians. Isn't there already enough anti-Israel incitement that is being spewed out of Arab and Islamic media outlets? If anyone is entitled to be called "pro-Palestinian," it is those who are publicly campaigning against financial corruption and abuse of human rights by Fatah and Hamas. Those who are trying to change the system from within belong to the real "pro-Palestinian" camp. These are the brave people who are standing up to both Fatah and Hamas and calling on them to stop killing each other and start doing something that would improve the living conditions of their constituents. Instead of investing money and efforts in organizing Israel Apartheid Week, for example, the self-described "pro-Palestinians" could dispatch a delegation of teachers to Palestinian villages and refugee camps to teach young Palestinians English. Or they could send another delegation to the Gaza Strip to monitor human rights violations by the Hamas authorities and help Palestinian women confront Muslim fundamentalists who are trying to limit their role to cooking, raising children and looking after the needs of their husbands. Here is an idea: Let's substitute Israel Apartheid Week with Palestine Democracy Week, where Palestinians would be urged and encouraged to demand an end to financial corruption and bad government." Read the article here.

An Eye From Zion. "At first, I thought I'd die." That's what an ex-Mossad chief said about his first "operation." Yoram Hessel, now the director of Eye from Zion, wasn't talking about a secret operation for the Israeli government. He was referring to sight-restoring cataract surgery that he had witnessed firsthand. After observing about 50 cataract operations in countries such as Vietnam, China and the Muslim country of Azerbaijan, Hessel, now an international businessman with his consultancy Vintage Crown is overflowing with enthusiasm about how a relatively straightforward operation can change peoples' lives. In addition to his career in business, Hessel donates his time to Eye from Zion to restore sight to people in developing countries. Read the full article from Israel21c here.
Save Darfur
Obama Missing an Opportunity to Deal with Darfur? The Save Darfur Coalition urged President Obama to pressure China to crack down on the Sudanese government.  The group contends China has the economic clout to squeeze Sudan into ending the killing and allowing humanitarian workers to take steps to curtail the famine among thousands of refugees in southern Sudan. China depends on Sudanese oil, and Sudan relies on Chinese currency.  "This is President Obama's first critical test following the release of his new strategy for Sudan," said Jerry Fowler, president of the Save Darfur Coalition. "His leadership on Sudan is essential when he meets with President Hu Jintao. If he does not make it clear that the U.S. is serious about peace in Sudan, it will send a message to China that its current Sudan policy is acceptable."  Save Darfur fears Obama will drop the ball on the Sudanese genocide, noting that the issue hasn't received any attention during Obama's trip through Asia.  Read more from the New York Daily News by clicking here.
This Week in Washington
Hannah Rosenthal Named Anti-Semitism Envoy.  The JCPA is hailing the appointment by President Barack Obama of former JCPA Executive Director Hannah Rosenthal as the State Department's Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism.  "We applaud and welcome President Obama's appointment of Hannah Rosenthal as U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism.  It gives us great pride to know that one of our own is being entrusted by the United States with this responsibility.  During her tenure at the JCPA, Hannah was a tireless advocate for Israel and for social issues important to the Jewish community.  We know she will bring the same enthusiasm and dedication to her new role in the Obama administration.  We look forward to working with Hannah in her new capacity in efforts to promote tolerance and understanding to eradicate anti-Semitism across the globe."

Health Care Reform.  On Saturday evening the Senate voted 60-39 to bring health care reform to the floor for debate.  Debate is scheduled to begin when the Senate returns November 30 from its Thanksgiving break.
Pledge to Join The Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign!  During this time of pivotal global environmental challenge, we have a unique opportunity to work together toward a better future on the common ground of a healthy environment, green jobs, and a secure energy future.  Our actions include living more sustainably, leaving a smaller carbon footprint, and repairing God's Creation by seeking to share inspiration in the cause rather than facing the struggle alone.  By signing this Covenant, you commit, through a campaign facilitated by the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, to join hands with a broad community of Jews working to address this challenge together.  Take the Pledge here and pass it on!
JCPA Programs
Many Exciting Sessions Planned at the 2010 JCPA Plenum!  Register at www.jcpaplenum.org! Hear from national leaders about the Christian - Jewish encounter and how we bring civility to the issues that matter most.  Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon and Rabbi Steve Gutow will discuss interfaith relations and how Jewish community leaders should be working with our Christian friends on issues important to all of us.

Other important sessions not to be missed include: The role of religion in public schools, working with Christians United for Israel, global human rights, and Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Many speakers are already confirmed and JCPA is reaching out many high-profile experts and policy makers to join us at the JCPA Plenum.  Be sure to register for our early rates 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!

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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