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Volume 13, Number 5
February 1, 2010

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In This Issue
JCPA Programs
Iran Initiative
Israel Advocacy Initiative
Save Darfur
This Week in Washington
COEJL

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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.


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

For more than sixty years, the JCPA has identified issues, formulated policy, developed strategies and programs, and given expression to a strongly united Jewish communal voice. JCPA's has an unparalleled capacity to mobilize grassroots activism, through our network of 14 national and 125 local member 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.

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JCPA Programs
JCPA is happy to announce our latest confirmed Plenum speakers.  Barbara Weinstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Richard Foltin of American Jewish Committee will speak at the meeting of JCPA's Task Force on Jewish Security and the Bill of Rights.  Also, delegates will travel to the Sixth Floor Museum to tour the exhibit which chronicles the assassination and legacy of President Kennedy and hear from Lee Jackson, Chancellor of the University of North Texas system.     

Joining these presenters is a long list of esteemed policy experts, diplomats, and Jewish leaders that will speak at the 2010 Plenum.  This list includes: Ambassador Michael Oren, Professor Nadine Strossen, Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, Abraham Foxman, Lee Cullum, Hannah Rosenthal, Rabbi Steve Gutow, and Henry Cisneros.

To join us at the JCPA plenum visit www.jcpaplenum.org and register at our early plenum rates.  Click here to download the full plenum schedule including speakers, sessions, pictures, and bios.
Iran Initiative
Israel's Approach on Iran is Responsible. National Security Adviser James Jones said January 29 that the US and Israel have a very close working relationship regarding Iran's nuclear program and called his Israeli interlocutors "very responsible" in their approach. "We have very good dialogue with Israel, continual dialogue," he told The Jerusalem Post. "We're working very closely with them." When asked by the Post whether the US is concerned that Israel might get out too far ahead of America on Iran and act unilaterally, Jones responded, "Our Israeli partners are very responsible." Read the article from the Jerusalem Post here.
JCPA/Jewish Federations
Israel Advocacy Initiative
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: An Update on Gaza Operation Investigations. On January 29, 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a 46-page update describing Israel's procedures for the investigation of allegations of violations of the laws of armed conflict in the Gaza operation a year ago. Israel is committed to investigating every allegation of violations, irrespective of the source of the allegation. To date, the IDF has launched investigations into 150 separate incidents. Prior to the publication of the Goldstone report, Israel was already investigating 22 of the 34 incidents it addresses. The remaining 12 incidents, none of which had previously been brought to the attention of the Israeli authorities, were promptly referred for investigation upon the report's publication. Click here for the full document.

Jordan Arrests Militants Linked to Israeli Attack. A Jordanian security official says authorities have arrested dozens of Muslim militants in connection with a failed bomb attack on Israeli diplomats.  The official said that dozens have been detained in a police crackdown mostly on Salafists - militants who seek to revive strict Muslim doctrine dating back to the era of the 6th Century Prophet Muhammad. He said the crackdown was continuing across Jordan. No one was killed or injured in the Jan. 14 attack on a convoy of Israeli diplomats heading home for the weekend. It was the first roadside bombing in Jordan and exposed a security gap for Israeli diplomats. Read the article from the Washington Post here.
Save Darfur
Study Points to Disease as Main Killer in Darfur.  With violence in Darfur in an extended lull, a new study assessing dozens of mortality estimates for the six years of fighting there has concluded that about 300,000 people died, but that disease, rather than violence, killed at least 80 percent of them. A man placed his 9-day-old daughter in a grave in South Darfur last year. She died of diarrhea in a camp for displaced people, where pneumonia, malaria and other maladies also thrive. That was not true at first, the study said. Violence, it said, was the main cause in 2004, the year after the rebellion in the Darfur region of western Sudan began, setting off a brutal repression by janjaweed militias burning down villages and government jets flying bombing runs.  Click here to read this entire article from the New York Times.
This Week in Washington
This Week in Washington.  This week in Washington, President Obama will offer his budget proposal to Congress.  Last week, President Obama appeared before a joint session of Congress to deliver his State of the Union address.   The Supreme Court will not be in session this week.  

Budget.  Today the White House released President Obama's $3.8 trillion proposal for the FY2011 federal budget. The budget includes $100 billion for a jobs bill, aid to states and local governments, tax cuts for small businesses, and funding for social safety-net programs. This year's budget proposal includes money for an expansion of health care benefits, an extension of the student loan program, increased funding in K-12 education programs, and funds for climate change legislation.  As the President described during the State of the Union, his budget proposal outlines a new fees on large banks and freezing non-security spending programs over 3 years starting in 2011.

U.S. Senate Votes to Place Sanctions on Iran. The US Senate voted on January 28 to impose new sanctions on Iran targeting petrol imports in a bid to force Tehran to bow to global pressure to freeze its nuclear program. The Senate bill aims to punish non-Iranian firms that do business in Iran's energy sector or help the Islamic republic produce or import refined products like petrol by blocking them from doing business in the US market. Iran dismissed the move by the US Senate to impose tough new sanctions, saying the measure will further motivate the Islamic republic to pursue nuclear technology. "If the US administration acts on the Senate's approval to increase pressure on the Iranian people, the Iranian people will not give up on their essential rights," the Donyaye Eqtesad newspaper quoted foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying. Read the article from AFP here.  Read JCPA's press release here.
COEJL
Tu b'Shevat Roundup. Last week Jews around the world celebrated Tu b'Shevat, a holiday that reminds us that honoring and preserving our natural resources is a matter of justice. COEJL governance committee members Rabbi Steve Gutow and Rabbi David Saperstein published an op-ed about the importance of the need for comprehensive climate and energy legislation in Congress in the JTA op-ed "Our Tu b'Shevat Responsibility" while President Obama included the need for energy innovation and legislation in his State of the Union remarks. Tu b'Shevat seders around the country were on the rise, and new COEJL director Sybil Sanchez was profiled in the Forward.
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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