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Volume 13, Number 20
June 01, 2010

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

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The JCPA Needs you!  With a nationwide network of JCRCs and Federations and the strength of 14 national Jewish organizations, the JCPA is the Jewish community's most effective advocate for the issues that matter most.  Our annual Leadership Appeal campaign seeks to raise $200,000 in 2010.  We know you care about the JCPA and the work that we do on behalf of the Jewish community here, in Israel and around the world.  Your support is crucial to our success.  To make a gift to the JCPA, please click here.  If you can multiply your gift by planing a parlor meeting in your home for friends and colleagues, contact Dana Hartman, Development Associate at 212.684.6953 or dhartman@thejcpa.org.

We thank you for your generous support!


About Us

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.


Our Supporters

Iran Initiative
Klein Amendment Adopted. The House of Representatives last week passed an amendment to the DOD Authorization Bill which would enhance sanctions against companies doing business in Iran.  The amendment, proposed by Representative Ron Klein (D-FL) bans any company which does business with Iran from receiving a contract with the Department of Defense.  While still hoping for comprehensive sanctions against Iran to be passed this summer, Klein hopes that this amendment will contribute to efforts to stop the Iranian nuclear program. Read more here.
JCPA/Jewish Federations
Israel Advocacy Initiative
9 Dead in Flotilla Clash off Gaza.  On Monday, May 31, nine protesters died in a clash with the Israeli Navy.  The IDF boarded the flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists and supplies after repeatedly ignored requests that the ships dock in the Israeli port of Ashdod so that the supplies could be inspected before being delivered to Gaza.  When the Israeli troops, lowered from a helicopter, landed on the boats, the protesters attacked them with metal pipes and projectiles, reportedly taking the gun from one soldier, resulting in the deadly confrontation.  Seven Israelis were injured in the clash.  As a result, Turkey, where most of the protesters were from, recalled their Ambassador and condemned Israel.  The Washington Post reports that the UN has called for an impartial investigation into the issue.  JCPA's statement on the incident can be found here.

Editorial Decries Myopic Efforts to Delegitimate Israel. The St. Louis Jewish Light published an editorial last week renaming the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel the "DeLegitimate Israel (DLI) movement".  Accusing the "DLIers" of dishonesty by repeatedly characterizing Israel as an apartheid state without defending the claim, the Jewish Light analyzes the flaws in such an argument.  "DLIers", according to the editorial, rely on "misleading soundbites" and hateful rhetoric to pursue a goal of destroying Israel.  Read the full piece here.
This Week in Washington
This Week in Washington.  Late last week, Congress recessed for  the Memorial Day recess.  Before traveling back to their districts, Members of Congress passed several important pieces of legislation.  President Obama is in Washington this week.  The Supreme Court is in session this week, but will not hear oral arguments.  

Netanyahu Meeting with Obama Cancelled.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected in Washington this week for discussions with President Obama and other U.S. officials.  This visit was canceled on Monday so Prime Minister Netanyahu could return to Israel in the aftermath of the confrontation between a flotilla of ships headed to Gaza and the Israeli Navy.  

Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  Last week, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill which, if enacted, would repeal the policy known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  The full Roll Call on the amendment can be found here.

Jobs. Late last week the House of Representatives passed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 in a vote of 215-204.  After much compromise, the final bill extends unemployment insurance through the end of November 2010, and provides funding for the TANF Emergency Fund (short term financial assistance for qualifying families), the National Housing Trust Fund (money allocated for the creation and renovation of affordable housing), and summer youth jobs programs. A number of important programs that assist jobless workers and create jobs were removed from the final bill, including an extension of COBRA (federal assistance to purchase health insurance for jobless workers and their families) and funding for FMAP (federal matching funds for states' Medicaid programs). The Senate is expected to consider the bill when they return from Memorial Day recess. The prior extension of unemployment insurance benefits is set to expire on June 2nd. COBRA benefits expired on May 30th.

Resolution Congratulating Israel Passes House of Representatives.  Calling it a world leader in science and technology, the US House of Representatives last week passed a resolution congratulating Israel on its unanimous acceptance to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  After years as an active nonmember OECD country, the resolution affirms that Israel's accession to a full member will not only improve Israel's economy, but contribute to the strength of the OECD as well.  The text of the resolution can be read here.
COEJL
Act Now: Stop the 'Dirty Air Resolution'! Senator Murkowski (R-AK) is reportedly bringing her "Dirty Air Act" up for a vote on Thursday, June 10. This "resolution of disapproval" (S.J.Res. 26) currently has 41 co-sponsors, and only needs 51 votes to pass. Nullifying the EPA's current finding that greenhouse gases endanger the environment would roll back the Clean Air Act and contradict the Supreme Court's finding that the EPA has the right to regulate the act. Worse yet it could squander opportunities for critical carbon-emissions reductions through the regulation of newly adopted clean car standards and other recent EPA regulations. Take Action: Urge your Senators to oppose the Murkowski Dirty Air Act Resolution (S.J. Res 26) and protect our health and environment from global warming pollution. Click here to sign the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism's letter and urge your Senator to vote NO on S.J. Res 26.

Update on Comprehensive Climate and Energy Legislation in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Reid plans to meet next week with all the chairmen "who have jurisdiction on energy-related matters" after which he plans "to have a full caucus where we will just talk about nothing but energy." Last week, Reid reemphasized the need to develop cleaner and more independent sources of energy than fossil fuels in a speech  on the Senate floor.  Meanwhile, Senator Lieberman (I-CT)  expressed his hope that he and Senator Kerry (D-MA) can bring the bill up for a vote "maybe the end of June, or July some time." Senator Kerry said that a vote on a comprehensive bill should be "relatively easy . . . now" in light of the BP drilling disaster but also indicated that it may be delayed past August, or even after the elections in November. President Obama  announced that the BP "disaster should serve as a wake-up call that it is time to move forward on (comprehensive) legislation," and called "on Democrats and Republicans in Congress…to answer this challenge once and for all."

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Update. Discussion continues about the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. Estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey indicate that between 71 and 147 million gallons of oil have now spewed into the sea, making the Gulf spill the worst in U.S. history (the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska dumped more than 40 million liters of crude.) Documents suggest that BP's own estimates of the spill varied  more than the public knew. Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, wrote to the head of BP America urging for more transparency, "We cannot tolerate any delay or gaps in our understanding of the spill site, given that thousands of barrels of oil are spewing forth each day into the gulf, with catastrophic long-term consequences…We need to see for ourselves in real time the effects of the severing of the pipe and to be able to continue to monitor that situation throughout the crisis." Also, this past week, the head of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), which monitors and regulates offshore drilling, has resigned under reports of scandal in the MMS. Click here to see Sybil Sanchez, Director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, talk about increasing engagement of Jewish communities on green jobs, an important way of responding to our unhealthy fuel dependency and improving our economy.

NYC Cool Roofs. Non-profit organizations in New York City can get resources from the Community Environmental Center in painting their rooftops white. Click here for more information - volunteer projects to paint roof tops should be scheduled the week of June 28th. White roof tops help reduce energy consumption, decrease the city's carbon footprint, and save valuable dollars by applying a reflective coating to roofs. If you qualify for the program and need help in organizing volunteers, please call UJA-Federation's Volunteer and Leadership Development Division -- either Alaine Waldshan (212.836.1842 or waldshana@ujafedny.org) or Susan Kohn (212.836.1447 or kohns@ujafedny.org). 
JCPA Programs

Ayalon, Miller to Speak on Recent Events -
Last Day to Register Online is Tomorrow, June 2


Daniel Ayalon, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, and former State Department official Aaron David Miller will provide the latest analysis about the recent confrontation in the Mediterranean and Israel's relations with the U.S. and the international community.  

To view our full line-up for speakers and register for the June meetings Click Here.

You can also register at our website, www.jewishpublicaffairs.org
 

Contribute to JCPA

The JCPA Needs you!  With a nationwide network of JCRCs and Federations and the strength of 14 national Jewish organizations, the JCPA is the Jewish community's most effective advocate for the issues that matter most.  Our annual Leadership Appeal campaign seeks to raise $200,000 in 2010.  We know you care about the JCPA and the work that we do on behalf of the Jewish community here, in Israel and around the world.  Your support is crucial to our success.  To make a gift to the JCPA, please click here.  If you can multiply your gift by planing a parlor meeting in your home for friends and colleagues, contact Dana Hartman, Development Associate at 212.684.6953 or dhartman@thejcpa.org.

We thank you for your generous support!

Contribute Now!

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