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Volume 13, Number 22
June 14, 2010

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In This Issue
Iran Initiative
Israel Advocacy Initiative
Save Darfur
Interfaith Encounter
This Week in Washington
COEJL

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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.


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Iran Initiative

UN approves new sanctions to deter Iran.  Last Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council voted 16-2 in favor of a fourth round of sanctions against Iran's nuclear program.  The main thrust of the sanctions is against military purchases, trade, and financial transactions carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which controls the nuclear program and has taken a more central role in running the country and the economy. The sanctions also require countries to inspect ships or planes headed to or from Iran if they suspect banned cargo is aboard, but there is no authorization to board ships by force at sea. Finally, the sanctions bar all countries from allowing Iran to invest in their nuclear enrichment plants, uranium mines and other nuclear-related technology, and sets up a new committee to monitor enforcement.   To read the full New York Times article, click here.  To see Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Rep. Berman's comments on the new sanctions, click here.  To read the full sanctions resolution, including statements made by representatives of the voting countries, click here.  To read JCPA's statement on the passage of these sanctions, click here.  

Iranian protesters mark year since Ahmadinejad's election win. Anti-government protesters took to the streets of the Iranian capital Saturday for the first time in four months, commemorating the anniversary of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed election victory a year ago despite the cancellation of a planned mass rally.  After officials refused to give permission for a Saturday demonstration, Mousavi and his fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi asked supporters not to protest, in order "to protect people's lives and property," according to a joint statement published on their Web sites.    To read the full Washington Post article, click here.

Israel Advocacy Initiative

Israel announces internal Gaza flotilla raid probe panel.  The committee will include two international observers and tackle the legality of the blockade of Gaza and the legality of the navy's actions. The committee will also determine whether investigations of claims of war crimes and breaches of international law conform to the Western standards.  Retired Supreme Court justice, Jacob Turkel, will head the committee, whose members will include Shabtai Rosen, 93, a professor of international law who is an Israel Prize laureate in legal sciences and a Hague Prize laureate in international law. Also on the panel will be Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Horev, former president of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.  To read the full Haaretz report, click here.  To read the statement from Robert Gibbs, President Obama 's Press Secretary, click here.

JUF-JCRC of Chicago Free Gilad Shalit Campaign.  The Jewish United Fund/ Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, through its Jewish Community Relations Council, has initiated a campaign to help free Gilad Shalit, four years after he was taken hostage by Hamas.  To read more on how you can help in the campaign to free Gilad Shalit, click here.

OECD Tourism Committee will hold its annual conference in Jerusalem.  Fifty tourism ministers and representatives from member states, as well as from other countries, will be invited to the 86th OECD Tourism Committee conference being held this year in Jerusalem. The three day conference (20-22 October 2010) will deal with "green growth", as derived from the OECD program to develop and promote a green policy as a means to economic growth. This conference will be the first to take place in Israel since the country joined the OECD last month.  To read more, click here.

Ethan Felson will address the American Jewish Press Association at its 2010 Annual Conference in Scottsdale this week.  He will be speaking as part of the panel "Fighting Anti-Israel Delegitimization on Campuses, in Churches and in Boardrooms."

Youngstown business leaders Israel trip used as catalyst for the formation of a new venture.  Following four years of planning, the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, in partnership with the local Regional Chamber of Commerce, co-sponsored a community economic development, high tech trade mission to Israel in January 2010.  In addition to Federation and Chamber representatives, the Mission included two area Mayors (of the cities of Youngstown and Warren) officials from Youngstown State University, officials from the Youngstown High Tech Business Incubator, and local business leaders.  Last week saw the first tangible success story as a direct result of the Mission.  At the opening event of the Second Annual YSU Sustainable Energy Conference, local business leaders officially launched a new Youngstown business venture called Ohio Clean Technologies Group.  The next day, they signed their new company's first international agreement with LN Green Technologies Incubator in Haifa, a site the group visited in Israel.  These local business leaders participated in the January Mission, and that experience was the catalyst for the formation of their new venture, an undertaking that they predict can create some 2000 new, high paying jobs in the region over the next decade.  To read an article from a local Youngstown paper on this new venture, click here.

Save Darfur
U.S. special envoy holds talks on Sudan with Egyptian officials. The presidential envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, held talks with Egyptian officials in Cairo regarding the crisis in Darfur and the upcoming self-determination referendum in Southern Sudan.  Gration told reporters after the meeting that his country is interested in implementing the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan and will work with the African Union (AU) and the international community "to ensure a free and transparent referendum".  To read the full Sudan Tribune article, click here.
Interfaith Encounter
JCPA is participating in a national Jewish Evangelical conversation co chaired by JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow and Christian Century Editor David Neff.  The program is co-convened by JCPA Vice President Ethan Felson, Rev. Joel Hunter, Dr. David Neff, Rabbi Yehiel Poupko, and Dr. Ron Sider.
This Week in Washington

This week in Washington.  This week in Washington, Congress will consider several important pieces of legislation including legislation to extend unemployment benefits.  President Obama will visit the Gulf Coast this week and address the nation about the continuing oil spill.  The Supreme Court is in session this week, but will not be hearing oral arguments.  

Abbas in Washington for meetings with Obama.  Last Thursday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, met with both President Obama.  The major topic of the meetings was Abbas' reluctance to advance from proximity talks, brokered by the United States, to direct talks with Israel. On the issue of incitement, Abbas accepted that there was some incitement in official Palestinian media, according to meeting participants. However, he expressed frustration that Israel did not recognize his efforts to end incitement in the mosques, saying he was the only Arab leader to centralize Friday sermons and to remove imams who incited against Israel.  Abbas also said he recognized the ancient Jewish claims to Israel, and recognized west Jerusalem as Israel's capital, adding that the Palestinians had an equal claim to eastern Jerusalem as their capital.  

US appoints coordinator for Iran Sanctions. The State Department said Thursday in a statement that Robert Einhorn, State Department adviser on arms control, will direct US efforts to make sure the UN Security Council sanctions aimed at nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran are working.  He will also continue to advise Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on nonproliferation issues.  To read the full Ynet article, click here.

Child Nutrition.  On June 10th, House of Representatives' Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-CA) introduced his version of the child nutrition reauthorization bill called "The Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act of 2010." The bipartisan legislation enhances the nutritional quality of food served in school-based and preschool settings.  Further, if enacted this bill would expand child nutrition programs including the school lunch program, school breakfast program, and summer feeding initiatives. In addition, the Rep. Miller's proposal would increase funding for child nutrition programs by approximately $8 billion over the next 10 years. While this is short of President Obama's suggested allocation of $1 billion a year for the next 10 years, it is a significantly greater than the Senate bill's authorization of only $450 million a year in additional funds for the next 10 years.  Funding sources still need to be identified and Chairman Miller said he spoken with the House Ways and Means and Agriculture Committees. This legislation is expected to be considered by the Congressional Committees later this month. For more details on the legislation please see FRAC's summary of the bill.
In addition, please contact your Member of Congress and ask him or her to make a solid investment in child nutrition programs.


Jobs.  Debate on the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213) is expected to begin in the Senate as early as Tuesday. After negotiations in the House, leading to a compromise version of the bill, the final piece of legislation includes an extension on unemployment insurance (through November), and provides funding for TANF Emergency Fund (short term financial assistance for qualifying families), FMAP (federal matching funds for states' Medicaid programs), the National Housing Trust Fund (money allocated for the creation and renovation of affordable housing), and summer youth jobs programs. The original bill included an extension of COBRA (federal assistance to purchase health insurance for jobless workers and their families); this final provision was removed in the House version of the bill. Senator Casey (D-PA) will be offering an amendment to the Senate bill to reinstate the COBRA extension.

Federal Support for State and Local Governments.  This weekend, President Obama sent a letter to congressional leadership expressing his support for further federal support to combat the effects of the recession.  He requested that Congress approve a bill to provide local and state aid, which would prevent layoffs for many public employees, such as teachers, firefighters and police officers.  In the letter, President Obama urges continued federal spending to create jobs and support the economy, decrease government expenses in the long run (the government will avoid new unemployment benefit spending and continue receiving tax revenues from those workers whose jobs are saved).  To view the President's letter, please click here.

COEJL
An Advocacy Success - 'Dirty Air Resolution' Voted Down in the Senate. On Thursday, the Senate rejected Senator Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) SJ Res 26, 'the Dirty Air Resolution', by a vote of 53-47.  If passed, it would have prevented the EPA from enforcing Clean Air Act regulations for greenhouse gas emissions by cars and big polluters. All 41 Republicans supported the resolution, as did six Democrats:  Senators  Landrieu (D-LA), Lincoln (D-AR), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR),  Bayh (D-IN), and Rockefeller (D-WV). Click here for the full record of the vote. Thanks to those COEJL and JCPA supporters who helped defeat this resolution.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Update. A loose-fitting cap has been placed over the gushing pipe, allowing BP to collect and process up to 15,000 barrels daily. A government panel has doubled its estimate of how much oil is spewing into the ocean, with the new calculation suggesting that an amount equivalent to the Exxon Valdez disaster could be flowing into the Gulf of Mexico every 8 to 10 days. President Obama will address the nation on Tuesday, June 15th at 8pm ET from the Oval Office with the latest from the region where he is currently touring. The New York Jewish Week urged Jewish leaders to speak up about the oil spill. The response from COEJL Director Sybil Sanchez can be read here.

Climate and Energy Legislation. Last week Senator Reid said that there have been no decisions on climate and energy legislation. Meetings were held with several Democratic leaders to discuss various proposals, including the American Power Act. A broader Senate Democratic caucus meeting on energy is continuing the discussion this Thursday. Meanwhile Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced a new bill, the "Practical Energy and Climate Plan Act of 2010," which contains strong efficiency provisions but is problematic because it has no carbon-emissions pricing mechanism, such as cap-and-trade, and does not provide assistance to those who are most vulnerable to global climate change.

New Staff at COEJL. David L. Marks is COEJL's new Program Director. With a background in social media networking, green business development and entrepreneurialism, David comes to us from having founded and run his own business www.shadesofgreennetwork.org as well as having worked with the Deirdre Eimus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center, served as a green leader of his synagogue in Englewood, New Jersey, and volunteered with the Torah-based environmental initiative Canfei Nesharim. David will help advance COEJL's Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign by widening our social network and bringing energy efficiency program and policy information to local communities. He can be reached at (212) 532-7436 or dmarks@coejl.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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