News/Policy

MJ Rosenberg: The Anti-Israel Factor

reprinted with permission from the Israel Policy Forum On Tuesday, millions of voters in 21 states will make their choice for President. Although it is unlikely that the two nominations will be sewed up on February 5, Super Tuesday will mark the end of the preliminary stage of “The Making of the President 2008” and will move us very close to the main event.

Healthy Generations: Mobilizing Our Community to Prevent Jewish Genetic Diseases

JSPAN is proud to be a co-sponsor of the upcoming symposium "Healthy Generations: Mobilizing Our Community to Prevent Jewish Genetic Diseases," to be held on March 31. Please check the flyer below for more details.

MJ Rosenberg: Why Not Seize Every Possibility?

reprinted with permission from the Israel Policy Forum Abba Eban famously said that the Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Like most bons mots, Eban’s was clever without saying very much.

Fourth Amendment Takes a Holiday?

The Congress has gone home for the holidays, leaving undecided the Administration’s high priority effort to immunize telecommunications companies from responsibility for wiretapping without a warrant since 2001. In 2005 the New York Times disclosed the Administration’s program of tapping international phone communications, including communications with people in the U.S. and communications with Americans who are abroad. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution requires a warrant based on probable cause to support a wiretap, yet the Administration concluded that its implied war powers permitted it to proceed without any judicial control.

Wanted: Courageous Leaders on Both Sides

Remarks by Israel's Deputy Prime Minister to the IPF On December 3, Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon addressed the Israel Policy Forum leadership. In his remarks, he stressed that the people of Israel must be prepared to make substantive concessions as the nation enters into the next phase of negotiations with the Palestinians. He explained, however, that "this is not about conceding something to the Palestinians. It is rather about trying to secure the Jewish state." Deputy Prime Minister Ramon went on to emphasize that "the most important thing is to maintain Israel as Jewish and democratic. .... The occupation is a threat to the existence of the State. ...... If we don't bring an end to the occupation, the occupation will bring an end to the State of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state." Mr. Ramon touched upon all of the major issues concerning a comprehensive settlement, including the future of Jerusalem, borders, refugees and security. He believes that "in the near future a Declaration of Principles, on all four issues, can be reached .... with a clear political horizon with principles that can be adopted." What is needed is "courageous leaders on both sides". Remarks by Israel's Deputy Prime Minister to the IPF On December 3, Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon addressed the Israel Policy Forum leadership. In his remarks, he stressed that the people of Israel must be prepared to make substantive concessions as the nation enters into the next phase of negotiations with the Palestinians. He explained, however, that "this is not about conceding something to the Palestinians. It is rather about trying to secure the Jewish state." Deputy Prime Minister Ramon went on to emphasize that "the most important thing is to maintain Israel as Jewish and democratic. .... The occupation is a threat to the existence of the State. ...... If we don't bring an end to the occupation, the occupation will bring an end to the State of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state." Mr. Ramon touched upon all of the major issues concerning a comprehensive settlement, including the future of Jerusalem, borders, refugees and security. He believes that "in the near future a Declaration of Principles, on all four issues, can be reached .... with a clear political horizon with principles that can be adopted." What is needed is "courageous leaders on both sides".

JSPAN Urges Abolition of Death Penalty in New Jersey

The following letter was sent to members of the New Jersey state legislature. Re: Senate Bill S-171 Dear Senator : We urge you to vote in favor of Senate Bill S-171, as approved by an 8-2 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 10, 2007. This bill would carry out the sound and sage recommendations of the New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission, set forth in its report issued on January 2, 2007, which found: There is increasing evidence that the death penalty is inconsistent with evolving standards of decency;

Jewish Disengagement

In the November 19 issue of the Jerusalem Post, Naomi Chazan, Israeli sociologist and former member of the Kenesset, states that there is a "new crisis in American Jewry which has more to do with Israel than the formal leadership cares to acknowledge." Many young Jews are increasingly finding themselves "discouraged from voicing their opinions," particularly as those ideas concern Israel-related issues.

JSPAN Asks the Expert: Are Immigrants Increasingly Victimized in this Country?

Reported by Mort Levine, Executive Director, JSPAN Richard Cohen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama addressed JSPAN Board members at their meeting on November 20. Mr. Cohen focused his remarks on the increasing proliferation in the United States of hate crimes directed at immigrants. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm. Today, the SPLC is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! C-SPAN Is Coming To Town!

JSPAN is very pleased to announce that C-SPAN is making final arrangements with us to cover our "Ellery's Protest" program on December 6 for Book TV, a weekend series on C-SPAN which features 48 hours of non-fiction books from Saturday 8 a.m. to Monday 8 a.m. ET. Each show is rebroadcast many times for a year or more. Join us to ask questions of our illustrious panel and to get your copy of "Ellery's Protest" autographed by Professor Solomon, Ellery Schempp and our own Ted Mann.

Outstanding Ceremony for Social Justice Award

by Kenneth Myers, JSPAN vice president and co-chair of the Celebration Committee

The reception on November 14 for the presentation of the Social Justice Award to Alan Lerner and Adelaide Ferguson honored a wide range of vibrant and successful activity in support of Tikkun Olam, the repair of the world. Mark Heywood, a freedom fighter against the South African apartheid government, gave the keynote talk. He described the struggle leading to the fall of the apartheid government, and his work since then to bring relief from the awful toll of HIV, which causes one thousand deaths from AIDS each day in South Africa. He remarked that so many "good ideas don't get implemented" and concluded, "JSPAN is about marshalling the great ideas, that is what activism is about." The organization Mark oversees uses the courts of South Africa along with suasion and other tools of civil activism to bring treatment and education to those in need.

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