Category: Israel

California’s Insurance Commissioner on Iran Divestment

Commissioner Dave Jones recently updated the California Department of Insurance’s website to detail the work that his office has accomplished on Iran divestment.  The website can be viewed here.

An excerpt from the website is below:

The Department has developed a list of companies doing business with the Iranian oil and natural gas, nuclear, and military sectors. Select the link below to view the list of companies.

The Department may in the future revise the list by adding companies found to be doing business with the Iranian oil and natural gas, nuclear, and military sectors; removing companies that cease doing business with those sectors; or making changes based on other risk-related considerations.

JPAC thanks CSU and UC Presidents for opposing ASA Boycott

In December 2013, the American Studies Association issued an academic boycott of Israeli colleges and universities because it contends that Israeli policies have deprived Palestinian scholars and students of their academic freedoms.  While we know this is absolutely false and Israeli universities are open to all, many American universities and professors shamefully signed onto this boycott.

JPAC applauds those colleges and universities across the country that oppose this boycott, particularlythe California State University system and the University of California Regents.

CSU Chancellor White commented: “Academic boycotts violate the basic tenets of higher education including academic freedom and scholarly dialog.  Boycotts attempt to limit the unfettered creation, discovery and dissemination of knowledge vital to our tripartite mission of research, teaching and service.  These characteristics are essential to preparing students with the analytical and critical thinking skills to lead in business, community, educational and civic organizations.” UC Regents President Janet Napolitano commented: ‘Such a boycott threatens free speech and the free exchange of ideas and that an academic boycott goes against the spirit of the University of California, which has long championed open dialogue and collaboration with international scholars.”

State Legislators Oppose Divestment on UC campuses

June 17, 2013– On June 7, 2013, 36 members of the State Legislature, led by Senate president pro tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Budget Chair Bob Blumenfield, signed onto a letter to the UC Regents congratulating them on their stance against efforts by some UC student governments to urge University of California to divest from U.S. companies doing business with Israel.  Read the Legislative Letter to UC Regents.

These legislators share the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC’s­) concern that the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on UC campuses is a divisive and harmful tactic to antagonize and alienate Jewish students on campus, and serves to create further divisiveness rather than a solution that benefits both sides.

The list of signatories includes Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, Senate Appropriations Chair Kevin De Leon, Senate Republican Caucus Chair Ted Gaines, Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Chair Mark Leno, Assembly Democratic Caucus chair Philip Ting, Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, and Assembly Assistant majority floor leader Anthony Rendon.

Anti-Israel divestment resolutions – calling on the university system to divest from multinational companies that allegedly help Israel maintain its occupation in the West Bank – have been debated by student governments at more than a dozen universities across the country in the past few years. The tactic, however, gained traction this past year following the successful passage of resolutions on several University of California campuses.

Two of the successful resolutions, at UC Irvine and UC Riverside, were introduced surreptitiously. Pro-Israel students did not have the opportunity to express opposition to the resolutions at public discussions prior to the student government’s vote. In general, however, divestment resolutions considered elsewhere have been vigorously opposed by pro-Israel students on campus, Hillel representatives, community members and Jewish organizations.

Because these resolutions are non-binding, the university administration is not obligated to make financial decisions based on their recommendations. In addition, the University of California Board of Regents has an explicit policy against divestment. In each case where divestment resolutions succeeded, the university’s chancellor issued a statement reiterating the university’s anti-BDS stance and the UC system’s policy against BDS.

On May 21, 2013, JPAC held its annual Advocacy Day in Sacramento and discussed this important issue with the legislators we met with.

About JPAC
The Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) is the largest single-state coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation. Comprised of local Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Committees and Councils, and other Jewish community advocacy groups from throughout California we advocate on behalf of Jewish social service agencies, traditional community concerns, and broadly shared values that affect the citizens of our State.

Advocacy Day 2013 Press Release

May 21, 2013

For immediate release:

On May 20 and 21, over 60 representatives from 13 Jewish organizations across California came to Sacramento to participate in the 2013 Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) Advocacy Day in Sacramento. Advocates heard from high-ranking public officials including State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and Assembly Speaker John Perez who received JPAC’s 2013 Legislator of the Year Award.

JPAC Advocacy Day is an annual mission to Sacramento that brings together lay leaders and staff from Jewish organizations all over California, including Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Councils, and Jewish Family and Children’s Services, as well as nationally known organizations including the Ant-Defamation League, Hadassah, and the National Council of Jewish Women.   It is an opportunity to come together in Sacramento and strengthen relationships, discuss policy, and represent the greater Jewish community statewide to our legislators.

The event kicked off Monday night as over 20 legislators joined JPAC advocates at a reception at the Citizen Hotel in downtown Sacramento to mingle and schmooze, including Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), Asm. Bob Blumenfield,  Asm. Achadjian, Asm. Fox, Asm. Adrin Nazarian, and Asm Mark Levine.  They mingled with Rabbi Doug Kahn, executive director of the Bay Area’s Jewish Community Relations Council, Anita Friedman, JFCS executive director, and multiple heads of local JCRC’s and Federations.  At the reception, JPAC also honored Assembly Speaker John Perez with the Jerry Sampson Award, which recognizes and honors a California State Legislator who embodies the spirit and dedication to good civic government and whose leadership and advocacy on behalf of the organized Jewish community’s priority concerns have been exemplary.   Speaker Perez regaled the crowd with stories of conversations with the likes of Governor Jerry Brown and Senate President Pro tem about Jewish values and the definition of Yiddish terms.

On Tuesday May 21, JPAC hosted two panel discussions: the first on the intersection of gun violence and mental health and the second on the Israel/CA trade relationship.  The first panel featured State Senator Kevin De Leon, Assembly member Nancy Skinner, and Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of CA, Rusty Selix.  The second panel featured Assembly member Bob Blumenfield, Abigail Browning of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and Israeli Consul General of the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Andy David.  The lively discussion on both panels educated and informed JPAC advocates and were useful during their legislative meetings that afternoon.

Additionally, with a strong and united voice, advocates met with over 50 senators and assembly members at the capitol and advocated on three issues.  The first is the Life Act, a package of eight senate bills addressing gun safety and gun violence prevention and which closes loopholes to many existing gun safety laws.  The second was AB 518, which establishes the Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) program as a Medi-Cal eligible benefit and codifies the program in State law.  The third was not a bill, but asks that law makers sign onto a letter to the UC Regents thanking them for their stance against divestment from companies that do business with Israel.  This letter came about in light of the divestment activities taking place in the halls of student government on many University of California campuses.   During our legislative appointments, JPAC advocates reported practically a rate of 100% support from legislators on our policy priorities for this year, and all of the advocates ended the day with a great deal of satisfaction that their voices were not only heard, but welcomed and respected by our California law makers.

Contact Julie Zeisler for more information on how to get involved with JPAC at julie@jpac-cal.org.

 

About JPAC:

The Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) is the largest single-state coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation. Comprised of local Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Committees and Councils, and other Jewish community advocacy groups from throughout California we advocate on behalf of Jewish social service agencies, traditional community concerns, and broadly shared values that affect the citizens of our State. Click here for more information.

 

 

State Legislators Meet with JPAC Board

On January 29, 2013, JPAC Board members from all over the State met in Sacramento for our first meeting of 2013.  Led by our new Board chair Dave Rand, we discussed our priorities and legislative goals for 2013, and chatted with Israeli Consul General of San Francisco Dr. Andy David, as well as newly elected Assembly member Richard Bloom from District 50 (West LA).

Following the meeting, we went over to the Capitol and met with five influential legislators from around the state: Holly Mitchell (District 54), Marc Levine (District 10), Mark Stone (District 29), Anthony Rendon (District 63), and Kevin De Leon (District 22).

  

  

 

 

 

 

Register today for JPAC’s Advocacy Day!

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s already the middle of January 2013! Time is flying, and that also means that JPAC’s Advocacy Day is going to come up fast- May 20-21 to be exact!  JPAC wants YOU and members of your community, your colleagues, your volunteers, your staff, and your friends who are interested in lobbying on issues of importance to them and to the larger California Jewish community.

JPAC’s Advocacy Day provides opportunities to:
-Participate in real civic engagement
-Be a part of a Statewide community working for common goals
-Network with colleagues and friends around the State
-Meet elected officials and engage in meaningful conversations with them
-Experience the thrill of being in the State Capitol with the largest coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation

Click HERE to register TODAY!

Press Release: Senator Darrell Steinberg issues statement in response to the negotiated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas

(Sacramento, CA) — Senator Darrell Steinberg, President pro Tem of the California Senate, makes the following statement in response to the negotiated ceasefire between the Government of Israel and Palestinian Hamas:

“I welcome the announcement of a ceasefire agreement between the Government of Israel and Palestinian Hamas. The Israeli Government should be commended for allowing Egypt’s proposal an opportunity to work, despite the indiscriminate missile and bomb attacks launched from the Gaza Strip against the civilian population of Israel.

“To avoid further retaliatory surgical strikes against those operatives seeking to terrorize Israeli civilians, Palestinian leaders must accept that its rocket attacks from Gaza must stop. Recognizing that the violence perpetrated by Palestinian Hamas has brought suffering upon its own people, as well as the people of Israel, I urge the Israeli government to show restraint in the face of provocation by continuing to guard against strikes on the civilian population of Gaza.

“From my travels through the region, I know that most Palestinians and Israelis aspire to see an end to this perpetual cycle of violence.

“A true test of integrity now rests on the shoulders of Palestinian Hamas, which will be monitored and judged around the world.”

Contact: Rhys Williams
Press Secretary | Office of Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg
916-651-4006

/ In Israel, Politics / By admin / Comments Off on Press Release: Senator Darrell Steinberg issues statement in response to the negotiated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas

Thank California’s Elected Officials for their Continued Support for Israel’s Right to Self-Defense

SEND A MESSAGE TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES

Members of the State Senate and Assembly have been a vital voice in support of an unshakeable US commitment to Israel and it’s security as it faces increased threats in a region in turmoil. As Hamas rockets have rained down on Israeli civilians, Israel has been forced to safeguard its citizens.

Write to thank Speaker John A. Pérez, Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield, and Assemblymember Mike Feuer for speaking up for Israel. You can also view their statements HERE.

Speaker John A. Pérez:
219 State Capitol
California 94249-0046
Phone: (916) 319-2046
Fax: (916) 319-2146

Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0040
Tel: (916) 319-2040
Fax: (916) 319-2140

or
6150 Van Nuys Blvd.
Suite 305
Van Nuys, CA 91401
Tel: (818) 904-3840
Fax: (818) 902-0764

Assemblymember Mike Feuer
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0042
Tel: (916) 319-2042
Fax: (916) 319-2142

or

9200 Sunset Blvd.
Suite 1212
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Tel: (310) 285-5490
Tel: (818) 902-0521
Fax: (310) 285-5499

 

 

Elected Officials Speak Up in Support of Israel

During the current Israel-Gaza conflict, California elected officials from State and local government have made statements in support of Israel.  JPAC appreciates their ongoing support in standing with Israel against terror.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg: “I welcome the announcement of a ceasefire agreement between the Government of Israel and Palestinian Hamas. The Israeli Government should be commended for allowing Egypt’s proposal an opportunity to work, despite the indiscriminate missile and bomb attacks launched from the Gaza Strip against the civilian population of Israel.

“To avoid further retaliatory surgical strikes against those operatives seeking to terrorize Israeli civilians, Palestinian leaders must accept that its rocket attacks from Gaza must stop. Recognizing that the violence perpetrated by Palestinian Hamas has brought suffering upon its own people, as well as the people of Israel, I urge the Israeli government to show restraint in the face of provocation by continuing to guard against strikes on the civilian population of Gaza.

“From my travels through the region, I know that most Palestinians and Israelis aspire to see an end to this perpetual cycle of violence.

“A true test of integrity now rests on the shoulders of Palestinian Hamas, which will be monitored and judged around the world.”

Speaker John A. Pérez:  “Today the Government of Israel responded to weeks of cross-border rocket attacks on Israeli citizens by launching surgical airstrikes on rocket emplacements in the Gaza Strip, as well as targeted attacks on senior leaders of the terrorist organization Hamas. I believe the Israeli government made the correct decision in avoiding attacks on areas with civilians present, such as schools and hospitals where Hamas has made a practice of storing and firing weapons. Every American should be concerned about this latest escalation of the ongoing conflict, and my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have been killed, Israeli and Palestinian alike.

I have visited Israel extensively, and have met with families and soldiers who live in the southern portions of Israel where these latest incidents have occurred. I know first-hand that the vast majority of Israelis, and the vast majority of Palestinians are fervently hopeful for the day when Israel and the Palestinian people can reach an accord that leads to lasting peace through security for the people of Israel and prosperity and opportunity for the Palestinian people.”

Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield:  “Israel must do what is necessary to defend its people.  One million Israeli lives are threatened by rockets launched by Hamas and other terrorist organizations.  That is almost the number of Jewish Californians who have never confronted such an attack on our shores.  We must stand in unwavering support with the Israeli people and pray that this conflict will soon pass.”

Assemblymember Mike Feuer:  “In a deliberate effort to provoke a violent confrontation with Israel, Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets at Israel’s civilians.  No nation can stand idly by while its civilians are terrorized this way.  Having traveled to Israel’s border with Gaza and many of the locations throughout Israel now targeted by Hamas’ wanton attacks, I am deeply sympathetic with families now under constant threat from Hamas. The People of California stand with all those in the Middle East who are eager to end needless bloodshed and join together to create a stable, secure and lasting peace.”

Sen. Ted W. Lieu, D-Torrance: “I join Californian elected officials in calling for an accord that leads to lasting peace and security between Israel and the Palestinian people.  The first step in achieving that accord and stopping the violence is for Hamas to stop launching thousands of rockets into Israel, and to stop bomb attacks in Israel.  The issues in this conflict are numerous, deep, and complex.  But what is not at issue is Israel’s absolute right to self-defense.  Several years ago I went to Israel and visited communities that endured indiscriminant rocket attacks being launched from Gaza.  Those rocket attacks were unacceptable then, and are unacceptable today.   It is clear to me the vast majority of Israelis and the Palestinian people want peace.  I hope and pray that a cease-fire will be negotiated soon.”

State Senator Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley):  “The attacks on Israel by terrorist group Hamas must be condemned. It is killing and injuring civilian Israelis and Palestinians, and is counterproductive to any peace effort in the Middle East. Having had the opportunity to see first-hand the devastation left by these rocket fires by Hamas years ago, I pray for the safety of the people of this region and for Hamas to stop the violence.”

Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar):  “After being bombarded by more than 1,500 missiles and rockets since January of this year, the Government of Israel took the necessary actions of defending its people by launching surgical airstrikes in an effort to protect Israeli civilians and disable the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.  The United States Government, including the White House, the State Department, Department of Defense, and Congress have expressed solidarity and support for Israel’s right to self-defense. While our hearts and prayers are with the Israeli and Palestinian people, Israel has a right and duty to defend itself and respond to the constant attacks from Hamas. It is my hope that a genuine peace can take hold where both Palestinians and Israelis can live and prosper without the threat of violence.”

LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz to the LA City Council:  “ Colleagues, I wanted to take a moment to send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Israel.  People throughout our great City of Los Angeles have been much saddened and angered by the recent and reprehensible barrage of rockets from Gaza into Israel.  Peace-loving people throughout Los Angeles and the world fully decry such terrorist violence that is aimed at Israel and that gravely harms the cause of peace.  Los Angeles shall always stand firmly in support of the cause of peace and of Israel’s security, independence and well-being.  There are numerous press reports that there could be a negotiated cease fire as early as today.  Let us all join in praying for that outcome.