The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
At President Obama’s behest, and to boos from some delegates, Democrats on Wednesday night inserted a few lines into their party platform affirming Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Two of the lines had appeared in the 2008 party platform but had been dropped for some reason when this year’s platform was released Monday night; no one could quite explain the omission.
The removal of the language had prompted a firestorm of criticism from Republicans, including Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and from Democratic lawmakers in Congress, who said the removal of references to Jerusalem had blindsided them. Pro-Israel groups also asked that the language be restored to the party platform.
“Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel,” stated the amendment that passed Wednesday evening when the party’s platform committee met in Charlotte, the site of this year’s Democratic National Convention. “The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”
Robert Wexler, a top Jewish surrogate for President Obama’s reelection campaign and a drafter of this year’s platform, told JTA that Obama played a direct role in Wednesday’s change. “The president directly intervened to make sure this amendment happened,” he said.
The first two sentences appeared in the 2008 platform. The third satisfied longstanding demands from pro-Israel groups that Obama restate the pledge he made at the 2008 American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual policy conference that he is committed to an “undivided” Jerusalem.
Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles’ mayor and a chairman of this year’s convention, faced a chaotic scene when he brought the committee’s reconstituted language to the full floor for a vote. The amendment also restored the word “God” to the platform, following complaints from some religious groups.
It took three voice votes to pass the language, and although Villaraigosa finally declared a two-thirds majority, it was not clear that the amendment got majority support. Boos were audible.
The Republican Jewish Coalition, the Romney campaign and the Arab American Institute suggested that what Democratic opponents at the convention didn’t like was the change made to the Jerusalem language.
Romney’s campaign spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, called the approval of the language “begrudging.” Matthew Brooks, RJC’ director, said, “To hear delegates on the floor of the Democratic convention strongly voice their opposition to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, then boo when the chairman passes the resolution to adopt that language, is a shock.” James Zogby, the Arab American Institute president, expressed his pride “that so many delegates delivered a resounding no.”
C-SPAN video showed delegates in the institute’s “Yallah, Vote” T-shirts voting against. But a report from the floor on the news website BuzzFeed cited myriad reasons by delegates for their opposition. Some objected to the God language; others appeared to resent having the resolution forced past them without consideration.
“I didn’t get a chance to read it and there was no discussion,” John Washburn, a delegate from Georgia, told BuzzFeed. “It was up there for 30 seconds and then it was down. I’m upset with the process. That’s why I voted no.”
An array of congressional Democrats had complained on Tuesday and Wednesday about the removal of the Jerusalem language from the party platform, saying they were caught unawares.
Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) said he was angry when he learned of the omission. “It’s wrong,” he told JTA, although, he added, “these platforms don’t have a lot of meaning in terms of the work I do in the U.S. Senate.”
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), who is running for Nevada’s U.S. Senate seat and is one of the most steadfastly pro-Israel Democrats in Congress, said that it was an understatement to say she was disappointed.
“I believe with every breath in my body that Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel,” she told JTA. She added that she believes Obama’s record on Israel overall is supportive, noting the enhanced U.S.-Israeli security relationship and Obama’s efforts to push back in the United Nations against anti-Israel measures.
Campaign officials had said that the language was removed because the overall platform focused on Obama’s achievements — in Israel’s case, the enhancement of defense cooperation and the isolation of Iran.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
At the ninth hour, Chabad of Dead Sea whipped together sheva brochot in 2 hours for a newly wedded tourist couple — out of nowhere.
Israel finally has a Foreign Minister who is not ashamed to say the word “God.”
An Arab language website sent a reporter, dressed as a Jew, to the streets of Cairo.
Eight years ago, an Israeli rancher from Moshav Zippori in the Lower Galilee region reached a breaking point. Thieves and marauders had been targeting Chaim Zilberman’s sprawling ranch; his land was burnt black and cattle fences cut down. On the verge of bankruptcy, the rancher told his family during a Friday Shabbat dinner one night […]
Scotland Yard said it cannot prevent the upcoming neo-Nazi march that is planned for July 4th.
A store in Rafah, Gaza displays women’s Islamic head coverings for sale.
A State Dept. official is in Israel to talk about making the region nuclear-free.
The highway at the property is a favorite spot for PA Arabs to try to throw
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu annual medical report as written by his personal physician, Dr. Tzvi Berkovitz, states, “Blood tests were completely normal including those for sugar, cholesterol and fats. The Prime Minister’s blood pressure was normal (120/80), aided by light medication.” The reports notes that “Prime Minister Netanyahu trains several times a week at a […]
The President will speak Friday night at Washington’s largest Conservative synagogue, probably to continue to express his opinion that Israel is racist & Israel should embody “Judeo-Christian”/universal values (as opposed to Jewish values). They’re going to lap it up .
This week ISIS captured two major cities, one in Iraq, one in Syria. Assad’s escape plan revealed.
Israeli Pres. Rivlin expresses deep concern after vandals torch a Bnei Akiva building and synagogue in northern Israel.
More than 70 percent of Muslims in Netherlands reportedly view their brethren fighting the “jihad” in Syria as “heroes.”
Israel rejects a Swiss court decision granting $1.1 billion to Iran after an oil deal went sour after the Islamic Revolution.
Liberman apologizes for describing Netanyahu’s decision to meet with head of Arab Joint Party List as “autistic.”
More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]
“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.
Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.
Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israels-capital-lingo-re-added-to-democratic-party-platform/2012/09/06/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: