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.
Few Jewish organizations publicly complained, but the groups lobbied behind the scenes. Once the language was changed, AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League and the Orthodox Union quickly praised the DNC.
“We welcome reinstatement to the Democratic platform of the language affirming Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” AIPAC said in a statement. Of both the Republican and Democratic platforms, the statement said: “Together, these party platforms reflect strong bipartisan support for the US-Israel relationship.
The inclusion of the line about Jerusalem remaining “undivided” actually allowed Democrats to trump Republicans, who removed that word from their own 2012 platform language on Israel and Jerusalem. The RNC did not return requests for comment on why the word was removed.
The Republican Jewish Coalition said Wednesday that it would run ads in Jewish newspapers in swing states noting the omissions; it was not clear if the ads would run now that the language was amended
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, who led a training session for elected Jewish Democrats at the Democratic convention, countered that the Democrats should run their own ad noting that the Democratic platform explicitly threatens the use of military force against Iran should it obtain a nuclear weapon, while the Republican platform is less specific, referring only to “all options.”
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
The Israeli Air Force responded to a rocket attack from Gaza by striking terrorist sites within the Strip.
Information on more than 100,000 US taxpayers was stolen by hackers who breached the IRS.
Hamas terrorist leaders are hiding again as Israel considers a response to Tuesday’s rocket attack.
European leaders warn that “no deal” is likely between the US-led world powers and Iran by the time talks reach the June 30 deadline.
An Arab vehicle terror attack at the Gush Etzion junction was foiled by Israel Police on Tuesday evening; the terrorist fled towards Beit Fajar, leaving some damage behind.
9:43 PM Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon is currently moving patients to the bomb shelters, just to be safe. 9:37 PM The army has officially confirmed one rocket hit in Gan Yavne. Islamic Jihad has taken credit for the launch, and it was the result of internal fighting within that terror group in northern Gaza. 9:17 […]
The number of Syrian refugee schoolchildren is going to outstrip the number of Lebanese students, a UN envoy warns.
Bomb threats hampered travel for six international flights to Boston, New York and New Jersey over US Memorial Day weekend.
An extremely rare 1,000-year-old ketuba inscribed in Aramaic is now on exhibit in the National Library in Jerusalem.
The ancient Yemenite synagogue in Jerusalem’s Shiloach area came under repeated attack during prayers over Shavuot.
Two-year-old Claudia Chaudhary now is world-famous for throwing a tantrum at Obama’s feet during the Seder.
Netanyahu had promised that he would head the ministry and work with the mayor.
Netanyahu pacified the EU and said he wants to resume talks on new borders, which the Palestinian Authority total rejects.
Stray bullets from Gaza terrorists’ live-fire training exercises have landed in Israeli communities near the security fence, HaKol Yehudi reported Tuesday. It said that the IDF has claimed they were “stray bullets.” Hamas terrorists reportedly are carrying out live-fire training are paving a new road less than 200 yards from the fence.
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: