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When I read the platform I am shocked and disappointed. I can pick at the issues of popularity, Afghanistan and Iraq. But the failure to deal with revolutionary Islamism is ridiculously glaring (they didn’t use the tiniest fig leaf to cover themselves), making a mockery about the democracy and human rights’ pretensions. The treatment of Middle East allies is shockingly insulting. The issues of Syria and Egypt are simply dodged. There is not a single mention of the opposition in Iran. All terrorists not involved directly in the September 11, 2001, attacks are ignored. There is not the slightest hint that any regional strategy exists at all.
The shocking video of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa trying to push through Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the Democratic platform highlights the strong reservations that many American Jews are feeling toward the Democratic party.
Also missing is what had been a solid commitment to isolate Hamas. Instead, the only pre-conditions imposed are the same for all Arabs in the area - "we will insist that any Palestinian partner must recognize Israel's right to exist [not to exist as a Jewish State, just to exist], reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements." That's it. There have also been changes regarding Israel between the 2008 Republican Party Platform and the one just passed in Tampa at last week's Republican Party Convention - and those appear to be more favorable to Israel.
My pro-Obama friends tell me that nothing’s changed, that this administration is as pro-Israel as any previous one, Democratic or Republican, and I needn’t fear that a reelected President Obama will punish Israel. With all due respect, they are full of it.
The interesting question is “why did they change it?” A platform is not a binding document; it is intended as a general statement of a party or candidate’s positions. Its planks are generally written to appeal the broadest possible constituencies. Most voters never read platforms or care about them. Is the change is intended to send a message to the leadership of the Muslim nations that Obama has been courting since his 2009 speech in Cairo that he is taking concrete steps to weaken the bond between the U.S. and Israel?