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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘DNC’

A Democratic Chorus of ‘No’ Rejects Mention of Jerusalem in Platform

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

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.

The huge chorus of ‘no’ that thundered back at Villaraigosa (whom I know personally and respect deeply) was more about rejecting Jerusalem-as-Israel’s-capital from being shoved down the Democrats’ throats. [Editor's note: Villaraigosa deemed the motion to reinstate Jerusalem into the platform had passed, though it was not clear if it actually had].

Now, I know to expect this from the BBC who, at the London Olympics, did not list Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. I also know to expect it from, say, the Palestinian Authority. When I accompanied the Rev. Al Sharpton to Gaza City in 2001 and refused to meet Yasser Arafat, I waited in the Presidential receiving room where there was a map of Israel with a Palestinian flag coloring the entire area. Neither Israel nor an Israeli Jerusalem even existed. But to hear this from a great American political party, which spawned such incredible pro-Israel personalities as Robert Kennedy, Scoop Jackson, Chuck Schumer, and current minority whip Steny Hoyer is quite shocking.

The debate about whether President Obama is favorably inclined toward Israel rages on. My own opinion has been clearly expressed in many published articles. In the summer of 2008 I received a phone call from the Obama campaign asking me to serve as national co-chair of ‘Rabbis for Obama.’ I told them I was flattered but could not accept. I was sure that Obama would go south on Israel, blaming the lack of progress in the peace process on Israeli intransigence rather than Palestinian terrorism. I was unfortunately proven correct. Obama’s first two years as President were taken straight out of Jimmy Carter’s playbook, putting immense pressure on Israel to make concessions without asking much of anything from the Palestinians, until his own self-described ‘shellacking’ in the 2010 midterms forced him to moderate his stance on Israel.

Be that as it may, I have never seen Obama’s unrelenting pressure on Israel as indicative of the Democratic Party in general. What a shame, therefore, to witness today’s reaction to Israel simply having its capital recognized by Democratic Party. My own opponent in New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional District, Bill Pascrell, signed the infamous Gaza 54 letter, despite its lie accusing Israel of denying food and medicine to Palestinians in Gaza. Pascrell has also been working tirelessly to keep Imam Muhamad Qatanani, a member of Hamas who regularly lambasts Israel from his pulpit in Paterson, in the country against a concerted effort by the Department of Homeland Security to deport him. And this latest outrage of omitting Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the official Democratic platform gives me further pause.

What’s going on?

In truth, my feelings are that some of my Democratic brothers and sisters are losing their will to fight evil and choosing moral equivalency instead. It is not just Israel that seem to evoke the Democratic Party’s disdain. The Arabs of Syria are faring no better as they are slaughtered en masse as a Democratic president looks on with barely a whimper from his party to rescue these suffering souls.

Dennis Prager says that those who do not support Israel have a broken moral compass. Israel is a flourishing democracy with one of the most respected independent judiciaries in the world. Hamas is a terrorist organization whose charter calls for Jews to be killed wherever they may be. Hezbollah is another terrorist organization sworn to Israel’s destruction and the Palestinian authority is corrupt to the core, having stolen billions from innocent Palestinians who live in squalor under their oppressive sovereignty. Israel is not perfect. But is there really a choice as to who is in the right?

Jerusalem is the greatest litmus test of all. It is mentioned 600 times in the Hebrew Bible and not once in the Koran. It is replete with thousands of years of Jewish history and housed both of Judaism’s great Temples. It was the seat of Israel’s great king David, who made it his capital, and has been focused on in the Jewish prayers for millennia. Few expressed this better than Elie Wiesel in the full-page ads he took out in newspapers across the world in April 2010 when President Obama first started mumbling of Jerusalem being a divided city:

DNC Leadership Rams Through God and Jerusalem Despite Losing the Vote (Video)

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

After Governor Ted Strickland made the motion to change the Democratic National Committee platform to include both God and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, the head of the DNC, called for a voice vote, which required a two-thirds majority to pass.

As you can see from the video, a surprised, confused and irritated Villaraigosa did not get the clear majority he expected and wanted the first time around, and so called for another voice vote. Again not getting his clear majority, he is advised by someone to his side that tells him, “You’ve got to rule, and then you’ve got let them do what they’re gonna do.”

Villaraigosa then called for a third vote, in which it again does not sound like he had a majority. Despite that, he concludes by saying that in “opinion of the chair two-thirds have voted in the affirmative,” to which he was loudly booed.

Will DNC Chair Be Dumped?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The Weekly Standard is already advancing the speculation that Debbie Wasserman Schultz be let go from her post as DNC chair following her blatant lie regarding Republicans, Israel, and Israel’s ambassador Michael Oren.

In a TV appearance Tuesday night, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was asked about the Michael Oren email. But instead of acknowledging her misstatement, the DNC chair attacked the reporter, Philip Klein, who quoted her.

“I didn’t say he said that,” Wasserman Schultz said. “And unfortunately, that comment was reported by a conservative newspaper. It’s not surprising they would deliberately misquote me. What I always say is that unfortunately the Republicans have made Israel a political football, which is dangerous for Israel. And Ambassador Oren has said that we can’t ever suggest that there is any daylight between the two parties on Israel because there isn’t. And that that’s harmful to Israel. That’s what I said, and that is accurate.”

But Klein fired back.  Not only did he state that “Debbie Wasserman Schultz lied on national TV,” and accuse her of smearing the good name of an honest reporter in order to achieve her goals, but posted the audio recording of her statements online, so that readers could judge for themselves whether Schultz made the statement about Oren.  The clip was uploaded to Youtube, and posted below.

Florida DNC Member Resigns over Leaked Anti-Israel Emails

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Evelyn Garcia, a Democratic National Committee (DNC) member and candidate for the Florida House of Representatives who accused Israel of “crimes against humanity” and of running “mass concentration camps” in a series of vitriolic emails, has apologized and resigned from the DNC.

Garcia, a Haitian-American elected to the DNC in 2008, sent the emails in 2011, but they were first released by BizPacReview.com after being passed on to South Florida Democrats last week. The emails evince a vicious contempt for Israel and echo the propaganda and trite canards that usually mark those on the radical anti-Israel left.

In an email dated May 24, 2011 Garcia wrote: “Slavery was ended, apartheid was ended and so this occupation must end.”

Two months later, on July 26, Garcia wrote that “by supporting Israeli occupation with US foreign aid, we are all complicit and guilty of their crimes against humanity.

“Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust,” she continued, “and it’s about time this guilt trip was taken off their backs.”

“I deeply resent U.S. taxpayer funds being used to continue Israeli aggression, (yes, confiscating other peoples’ land and building illegal settlements is aggression), not to mention ‘incursions’ that kill PEOPLE, destroy civilian homes and infrastructure all over, mass concentration prison camps, etc, etc, etc.”

BizPacReview reported that Garcia’s email rants began when she forwarded an email by the radical leftist group Code Pink, titled “Time for a New Middle East Policy,” which lambasted President Obama’s pandering to the “pro-occupation lobby” and announced a conference opposing it.

Local Democrats expressed horror and outrage at Garcia’s words. Loren Londner, one of the recipients of the emails, told BizPacReview that “This kind of speech almost qualifies as hate speech. This should be made public no matter who the person is or what their party.”

“She’s horrible,” said Dan Liftman, legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Miramar). “She could harm the president and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.”

Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel called the emails “grossly inappropriate.” Oddly, Siegel said that he “was shocked by her choice of words,” seeming to imply that it was not Garcia’s views that bothered him, but rather the language she used to convey her views.

Though Garcia resigned from her post in the DNC on Friday afternoon, the controversy has not swayed her intention to run for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives; she is seeking to represent District 88, which includes the heavily Jewish West Palm Beach. She is running against three other democratic candidates for the post.

In her resignation letter to the DNC she wrote: “In passionately advocating my position supporting the rights of people I felt were being harmed, I used language that I now regret. The gist of the conversation had to do with my concern for innocent people being oppressed, but such support for the oppressed does not diminish my support for the good people of Israel.” Amazingly, she seemed to shift the blame for her comments, saying that her “private emails” had been released “by someone I believed was my friend.”

Garcia also emailed a statement to the Palm Beach Post on Friday, writing that her comments were “inappropriate and hurtful” and ” exactly the kind of ugly rhetoric that is not conducive to the overall atmosphere needed to create a prosperous peace.” She also apologized to “members of the Jewish faith whom I have worked with for years.”

Still, the controversy is showing no signs of abating, as some Florida democrats are being accused of knowing about the emails but sitting on them.

While Siegel claimed that he saw the emails for the first time last Monday morning, Liftman said he had known about the emails “for a while.”

Despite sounding contrite in her resignation letter and statement to the Post, Garcia seemed less than repentant in an a statement on Mondoweiss.com, a website that claims to cover Israel from a “progressive Jewish perspective.”

Casting herself as the victim of an unjustified witch hunt, Garcia said she has received a “barrage of hate mail and threats…from places as far away from Palm Beach County as Oklahoma.” Garcia returned to a tone more reminiscent of the emails that got her into trouble in the first place: “Don’t our loyalty and patriotism belong first to our country–the United States of America? Or, did they [the Palm Beach County political action group that released the emails] really intend a conversation among the wider electorate of the extent to which U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing an illegal occupation by Israel? And, who says it’s an occupation and illegal? Well, let me count the ways: numerous United Nations resolutions, J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace, the Presbyterian Church, CodePink, religious and political leaders and public opinion worldwide.”

“How much longer will U.S. taxpayers subsidize the illegal, immoral occupation of Palestinian territories?” she continued. “How about conducting a discussion on that topic instead of persecuting one messenger? Don’t Palestinians deserve their homeland too? After conducting guerrilla warfare and with United Nations votes of nations worldwide, including The Republic of Haiti, Israelis established their homeland some 60 years ago.”

Still, she offered this platitude to balance the “discussion: “The Jewish State of Israel is a legitimate, sovereign nation that I have long admired for its self-determination and generosity to others, including the recent victims of the Haiti earthquake.”

JTA contributed to this report

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/florida-dnc-member-resigns-over-leaked-anti-israel-emails/2012/07/10/

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