Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Jewish Groups Clash Over Exclusion of Jerusalem from Democratic Platform

September 4, 2012 11:50 pm 14 comments

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2004. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The release of the Democratic Party Platform ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, has drawn criticism from conservatives due to the omission of language on Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, and Hamas that was previously present in the party’s statements on Israel.

President Barack Obama has an “unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” the platform stated, citing his administration’s allocation of “nearly $10 billion in the past three years” to help maintain the Jewish state’s qualitative military edge. Through diplomatic support, Obama has displayed “steadfast opposition to any attempt to delegitimize Israel on the world stage,” the platform added.

In 2004 and 2008, but not in 2012, the Democratic platform said Jerusalem “is and will remain the capital of Israel” and called for the resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue “by allowing them to settle [in a Palestinian state], rather than in Israel.” The Republican Jewish Coalition on Tuesday expressed “outrage” that the platform “strips recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel from the party’s official policy document.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) responded that President George W. Bush “signed waivers 16 times to avoid moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem,” showing that the current administration’s Jerusalem policy doesn’t represent a shift.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaking at the Western Wall this summer, affirmed Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital and vowed to move the U.S. embassy there. But despite Congress’s passage of a resolution in 1995 calling for the embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem, every U.S. president since that year has kept the embassy in Tel Aviv.

The 2012 Democratic platform also removed language from 2008 calling for continued sanctions against Hamas. Regarding the Iranian nuclear threat, the platform said Obama has “made clear that the window for diplomacy will not remain open indefinitely and that all options—including military force—remain on the table.” However, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey’s recent statement that he does not want to be “complicit” in a potential Israeli strike on Iran has fueled concern about the administration’s military support for Israel.

Washington Post commentator Jennifer Rubin wrote that the platform “is the most radically unsupportive statement of policy on Israel by any major party since the founding of the state of Israel.” NJDC President David A. Harris, offering a polar-opposite take, said the Obama administration “has the most pro-Israel record of any on record.”

“From record aid to Israel to unsurpassed supplemental missile defense to heightened military cooperation to an unprecedented perfect voting record at the United Nations to gathering a global coalition against Iran, President Barack Obama has tirelessly worked to strengthen the special partnership between the United States and Israel,” Harris said in a statement.

Additionally, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said at a session in Charlotte that Republicans have been doing “everything they can to lie and distort and mischaracterize [Obama’s] stellar record on Israel,” the Washington Examiner reported.

14 Comments

  • All Christian, Jewish Sisters and Brothers and Americans: Forget weither you agree with this or that…….vote the way your religion and beliefs stir you. Read the following. If God and the Land God deams holy is not part of the their beliefs…how can you ask them to lead you.

    This is from CNN (Obama news backers)

    CNN’s Dana Bash: I asked the DNC [why it omitted sections of its 2008 Israel plank from its 2012 platform] and we have an answer. And their answer was that they were simply following what the Obama administration’s policy is, and the White House said several months ago that the status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in the final status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and that is why it is not in the platform as it was in 2008.

    That was obviously the reason for the platform changes, but it’s still interesting that the Democratic National Committee pointed the finger at Obama so quickly. It’s possible the DNC was worried about the long-term fallout with donors; this seems like one of those issues that would outrage the DNC’s pro-Israel Democratic contributors.

    It’s easy to see how this could snowball into a serious problem for both the Obama campaign and the Democratic Party. Democrats have been telling the Jewish community since 2008 that Obama can be trusted on Israel — and now it turns out his administration isn’t just pursuing some questionable Israel policies, but also eroding the entire party’s previous pro-Israel stances.

  • There goes that bookmark.

    Later, Algemeiner.

    • L. Wm. Roberts

      Now I truly believe in reincarnation, the evidence is overwhelming:

      Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) explained the exclusion of language recognizing God and Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the 2012 Democratic national platform as a “technical error” that had not been discussed at all during the drafting process.

      Debbie Wasserman Schultz is Stella Goldschlag incarnate.

  • It appears to me that The National Jewish Democratic Council is more “Democrat” than “Jewish”… I nominate NJDC President David A. Harris as Vorarbeiter Kameradschaftpolizei.

  • “From record aid to Israel to unsurpassed supplemental missile defense…”

    Obama gets NO credit for this. It was part of an agreement that BUSH signed and implemented. So, if anything, minus one point for lying and trying to take credit for this.

    • Anonymous message board boobs deserve all the credit for obfuscating the real issues. Thank you for doing your part.

  • By 2016 the Democratic party will be demanding anti Jewish ‘loyalty oaths’ and Judenraat chairwoman Debbie will lead the charge.

  • The Democratic Party platform shows how much it has gone to the extreme socialist-oid left under Obama and his third-world-ist and pseudo-marxist views.
    Never forget that this guy in his twenties was smoking joints with anti-American politicians and free riding on his race tickets through schools he would not have otherwise entered, while Netanyahu was liberating the Sabena flight hostages at Ben Gurion…
    It is about time that Americans kick this guy out of the White House where he doesn’t belong and restore true American values.

  • This entire article shows how un-supportive the Democratic Party really is. The bible has said a tremendous amount about Jerusalem, and Israel. I saw Obama ask Israel to return to the 1967 borders; giving up land that was stolen from Israel in 1948 and especially East Jerusalem. President Obama has visited Muslim nations surrounding Israel, but never Israel. Egypt’s President was a high ranking member of the Muslim Brotherhood; and a high cleric attached to the new president has 100’s of thousands chanting “death to Israel; martyrdom to take over Jerusalem” and Copt Christians are being crucified, kidnapped and raped and the government does nothing. Egypt has moved tanks onto the Sinai peninsula; a violation of the treaty, met with Hamas in Gaza and giving them full support, visited Iran for the first time in 30 years, showing support for Achmajinadad in calling for the annihilation of Israel and there is more. Obama was warned by congress: to warn Egypt that if these issues weren’t addressed the funding couldn’t be there. Obama overrode them and gave Egypt 1.5 billion. The Democrat platform supports gay marriage, abortion (and has you pay for it), but by far; the overriding issue has to be the treatment of Israel. This week, Obama has ordered a joint military exercise with Israel in October to be scaled back by 2/3. This signals Iran, that Israels potential air strike will not be supported by the U.S. http://world.time.com/2012/08/31/exclusive-u-s-scales-back-military-exercise-with-israel-affecting-potential-iran-strike/. I don’t see how Jews or Christians can support a Party who has shown this agenda.

  • Its time to take the focus off of Israel, not add to the focus. Thirty million Kurds need our attention to help realize their right to self-determination in a sovereign Kurdistan. Fifteen milion Azeris need our attention to help in the unification of north and south Azerbaijan. Six million people in Darfur are awaiting the world’s attention so that they can realize liberation as in South Sudan. The Taureg of northern Mali desperately need our assistance in repelling the encroachments of Al-Qaeda.The Berber have long needed our recognition. There still exist institutionalized slavery in Mauritania. The Copts are not doing well in Egypt and Christians across the Middle East are in serious danger.
    Who cares if Jerusalem is not recognized as the capital. More important is for Jews to recognize that Maale Adumim is an integral part of Jerusalem that needs to be integrated asap.

    • You’re kidding aren’t you? We have to solve the problems of the world while we can’t even solve such mundane problems at home such as unemployment, fiscal responsibility, illegal immigration, sharia encroachment, etc. etc. I guess you must be a true believer in the New World Order.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →