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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.


  • 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. 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.

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