Exclusive: Dershowitz Blames “Rogue” Democrats for DNC Jerusalem Debacle, Calls on President Obama to do More
As President Obama prepares to accept the Democratic nomination for his second term in the White House on Thursday night in North Carolina, one of the United States’ most vocal supporters of Israel is calling on Obama to reaffirm his party’s entire platform language on Israel from 2008, and vowed to fight “rogue elements” within the Democratic party who seek to end the positive relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
After failing to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city in their initial 2012 platform, which prompted a sharp rebuke from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the Democrats reinstated language on the issue from their 2008 and 2004 versions, however Dershowitz told The Algemeiner that his party did not go far enough. Isolating Hamas until it renounces terrorism, solving the Palestinian refugee crisis through a Palestinian state alone, and affirming that a two-state solution could not realistically force Israel back to its borders of 1949 should be publicly endorsed by President Obama within the coming weeks, after statements on these issues were also left out of the Democratic platform this year.
“I am not satisfied…..and I communicated this to the White House, I would like to see the president make statements over the course of the coming weeks which re-affirm what was said in the 2008 platform, not only with regards to Jerusalem, but in regard to the borders, the refugees and with regard to Hamas,” Dershowitz said. “I am hoping that the president will make such statements, because I know those are his beliefs because I have spoken to him and to those in the White House.”
Speaking of “rogue elements” within the Democratic party, which he said range from Arab-Americans to anti-Israeli American Jews, Dershowitz said it was their goal to end the alliance between the United States and Israel, and that the 2008 language regarding Jerusalem, Hamas, Palestinian refugees, and Israel’s borders were all left out of the initial 2012 platform due to their efforts.
“I think these rogue elements had a hand in changing the 2012 platform from the 2008 one. Whatever the arguments and justifications are, there is no doubt in my mind that there are these rogue elements within the Democratic party, and they are trying to exercise influence,” he told The Algemeiner. “If they had their way, (they) would end the kind of positive relationship between Israel and the United States.”
Dershowitz said that delegates “tend to reflect the extremes of the party”, which he says are a minority on the left, however he does not believe there was the two-thirds vote necessary to amend the Democrat’s platform language on Israel, which passed when convention chair and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa passed the measure after three separate votes.
“I do not believe that two thirds of the delegates voted to change the platform. I think that there was a statement made by the chairman, but I don’t think he was right about that,” Dershowtz said to The Algemeiner. “From the voices that I heard, it sounded like it was split down the middle, with maybe a slight majority in favor of changing the platform.”
After stating that he believes the president had not seen the platform before it was released, as senior White House advisor David Axelrod asserted on CBS News, the Harvard Law professor stated he was happy that Wednesday night’s events took place the way they did, because it brought what he believes to be a festering problem within the Democratic party, to the surface.
“I was frankly very happy to see that vote yesterday and to see the verbal screaming that went on, because I think it alerted everybody to the fact that this group within the Democratic Party poses a tremendous danger to the bipartisan support for Israel that has characterized American politics since 1948,” he said.
“We caught them and the President rebuked them basically.”