In increasingly rapidly paced news cycle time, the DNC convention Jerusalem fiasco is well behind us. Headline writers have moved right on to covering the widening gap between Israel and the White House over Iran, the President’s refusal to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu during the latter’s upcoming visit to the United States and Islamist violence in Libya.
I bring it up again however, as I feel that crucial elements of the episode went all but unreported and yet are of considerable ongoing significance.
It is important to note that the content of the Democratic Platform in and of itself is less significant than the active act of removing wording from the platform. It is understood, that by nature the text can’t include every manifestation of the Party’s policy. However, in the world of diplomacy strong messages are often conveyed less overtly, and the active removal of a long standing position or phrase from a formal position paper is a considerable statement.
Apart from the omission of the reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, here are four other key omissions and the implications, in the language of subtle diplomatic messaging, of their removal.
- Israel was referred to as “Our strongest ally in the region” in 2008. The message that could be inferred from its removal is that the United States’ special bond with Israel is now deemed less exclusive. Opening the possibility for the conflicting demand of other countries to be granted greater consideration.
- “The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements.” The removal of the call for prescriptive isolation of the terror group opens the door to the possibility that the U.S. will be more lenient in their commitment to shut down the organization and its ongoing assault on Israel.
- “(The creation of a Palestinian State) should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.” The omission of this statement shockingly allows an opening for the PA to believe that the United States might consider their longstanding demands for a “Palestinian right of return” to Israel, which would effectively bring about the destruction of the Jewish state as we know it.
- In 2008, the platform read, “All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.” The omission of this statement will be interpreted by the PA as an acceptance of their demands and position by the party of the President, crippling the Israeli negotiating position in the event of any further discussions.
It is not clear who exactly is responsible for this very activist doctoring of the DNC’s Israel positions. While the President and his aides claim that they were blindsided, I find it hard to believe that no senior White House official reviewed the document considering its prominence and centrality.
Surely the responsible parties are influential in the Democratic Party and are becoming more so. So, if Rep. Todd Akin’s recent insensitive remarks about rape were deemed a stain on the Republican Party, no doubt the fundamental anti-Israel amendments to the DNC platform remain a permanent and significant blemish on the Democratic Party’s pro-Israel claim until amended accordingly.
Jerusalem was returned to the platform to much fanfare, but the strategy of those seeking Israel’s harm in the preparation of the document was simple; take 5 steps forward and in the event that they are pushed back one step, as happened, they will have gained the other four.
Israel’s detractors scored a momentous victory at the DNC, the hoorahs over the re-inclusion of Jerusalem represent utter short sightedness and gullibility.