The real momentous news at the DNC yesterday was not Bill Clinton’s Clintonian speech. It was the imbroglio over God and Jerusalem in the party’s platform, when party leaders were forced to reinsert references to God and Jerusalem to the dismay of the party faithful. Here are a few points to consider:
1) The two parties are a mirror image of each other in terms of the dichotomy between the party establishment and the grassroots. Just like we wanted the Republican Party platform to reflect our beliefs, the Democrat grassroots wanted a platform to reflect their beliefs. They don’t believe in God and they don’t believe in the Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem. Period. The fact that the party establishment, which is more sensitive to public opinion, decided to force God and Jerusalem back into the platform does not change the pulse of the party’s grassroots. The booing during the rules change only confirms this.
2) Unlike the Republican Party establishment, Democrat establishment figures are not moderate; they are just more responsive to public pressure. The platform amendments were not the result of an oversight or a technical error. They supported these planks in the platform, as they are a clear reflection of Obama’s policies. They were simply taken aback by the public outrage, and made those adjustments accordingly. Remember how Obama underestimated the degree of blowback he would incur from his Middle East speech calling on Israel to retreat to pre-’67 borders.
3) Despite the reports that Obama personally interceded on behalf of reinstating Jerusalem into the platform, it doesn’t change his views on the issue. He is maniacally focused on his Palestinian friends to the extent that he has personally called out Israel for constructing apartments in long-established Jerusalem neighborhoods. Biden ripped Netanyahu for the construction while he was visiting Israel. Obama has also made it clear that he will never move the embassy to Jerusalem.
Additionally, the updated platform doesn’t exactly sound like a firm commitment on Jerusalem:
Elsewhere in the region, President Obama is committed to maintaining robust security cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council states and our other partners aimed at deterring aggression, checking Iran’s destabilizing activities, ensuring the free flow of commerce essential to the global economy, and building a regional security architecture to counter terrorism, proliferation, ballistic missiles, piracy, and other common threats. Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.
Either Jerusalem is off the table and will remain the undivided capital of Israel, as Obama promised during the 2008 campaign, or its final status is on the table for negotiations. Which one is it? Unless they mean that Israel can retain a bus station within the city limits and call it their capital, while the remainder of the city is carved up.
4) There are still three other provisions of the 2008 DNC platform that have been removed and were not restored during yesterday’s floor fight:
The United States should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism.
…should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.
… 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.
Here’s the deal. If Democrats believe that Hamas is no longer a problem; that Israel should recede to indefensible borders half the size of New Jersey; that millions of refugees should be able to live even within that downsized part of Israel – the status of Jerusalem will be a moot point. It will not exist.
Let there be no ambiguity as to where Obama and the Democrats stand on Israel…and God.
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