The decision of the Obama Administration and the Democratic Platform Committee at the Democratic National Convention, to eliminate language which was in the 2008 platform–referring to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and language dealing with the terrorist group Hamas, and the issue of negotiation of the fate of displaced Palestinian refugees by Israel—is an unnecessary blunder that should have been avoided.
Everyone who is fair minded knows that Barack Obama’s Presidency has been one of full support of Israel on all matters that impact them, while occasionally disagreeing on tactics and approaches of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, and the Israeli President, Shimon Peres, have both praised Obama, and declared him as strong a supporter of Israel as any President, since the founding of the Jewish state in 1948.
But the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign are now jumping on the removal of the platform language, and it puts Obama and the Democratic Party on the defensive, when keeping the language would have avoided this problem, and would have done no harm.
So it is not the issue of being angry with Obama, although some Jews, obviously, will be so, but rather, why, oh why, did the President decide to “shoot himself in the foot”, and create an issue which might impact the election in the swing states, particularly Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, in particular, and might also make the victories of the President in other states with substantial Jewish populations a bit closer, and might affect Congressional or Senate races.
The Jewish vote, if a large percentage abandon the President and the Democratic Party, could have long range implications that no one is thinking about now.
And it could make the Islamic world think that Obama might not support Israel to the extreme, in case of an Iranian crisis, even though one should have no doubt about the matter, in reality. But perceptions often matter more than reality, so this is something that Barack Obama and the Democrats will regret, as it gives unnecessary ammunition to the Republican Party!
It has just been learned that the 2008 Platform language on Jerusalem being Israel’s capital city has been returned to the document, a GREAT MOVE!
It’s been added back to the platform now: http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/09/05/3106071/democrats-return-jerusalem-to-platform
Thanks for the update, and the post has been revised to reflect this change!
I’ve been reading through comments sections on CNN, MSNBC, etc. Seeing a lot of upset over the change. Why is that?
I have explained why there is so much upset, and it is good that the mistake was rectified earlier today!
This upset I’m seeing is about adding Jerusalem and God back in to the platform. Some comments seem to be coming from Atheists (i.e., they don’t like “God” being in there) and some are claiming that Obama has caved in to the Zionists. What I don’t understand is the Zionists comments.
There are those people who are against a Jewish state existing in the Middle East, and such critics want Israel destroyed, and replaced by an Arab Palestinian state.
American policy has always been to support and defend Israel, and the temporary decision to change language in the party platform caused an unpleasant reaction, leading to a return to the language of the 2008 platform, which is, I think, appropriate!
Thanks for clearing that up. I’ve encountered these anti-Zionists comments on some progressive sites every time the topic of Israel gets brought up and the language used struck me as being anti-Semitic.
Sadly, there are “progressives” who are critical of Israel and Zionism, and sometimes anti Semitic in tone. Just because people claim to be “progressive” does not mean that they always are consistent. There is a fine line between being able to disagree with Israel’s government and policies at times, and those who wish Israel ill. I am not, automatically, a supporter of everything Israel’s government says and does, but then again, the same goes for the American government and policies, so while a supporter of Barack Obama, I felt a need to speak out against what I saw as unwise change in language, and am glad the change in platform language was restored to what it was in 2008, as even when at times Israel’s attitudes may not be what all of us agree with, we should always stand with Israel when their security and survival are threatened.
I’m the same way when it comes to government. I don’t automatically support everything either.
@Blue In A Red State,
Same way with me.
I remember seeing that Obama’s compaign stated that Romney lacked experience in national security, especially fighting terrorism. So I guess Obama has all the experience he needs, is that Why Obama has skipped more than half of his daily intelligence meetings? Or is his experience nothing more than letting others make the calls?
I am not going to defend Obama missing meetings, but realize that READING the materials, which Bush II did not do while on vacation in 2001, is much more important than having to be, physically, in every meeting. The President, whoever he is, has a lot of demands on his time, but at least Obama is a reader, while Bush bragged that he was not a reader, and thought it was funny, not apparently aware of the effect that such a statement can have on the younger generation, which does not read enough as it is!