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!