Just a day after references to God were not allowed in the Democrat Party Platform, the backlash that ensued caused the DNC to rethink the issue. On Wednesday, Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio made a motion to change the platform.
This summer, I was proud to serve this party as the platform drafting committee chair. I came before you today to discuss the two important matters related to our party’s national platform. As an ordained United Methodist Minister, I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the value we have expressed in our party’s platform. In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party’s platform should as well. Mr. Chairman, I have submitted my amendment in writing and I believe it is being projected on the screen for the delegates to see. I move adoption of the amendment as submitted and shown to the delegates.
The proposed amendment to the platform read as follows:
Page 32, Line 48: We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.
Page 63, Line 26: 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.
As Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, the head of the DNC, asked for a two-thrids vote on the amendments to the platform, he had to call for the vote three times. While in the opinion of anyone watching and listening the ‘ayes’ and ‘nays’ were almost identical, certainly not a two-thirds majority on either side, Villaraigosa declared “in the opinion of the chair” the amendment had been passed.
Even in passing there were “boos” from the delegates over the amendment.
Some sources were reporting that this will, in effect, reverse the previous language to that of the 2008 platform which read,
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. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient efforts and the personal commitment of the President of the United States. The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, 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. 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.
However, as of today the full pro-Israel language from the 2008 platform will not be restored. Only the amendment quoted above will be on the platform.
Each and every sentence of this is important. If the Democratic Party no longer believes that the United States and its partners should isolate Hamas, refuses to acknowledge that return to 1949 armistice lines is disastrous, and doesn’t think that the so-called “right of return” which would destroy Israel as a Jewish state is a non-starter, there’s nothing to talk about: the Party has excised virtually every important element from its Israel plank.
President Obama saw this platform before it was approved. He did not object. He still does not object to the excision of anti-Hamas language and preconditions to negotiations that would actually make a lasting peace possible. The Democratic Party platform is still dramatically more anti-Israel than its past platforms. And yesterday’s fiasco was only the start of the problem.
Here’s how the vote took place:Facebook and Twitter, and follow our friends at RepublicanLegion.com.