Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chaos During Dems Platform Vote on adding language on Jerusalem.

Phil Weiss reports:
When party bosses stuffed the phrase, "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel," back into the platform, reportedly at the command of the president himself, and the Democratic rank-and-file on the floor bridled at the command and booed, and even the convention chair, Mayor Villaraigosa, looked to be following orders, the curtain was pulled back on the wizard of Oz-- to use the great conspiratorial figure of a previous American century-- and the press and the informed public were left to discuss what we had all just seen...

Most of the press subsequently performed damage control. Larry O'Donnell of MSNBC poohpoohed it as routine platform-management. Andrea Mitchell changed the subject to the weather shifting tonight's venue, and balloons. Only one commentator truly distinguished himself. Chris Hayes of MSNBC said that it was a "craven" moment and went right to the policy implications, that Israel's claim to Jerusalem is "untenable" and one cause of the endless conflict in the Middle East. Rachel Maddow quickly turned the subject to the other word the Dems had reinserted in the platform-- God-- to get the conversation back on safe ground.

Here is a roundup via Weiss of some of the reporting and some of the responses:

Andrew Sullivan: 
when AIPAC says jump, an entire political party asks "how high?" Every now and again, you see the stranglehold and you realize just how contorted this debate is in Washington
Ali Abunimah at IMEU sees the upside in the exposure; we might actually talk about policy: 

"By adding Jerusalem as Israel's capital to their platform under pressure from the Israel lobby, Democrats hoped to relieve such pressure. Instead they are likely to have made it worse as video clearly shows that even after three votes delegates were unhappy with the change. The fact that the chair declared the "ayes" had it anyway is a neat summary of how decisions are made when it comes to Israel. Both parties are in a bidding war to appease Israel's most extreme supporters at home and abroad. If this means riding roughshod over American and world opinion, international law and the basic rights of the Palestinian people, then so be it.”


  1. Grassroots Dems are waking up and they even showed a bit of backbone--booing from the convention floor and so forth--as the party elite attempted to change the party platform to make it more AIPAC-friendly. It was brief, but nonetheless it was a refreshing show of independence and intelligence.

  2. I question any U.S. political platform that contains references to the capital city (or preferred capital city) of any country other than the US.