Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's Not Too Late!


It's Not Too Late!

There are American voters, in particular American Jewish voters, who have persisted in their belief that Obama is a friend of Israel.  It's not too late for them to see the truth.  For the president has exposed that truth himself more blatantly than ever now and it's mighty hard to miss.

I wrote yesterday about the decision of the Democratic Party to drop certain planks that had traditionally been part of the Democratic platform.  But I wrote at the end of my post, when the news had just broken. And perhaps the full import of this information was lost because there was so much in that post.

And so I return to it today because it is of huge importance. Do not believe Democratic Party spokespersons who are now backpedaling and saying that this is no big deal at all.  It is a VERY big deal:  It provides a very strong indication of where the Obama administration would go in a second term.  And  anyone who truly cares about Israel should be deeply unsettled by this indication.  

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There were actually a number of statements that have traditionally been part of the Democratic platform that were dropped.  Each instance represents a nod to an Palestinian Arab position.

There is Hamas, which is not mentioned at all in the 2012 platform. Previously the Democratic platform said: "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."            

Someone who worked on the platform said "final status items" had been dropped "because it's silly to get into these in a party platform," especially the platform of the governing party.  As an excuse this is a crock in any event. But I ask you: Is the question of isolating Hamas until it renounces terror, recognizes Israel, etc. a "final status" issue?

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Then there is the question of the US promising to maintain Israel’s "qualitative military edge" in the region. The 2008 Democratic platform, for example, spoke of a "commitment which requires us to ensure that Israel retains a qualitative edge for its national security and its right to self-defense."  This has now been dropped.   

Even more clearly, this has nothing to do with "final status" negotiations because this is a matter between the US and Israel.  What it does have to do with is Obama's promise to Israel that he has our back.

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What might -- theoretically -- be a "final status" issue is the question of what happens to so-called Palestinian refugees.  But only theoretically. Previous platforms specified that they must be settled in a Palestinian state and not in Israel.  That has now been dropped. 

This has not received much attention, but it's big because this is an implicit, quiet nod towards the "right of return" -- the claim that some 4.5 million "Palestinian refugees" have a right to settle in Israel. There actually is no such right in international law, and it is never, ever going to be permitted by Israel because this would be to commit national suicide.  The Democratic party couldn't even stand strong on this?

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And then, Jerusalem: The item that has made the most news and the one that the Democratic representative was surely referring to as "final status."  The Obama administration refuses to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel's capital -- this has been made clear in a variety of contexts, not just now.  But Jerusalem IS Israel's capital, whether the Arabs are pleased with this fact or not.  This year's Democratic platform dropped the clause that was in previous platforms: "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel…It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."

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Among those decidedly unhappy about the current Democratic platform is AIPAC -- the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which has actually been promoting Obama.  According to the Democratic National Committee, representatives of AIPAC saw a draft of the platform and "loved it."

There has been a denial by someone speaking for AIPAC of the fact that AIPAC officials had reviewed the platform in its current formulation.  In fact, AIPAC had submitted a recommendation to the platform committee that included "Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/04/dnc-israel-aipac_n_1855842.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

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Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz finds the Democratic platform "deeply troubling" --"particularly the omission about the Palestinian refugee issue and Hamas are, I think, deeply troubling,” he said. 

This is particularly worth noting because Dershowitz has been a staunch Obama supporter. 

According to the Daily Caller:
"Dershowitz said he is concerned that this year’s Democratic Party platform will make Israel a partisan issue, something he thinks is not good for the U.S.-Israel relationship.
"'My goal is always to keep support for Israel a bi-partisan issue and never make a national election any kind of referendum on Israel,' he said. 'I don’t think it is a good thing that the Republican platform seems to be more pro-Israel than the Democratic platform.'" (Emphasis added)
Take note! You are hearing this, folks, from a liberal Alan Dershowitz.
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As I write, news has just come in that the Democrats have reversed themselves and added a statement about Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to their 2012 platform, as it had read in the 2008 platform.  But I'm going to let this post go out as written. My response here is simple:

This is in the interests of winning the election and nothing more.  It is not a reflection of Obama's position, be certain.  The Democrats had simply decided they didn't like the negative press they were getting. As AP said, they were "embarrassed by Republicans."  Can't let that happen.

Do not be taken in.  The platform before this adjustment reflected Obama positions.

And keep in mind that -- as far as I can see -- there has been no adjustment in the other items, including those -- on Hamas and "refugees" -- that most unsettled Dershowitz.

 
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© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.