The Democrat Party ran on a strong pro-Israel platform in 2008, and, though their actions may indicate otherwise, the administration has repeatedly claimed it is Israel’s strongest ally.
That is, when they’re not trying to play both sides on whether or not Jerusalem is actually the country’s capital.
Back in July, TheBlaze’s Billy Hallowell noted how drastically Obama’s Israel rhetoric has changed from 2008 to 2012, and now the Democratic Party has seemingly embraced the changes as part of its official platform.
In 2008, the Democrats clearly stated that Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and that Hamas must be isolated until it renounces terrorism and recognizes Israel’s right to exist.
Here is an excerpt, via the Weekly Standard:
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. … 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. [Emphasis added]
In its 2012 platform, the Democrat Party has removed all language referencing Israel’s contentious capital, and no longer mentions Hamas. Instead, Democrats simply reiterate an “unshakable” commitment to Israel’s security which, Israelis note, would be nearly impossible if they complied with the president’s stated positions.
Here is the revised platform, also via the Weekly Standard:
President Obama and the Democratic Party maintain an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security. A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States not simply because we share strategic interests, but also because we share common values. For this reason, despite budgetary constraints, the President has worked with Congress to increase security assistance to Israel every single year since taking office, providing nearly $10 billion in the past three years. The administration has also worked to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region. And we have deepened defense cooperation – including funding the Iron Dome system – to help Israel address its most pressing threats, including the growing danger posed by rockets and missiles emanating from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. The President’s consistent support for Israel’s right to defend itself and his steadfast opposition to any attempt to delegitimize Israel on the world stage are further evidence of our enduring commitment to Israel’s security.
Critics note that providing billions in additional funding to Israel does not necessarily mean what it used to, since the region has become significantly less stable (partially due to our actions), and because we are also doling out billions to Israel’s potential aggressors.
Others simply ask why the language was removed. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which the administration now considers a valid negotiating partner in Egypt. Is it possible that the administration will consider legitimizing the recognized terrorist group Hamas, as well?
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin pointed out that it is unlikely the mainstream media will investigate the change, despite their eagerness to brand the new Republican platform “extreme.”
She wrote: “The Democrats, I am sure, will rush forward to say platforms are meaningless and Obama isn’t obligated to abide by any of it. Aside from the egregious hypocrisy in coverage of the two platforms, you do have to wonder why it is so important to expressly downgrade language on Israel…”