The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) and GOP supporters are slamming the Democratic Party for omitting strong language against Hamas and the Palestinian “right of return” from its 2012 platform, language that was part of the 2008 Democratic platform. This is yet another significant omission -- and it was not later fixed -- contrary to the party’s reinstating language referring to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which TheBlaze reported on last week.
In 2008, the Democratic platform included the statement that Hamas – the group that rules Gaza and which the State Department defines as a terrorist group – must renounce terrorism. The platform then stated:
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.
That language is now gone. In fact, the word “Hamas” doesn’t appear at all in the 2012 platform.
Also in 2008, the Democratic platform stated:
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.
The Palestinian Authority under President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas are demanding what they call a “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and all their descendants, that is, a whopping five million people moving into the territory that is today the State of Israel; however, less than 1% -- only 30,000 Arabs -- actually ever lived in Palestine before 1948 and are still alive today. If five million Palestinians move to Israel, the question is: Where are the Israelis expected to go? The “right of return” implicitly means a destruction of the Jewish state through demography. In 2008, the Democratic platform said the refugees should be settled in a Palestinian state, not in Israel. The 2012 platform is silent on this major point.
Additionally, though the new Democratic platform reiterates President Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security, a line denoting Israel as America’s “strongest ally” is also absent from the 2012 document.
George Birnbaum, former chief of staff to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the changes in the Democratic platform “devastating” for Israel. He told radio host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo on Monday:
The Democratic Party clearly showed their true colors during the Democrat convention. I mean, the language that came out of the platform committee was the true reflection of what the committed and the party wanted to say with regards to Israel and the Middle East.
In a new print ad campaign running in Jewish newspapers in swing states including Florida and Ohio, the Republican Jewish Committee writes:
The official Democratic Party platform was stripped of key provisions from platforms past. Strong language regarding Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, and Hamas was all deleted from this year’s platform. Even the line calling Israel America’s “strongest ally” was removed. Amid an outcry from the Jewish community, the Democratic Party tried to quietly reinsert just one section of the purged platform – the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Jews comprise 1.7% of the U.S. population, a small voting pool; however, this latest suggestion that the Democrats’ commitment to Israel has softened could end up having an impact in areas where there is a large Jewish community.
In fact, as Jonathan Tobin points out in Commentary Magazine, the latest Investors Business Daily/Christian Science Monitor/TIPP Poll suggests that Obama may lose up to a quarter of the Jewish vote he secured in 2008, which means he would be securing the lowest number of Jewish votes since Jimmy Carter in 1980.
You can listen here to Joe Pags full interview with George Birnbaum about the Democratic platform: