In caving on Jerusalem, Dems pulled back the curtain on the lobby

on 137 Comments
Chaos During Dems Platform Vote on adding language on Jerusalem.

Last night was an amazing moment at the Democratic National Convention; for an instant, we saw the Israel lobby naked on the national stage. 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.

The moment will be remembered for the two attractive and disgusted Arab-American delegates featured on-camera in the video of the botched votes above, at :25 and 1:00 — and in the report on NBC Nightly News last night: the man with his “Yalla the Vote” (Get out the Vote!) tshirt, and the woman with her Arab-Americans sign.

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.

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Here is a roundup 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.”

Not so fast, says Nancy Pelosi. A friend watching CNN at 9 PM last night reports:

Nancy Pelosi just told Anderson Cooper it’s a waste of time to discuss what happened this afternoon. That’s spitting in the face of millions of people.

Another friend says that PBS’s NewsHour’s liberal voice, Mark Shields, also went into humminah humminah humminah mode:

The NewsHour had an odd encounter this evening. Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill (about 30 minutes in and 50 minutes) tried to get Mayor Villaraigosa and then Mark Shields to talk plainly about the Democratic party division over a plank endorsing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel….Mark Shields later was just as craven, under less pressure. “This is a–ah, ah–core issue, for both parties. And it’s–ah, ah–not unexpected that there would be a flap over it.”

And that was all. Gwen and Judy trying to do their job–but trying with the usual MSM timidity: no follow-up questions, no information. The interviews succeeded in totally dodging any possible point; the average listener would have been baffled to guess what all this was about.

This morning on NPR’s Morning Edition, Steve Inskeep suggested that the move had to do with Jewish donors and Anna Sale stated that it had to do with Florida voters, a few of whom might shift the election. I believe the stakes are bigger than that; Rahm Emanuel, who has just left the Obama campaign to be a fundraiser for the Obama Super PAC Priorities USA, has good standing in the Jewish community and dismisses the issue of Jerusalem as a “red herring”; Republicans have the same position. As if that’s a good thing.

Yousef Munayyer, from IMEU, describes the issue as a tragicomic cave to “pro-Israel interest groups”:

“This most recent incident of Israel pandering in American politics would be comical if it didn’t have such grave implications for people in the region. It seems someone at the DNC made the calculation that the best way to refute GOP accusations of weakness on Israel was to display weakness to pro-Israel interest groups at the expense of the voices of Democratic party members. But again, this is just the most recent episode in a long and pathetic saga adding further proof to the argument that the United States is in no position to ever be an even-handed mediator.”

Jim Zogby says:

“Today’s amendment to re-insert the language on Jerusalem was a clear case of putting pandering above responsible politics… it also flies in the face of decades of policy,” Zogby’s group Arab American Institute wrote in a statement.

“i know you’re nervous about the Jewish vote,” he said about Democrats. But “you’ve got to be nervous about the Arab American vote.”

“It didn’t look good for the president, it didn’t look good for the party, and it didn’t look good for the country,” Zogby said.

A wise friend:

The most depressing part is that the issue seems “normalized”: everyone knows what’s happening, lots of people know its very bad, and yet nobody seems willing to take it on.   The Perkovich quotation in the WaPo last week [“If you want to get ahead, you don’t talk about it; you don’t criticize Israel, you protect Israel. You don’t talk about illegal settlements on the West Bank even though everyone knows they are there”] really sums it up: people in DC know not to even mention it, because it is a career-killer.

Ben Smith reports that the Jerusalem fire began at a power lunch featuring Obama’s chief of staff Jack Lew, an observant Jew, and several Jewish senators. AIPAC had been marginalized during the platform process, but AIPAC was there and upset:

Tensions over the Democratic Party’s official stance on Israel came at the Levine Museum of the New South at midday today, when top officials of the pro-Israel group AIPAC lunched with several U.S. Senators, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, and White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, who sometimes also serves as a liaison to the Jewish community.The senators — described by one attendee as about a third of the Senate Democratic caucus — stood up one after another to express their disagreement with a Democratic Party platform that had elided the usual mention of Jerusalem.

Smith says that some in the party wanted Obama to “sack up,” but Obama caved, to the delight of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations:

More left-leaning Jewish leaders who welcomed a step toward a Jerusalem compromise were furious.

The Administration should “grow a sack,” one said — on the condition of anonymity.

But the pro-Israel forces welcomed the move.

“It was a show of force by President Barack Obama,” the chairman of the Council [sic] of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, Alan Solow, told BuzzFeed.

Rabbi David Wolpe gave the benediction to end the second day of the convention, and he worked in a criticism of the party over the Jerusalem issue. From Tablet:

On Wednesday, reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was removed from the DNC platform, before being forced back in by party leadership over the protests of many delegates. Wolpe had accepted his speaking slot last Thursday, with no notion that he would capping a day of such turmoil and consternation on the convention floor and within the American Jewish community. Tasked with delivering the day’s closing benediction, Wolpe chose to take a stand.

“You have taught us that we must count on one another; that our country is strong through community, and that the children of Israel on the way to that sanctified and cherished land, and ultimately to that golden and capital city of Jerusalem—that those children of Israel did not walk through the wilderness alone,” he stated, placing special emphasis on the word the DNC had almost omitted.

Here is Scott McConnell reflecting on the historic importance of the floor demonstration against the political leaders:

Until yesterday, AIPAC and other players of the Israel Lobby were able to create, and then bask in, the illusion that Israel enjoys unqualified support from both parties, whatever it does. “Pro-Israel” congressional resolutions are regularly rolled through by votes like 420-10, creating the sense that any respect for Palestinian rights and aspirations is completely marginal among the American public. But such votes don’t reflect the underlying reality. Israel is popular in America, Israelis more liked than Palestinians. There is a widespread consensus–in which I share–in favor of Israel’s security. But the consensus is not that one-sided, there is growing recognition that Palestinians too have a legitimate claim for rights in the lands and cities in which they and their ancestors dwell. If you look at the poll data, Americans favor Israel over Palestine by margins like 3-1 (but not 20-1). Perhaps forty percent of Americans believe US policy should favor Israel no matter what the circumstance. But an equal or greater number (depending on the poll) believe the United States should attempt to be even-handed, not favor either side. This division in American public opinion is not reflected in our one-sided congressional votes. But it made itself heard on the floor of the Democratic convention, I believe for the very first time.

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137 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    September 6, 2012, 9:38 am

    “grow a sack” – HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Sorry, that was too good. I love when the “Serious” people talk like I do. This was obviously a conspiracy of Arab soundmen, cameramen and the guy in the Yalla the Vote T-shirt. How did he get in the convention anyway? I heard he supports Hamas…. you did too? Lets Get Em!!!

    • Darcha
      September 6, 2012, 10:48 am

      Thank you for demonstrating the basic bigotry inherent is the Apartheid Zionist ideology.

      • Dan Crowther
        September 6, 2012, 10:58 am

        No problem Darcha, I’ll be here all week – and remember, the 10 o’clock show is completely different than the 7 o’clock show.

    • Krauss
      September 6, 2012, 10:54 am

      Whenever I want to get a temperature of what the lobby thinks and feels on different issues, the necons are a good proxy. Not a perfect proxy, but a good proxy.

      They’re terrified:

      The reality of the situation, however, is both more interesting and more frightening than intrepid Zionist-spotters would have you believe. Today, America got an unvarnished look at the Democratic Party’s internal conflict on Israel. Half of the Party represents the pro-Israel consensus in America. The other half? Not so much. For all the talk about the unrecognizably extreme new Republican Party, it’s the Democrats whose fringe has quietly made deep inroads into the center—especially when it concerns Israel—and fundamentally altered the nature of the Party.

      Today’s fiasco might do tremendous damage to Jewish support for Democrats but it will certainly open a new chapter in anti-Israel paranoia. The Democrats, including Barack Obama, will take hits coming and going: from Israel supporters whose eyes have been opened to the nature of the Democratic Party and from Israel bashers who see the Zionist hand behind the convention chaos. Such is the price paid for a party divided.


      Notice all the negative/smearing buzzwords he uses to cover his fear.
      His tone reeks with it, precisely because he knows that this kind of brutal, naked powergrab never works well. It’s a total PR disaster, which is why he is foaming at the mouth of the political implications – as well as he should be.

      The incident indeed shines a bright light right unto the middle section of the Democratic base. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there were more “nays” among those under 40 than over it.

      The neocons are fearful because they know just how naked their power, or the lobby’s power(to be more precise, became.

      Again, all reports indicated that Obama knew of the language and signed off his approval. Also, AIPAC were present at consultations at different stages but not during the final phase when it was all completed, which is why AIPAC became furious when their ‘recommendation’s were left out.

      Another key part: the delegates are not necessarily your rank-and-file.
      These are often upper middle-class professionals, artists, intellectuals, businessmen and high-profile community leaders.

      The people who come to conventions are not your average joe, it’s dedicated people who have an outsized say in the future of the party. And half of them clearly said no.

      I understand the fear of the neocons. It’s entirely logical – and wonderful.

      • American
        September 6, 2012, 2:34 pm

        @ Krauss

        I don’t think they are terrified at all.
        I think they are so deeply narcissistic, so assured of their holocaust political and social and media immunity, so disdainful of all others and so under estimate all others, and so over estimate the power of their politicians to keep the US masses in line for Israel that they cannot conceive their ending or any ending of their power in the US.

        If I could do a cartoon on this it would show Zionist carrying ‘Never Again’ and “Promised Land” signs leading hordes of Jews right over a Grand Canyon cliff.

        Toxic poison, for Jews and the US, substituting worship of Israel for Judaism’s G-D and making Judaism and Jews a ‘political combination’ of religion and separate national peoplehood for Israel within the US.
        All this crossover from religion into foreign worship and politics is going to blow up so bad somewhere down the road. Not only among Jews for Israel , but every day we get further and further away from the separation of church and state, more and more into special interest of every cult, fringe, elite, niche as governing deciders. ] AIPAC


        More than 225 rabbis across the country participated in AIPAC’s Synagogue
        Initiative’s first ever National Rabbinic Symposium, including more than 100 rabbis who traveled to Washington, D.C. and more than 125 rabbis who participated in the program via video conference. The full day of programming included a number of top tier presentations. David Makovsky spoke about the challenges that Israel faces in the region. AIPAC National Political Director Rob Bassin moderated a panel featuring Dr. William Kristol and Ann Lewis that focused on the
        upcoming elections. Rabbi Daniel Gordis spoke, via video conference, about the challenges to Jewish peoplehood and the role of Israel in the coming year. And, Ambassador Michael Oren, also via video conference, spoke about Israel’s vision for the coming year. AIPAC Director of Legislative Strategy Ester Kurz moderating
        a panel with Ambassador Dennis Ross and Elliot Abrams about how Middle East policy is crafted. The final session featured Leon Wieseltier speaking to the rabbis about the future of Israel.

        Your Synagogue and AIPAC
        [ ]

        AIPAC in Your Community
        Your Synagogue and AIPAC
        Your Church and AIPAC
        African-American Community
        Hispanic Community
        AIPAC Real Estate Division
        AIPAC Los Angeles Legal Division

      • seafoid
        September 6, 2012, 5:45 pm

        “Toxic poison, for Jews and the US, substituting worship of Israel for Judaism’s G-D and making Judaism and Jews a ‘political combination’ of religion and separate national peoplehood for Israel within the US.”

        The saddest thing is that it is explained in depth in the Torah. You don’t mix empire and Judaism. It doesn’t work . Anyone who understands the meaning of the Jewish holidays knows this.

        And Jews don’t leave people to die by the side of the road. Because that is a sign of a great moral crisis in Judaism. and the news gets worse by the day.

        and WTF are rabbis doing mixing in politics? Zionism as the cult par excellence has this tragic flaw of wiping out all opposition. When things go tits up there won’t be any alternative organisation left to pick up the pieces and move on.

      • American
        September 6, 2012, 10:21 pm

        @ seafroid

        consider this…….”a panel with Ambassador Dennis Ross and Elliot Abrams about how Middle East policy is crafted…..”

        Elliot Abrams? Elliot Abrams!!!!..of all the f’ing people, educating Rabbis on Israel?
        Maybe he ought to read to them some of his wife Bad Rachel’s racist screeds….reckon that would scare them off?

      • Mooser
        September 7, 2012, 6:53 pm

        “When things go tits up there won’t be any alternative organisation left to pick up the pieces and move on.”

        What do you mean? There’s always “The Litvaks”. I’ll just expand the motorcycle club to include Cadillacs, Mercedes and BMW cars.

        Hey Seafoid, we did it to ourselves. Remember, we have a big Golden Calf tradition to live up to.

      • Les
        September 6, 2012, 3:36 pm

        When Commentary refers to this AIPAC effort as a fiasco, we can appreciate how deep and widespread is the blow to official Jewry.

      • Sumud
        September 6, 2012, 6:28 pm

        Les – what is ‘official Jewry’?

      • Les
        September 7, 2012, 9:57 am

        The establishment.

      • Egbert
        September 6, 2012, 4:10 pm

        Maybe it is time to start handing out flyers of this article from the Times of Israel.

        Choice quote:

        “And let’s not forget AIPAC, every anti-Semite’s favorite punching bag. We’re talking an organization that’s practically the equivalent of the Elders of Zion. I’ll never forget when I was involved in Israeli advocacy in college and being at one of the many AIPAC conventions. A man literally stood in front of us and told us that their whole goal was to only work with top-50 school graduate students because they would eventually be the people making changes in the government. Here I am, an idealistic little kid that goes to a bottom 50 school (ASU) who wants to do some grassroots advocacy, and these guys are literally talking about infiltrating the government. Intense.”

      • sardelapasti
        September 6, 2012, 10:57 pm

        Krauss: “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there were more “nays” among those under 40 than over it.”… “the delegates are not necessarily your rank-and-file.”… “people who come to conventions are not your average joe,”

        Can we please stop behaving as if the “Democrats” were any different than the “Republicans”, please? The so-called Democratic Party is at least as much of a criminal against peace and war criminal as its other half of the single party of the US. Whoever remains inside it or votes for it is fully an accessory to its crimes.

    • strangefriend
      September 6, 2012, 7:03 pm

      Democracy Now! did a good segment on this story

  2. gingershot
    September 6, 2012, 9:52 am

    Man was that video telling …

    The Israeli Lobby cements it’s agenda by paying for and installing an echo chamber right alone the lines of power it needs – it then just passes it’s agenda right down the line of paid yes men

    • Shingo
      September 6, 2012, 8:08 pm

      This video really makes a mockery of Dersh’s claim the other day that the Democratic base is staunchly pro Israel and that the leadership in the White House has been overtaken by anti Israeli extremists.

  3. flyod
    September 6, 2012, 9:53 am

    “grow a sack”

    no way. he’s owned, property of the state within the state.

  4. yourstruly
    September 6, 2012, 9:57 am

    what would have happened had the president not caved?

    1) disaster next november?

    2) the president somehow would have squeaked through and won?

    3) after an initial period of chaos and confusion, americans would have rallied behind the president for his having at long last held his ground and not surrendered without a fight. and realizing that not backing down from a popular position on issues other than palestine/israel was good politics, the president could have more than regained all the support he had in 2008 and gone on to win by a landslide in november.

    • chinese box
      September 6, 2012, 10:25 am

      I was going back and forth on whether to grit my teeth and vote for Obama again, but I think he just lost my vote last night.

    • BillM
      September 6, 2012, 10:58 am

      4) Nothing. 99.8% of people do not make their choices based on the status of Jerusalem. The .2% that do have already made up their minds. If Obama had actually “grown a sack” and held tough, the sturm and drang would have blown over in a day.

      • yourstruly
        September 6, 2012, 2:52 pm

        there’s a precedent for an underdog president taking a determined stand on a controversial issue (civil rights), engaging the enemy with a combative and populist campaign, yet winning the election; namely, harry truman in 1948. if he had the cajones barack obama could do the same thing by taking on the israel firsters. the public may not be interested in what becomes of jerusalem, but it’s plenty po’d at netanyahu’s hold on congress.

      • marc b.
        September 7, 2012, 9:04 am

        if he had the cajones barack obama could do the same thing by taking on the israel firsters.

        the 4 Bs of politics: bullets, beds, bribes and blackmail. nobody with clean hands makes it to the presidency. i assume that he could be brought down under a pile of some sort of dirt in a matter of months. maybe not of the silly birth certificate variety, but something is there.

      • Citizen
        September 7, 2012, 5:24 pm

        @ yourstruly

        Truman caved to the Zionists when they told him if he did not sign the letter of recognition of the new self-declared state of Israel they would toss their money bags, media anchors, and Jewish votes in key states (like NY)–toss all that weight to Dewey. Truman was the first American leader to cave. Obama is just the latest POTUS to do so.

  5. seafoid
    September 6, 2012, 10:18 am

    I wonder for how long more the true nature of Zionism and its systematic dehumanisation of the Palestinians, particularly the people of Gaza, can be kept from the ordinary people of the US .

    A modern, macabre Israeli take on the good Samaritan

    Omar Abu Jariban’s final journey began on May 28, 2008. That day, together with a friend from Ramallah, he stole a car and set off on Route 6, the Trans-Israel Highway. The two drove wildly, and close to the Soreq interchange crashed into another car, injuring four people. Badly hurt, Abu Jariban was taken to Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot. When he reached the Sheba Medical Center, Abu Jariban was classified as an anonymous patient. Brought into an operating theater, his condition was diagnosed − haemorrhaging in the brain, a broken clavicle, fractured pelvis and a torn aorta. The police were told that the patient’s treatment would last at least three weeks. On June 5 he was transferred to the orthopedic ward; convalescing there, he developed pneumonia.
    A week later, on Thursday June 12, the medical team decided that Abu Jariban had concluded the essential part of his treatment, and could be moved out of the hospital

    At 11:18 Dr. Gal Fichman signed Abu Jariban’s release form. The medical opinion was not grim − the patient was fit for release, and needed to do some exercise at home: “He can press down fully on his left leg, and partially step on his right foot. Recommendation: Walk with the use of a brace. Can take pain-killers if needed. He should report to an outpatient clinic for a follow-up check in six weeks. Home physiotherapy to strengthen muscles.” The doctor signed a sick-leave pass for 45 days.

    Just 38 minutes went by, and a nurse prepared another discharge form. In this document, Abu Jariban’s condition was listed as being far more serious. “Orientation − off and on. Communication skills − off and on. Mobility − not stable when walking. Periodically confused. Probability of falling. Way of eating: Needs partial help. The patient was washed and attended to in bed. Urinates via catheter. The patient is confused. Needs help eating and drinking.”

    At 2:50 A.M. Abu Jariban was taken out of the car on Route 45, between the Ofer army base and the Atarot crossing point. He was left by the side of the road. The policemen apparently did not know that Palestinian vehicles were not allowed to travel on this road. Abu Jariban was left to his own devices, wearing his hospital gown and with the discharge papers in his pocket. The catheter was still with him. He was barefoot. The policemen left neither food nor drink with him; they reported that they had completed the mission.

    On Sunday morning, June 15, a pedestrian discovered Abu Jariban’s corpse. A bread roll and a soft drink can were beside the body. Subsequently, police argued that these objects prove that the young man was able to take care of himself. The autopsy established that he died of dehydration.

  6. chinese box
    September 6, 2012, 10:23 am

    Actually I think the curtain was pulled back on the Democratic Party.

    • talknic
      September 6, 2012, 11:17 am

      chinese box September 6, 2012 at 10:23 am

      Oh? You don’t think a Republican dog can’t be wagged?

      • chinese box
        September 6, 2012, 1:11 pm


        Can’t one make a criticism of the Democratic party without always being required to make a “lesser of two evils” qualification vis a vis the Republicans? Last night the Democrats were clearly shown up as weak, vacillating, divided, and dependent on narrow interests for financial support. But those of us who’ve been paying attention have known that for years.

      • ToivoS
        September 6, 2012, 6:17 pm

        I don’t get this voting for the “lesser of two evils”. If I decide to vote for evil, why should I settle for the lesser of the two.

      • talknic
        September 6, 2012, 7:09 pm

        chinese box September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm

        Doesn’t matter who’s in power in the US, they’re subject to being wagged by the Greater Israel lobby. A lobby powerful enough to make the US issue pathetic, nonsensical statements that run contrary to International Law, the UN Charter, Conventions and UNSC resolutions. Those of us who’ve been paying attention have known that for decades.

      • chinese box
        September 7, 2012, 9:05 am

        Which is why I’m switching my vote to Green Party. Because of the incident at the convention, Obama will not get my vote this time.

    • seafoid
      September 6, 2012, 11:27 am

      Or on US plutocracy. **** with money call the shots and it frankly is irrelevant what the small people want.

  7. subconscious
    September 6, 2012, 10:41 am

    There was also the unexpected “capital city of Jerusalem” reference added by Rabbi David Wolpe in his benediction following Clinton’s speech:
    Wolpe, who earlier in the year, trashed Beinart for his new book “The Crisis of Zionism,”
    appearing at an MSNBC morning show to plug for his benediction, described the fears of his LA congregation of “radiation therapy” administered by Ahmadinejad against the “cancerous tumor of Israel,” which require threatening or taking military action against Iran:

  8. David Samel
    September 6, 2012, 11:10 am

    I am very puzzled about this whole thing. Whoever wrote the platform must have used the 2008 platform as a template from which to make changes. Who thought of taking out the Jerusalem reference and what were they thinking? It must have been intentional rather than inadvertent because there was affirmative removal of the sentence. Were they intentionally trying to thumb their nose at Israel? After years of craven capitulation, why did they think the platform was a good place to finally make a half-way decent stand? Did they not realize there would be complaints about this decision? How did they think it would be resolved? It seems to me a disaster for the Democrats. Republicans will be able to point to rank-and-file Democratic opposition, to Mayor V’s Alice-in-Wonderland triple vote and 2/3 ruling, etc. This MSNBC panel seemed to find solace in Obama’s willingness to take responsibility for the platform versus Romney’s unwillingness, if that’s even true, but it pales in comparison to the downside. If the party wished to actually take a stand on this, and on the removal of God as well, I’d welcome it as a small step in the right direction. But they should have been prepared to defend it rather than succumb to pressure. But this cave-in makes them look ridiculous. The person(s) responsible for it may have decent common-sense instincts but terrible political instincts not to foresee the fallout. And I’ll absolutely puke if Dersh takes credit for forcing the change.

    • Donald
      September 6, 2012, 2:41 pm

      “And I’ll absolutely puke if Dersh takes credit for forcing the change.”

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I hope Dersh takes credit. The problem appears to be what Phil said–all the media types (with a few exceptions) trying to hurry past what happened, so that they don’t have to talk about it or explain what it means. But if Dersh goes around bragging about his role it just highlights the arrogance at work.

  9. BillM
    September 6, 2012, 11:14 am

    I hope you’re right. The images were just stunning, especially when Mayor Villaraigosa briefly quailed from his duty to lie openly and obviously on camera (who was that woman who stepped forward to make sure he did his party duty?). But will this image last, or will it be swept under the rug again?

  10. Chu
    September 6, 2012, 11:22 am

    only adding to the perception of how weak the democratic leaders are.
    LA’s Villagrosa had to ask the crowd 3 times and then decided that it was
    correct to vote in the affirmative, because his political career flashed
    before his eyes. He even stutters after his craven behavior, selling out
    a democratic vote in public. This is the gut instinct of many of the democratic
    leadership and it reinforces their collective kowtowing on this issue.

    Usually this happens behind closed doors, so it was all the more entertaining
    to see him squirm under the bright lights of the DNC 2012. Is this progress?
    I wonder, since it’s all the more blatant.

  11. Sin Nombre
    September 6, 2012, 11:29 am

    I’ll admit to a secret love of seeing folks like Mark Shields doing stuff like this with regard to Israel. Oh so freaking moralistic and fearless and the need to talk forever about any and every other issue. Oh so … transgressive, they see themselves as. So really … radical, man. Like some Cong Truth Tellers.

    And then, suddenly, Israel is mentioned and … they curl up into little hibernating balls of dormice.

    “Ooops!,” they know, “one minor mis-statement here and that’s my career, baby, and there goes my entree into The Swells’ social circle too, and maybe they even go after my family’s career too….”

    Oh so fearless and brave…. Oh so strident telling everyone else their duty to be the same….

    • Chu
      September 6, 2012, 11:55 am

      When Operation Cast Lead occurred (December 27, 2008 – January 18, 2009) I watched with intent to see if Shields, or David Brooks on PBS News Hour would address what is happening. Not a word. Completely craven when transgressive topics are discussed. And big ex-marine Jim Lehrer didn’t have the sack to bring it up as well.

    • Donald
      September 6, 2012, 2:44 pm

      “like Mark Shields doing stuff like this with regard to Israel. Oh so freaking moralistic and fearless and the need to talk forever about any and every other issue”

      Well, I’m not so sure he’s all that fearless on other issues from all the years I’ve watched him, but speaking about progressives in general, yeah. This is the issue that makes some otherwise supposedly fearless progressive champions turn into mice.

  12. Chu
    September 6, 2012, 11:48 am

    Chris Hayes is at minute 17:00. Sharpton’s points were
    weakest at minute 14:00 through 18:00

  13. iResistDe4iAm
    September 6, 2012, 11:48 am

    Israel‬ Right or Wrong?

    UN states that REJECT illegal* Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem = 192 (99.5%) including the USA.
    UN states that ACCEPT it = 1 (0.5%) Israel.

    * United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 (1980) declared Israel’s attempted annexation of East Jerusalem (Jerusalem Law) as “null and void”.

    • marc b.
      September 6, 2012, 12:13 pm

      good point. (there is a UN publication which neatly summarizes the international status of jerusalem in 4 pages. i’ll link it if i can find it easily.) i can’t be bothered to watch MSM TV coverage, but of the 5 references on NPR radio that i have heard about the ‘jerusalem’ platform controversy, not one has bothered to mention that the israeli occupation and administration of jerusalem is illegal. there is no controversy on this point. not a single embassy is located in jerusalem; not one.

      PS there it is:

  14. American
    September 6, 2012, 12:10 pm

    “The most depressing part is that the issue seems “normalized”: everyone knows what’s happening, lots of people know its very bad, and yet nobody seems willing to take it on.”

    That is the problem.
    BUT it has only become ‘normalized’ for politicians and I -first Jewish/zionist community.
    People like MRW and myself who live out in the non metro hinterlands and get around in our communities have been saying and saying that most Americans dont’ consider this Israel fetish ‘Normal’ and that there is more and more WTF? and head scratching about it.
    I mentioned before the series on the Evangelicals and TV God merchants in the WP 5 years ago in which the speaker at one of their conferences said that followers must put Israel ahead of the US (because of their religion)..and the dead silence and then grumbling buzz that went thru the audience when she said that…even for the fanatics that was a step too far.
    I also mentioned before how the NC Dem party tried to get a resolution in on their platform on ending aid to Israel and settling I/P.

    It doesn’t seem like much but even the ‘slight attempt’ by talking heads in the main stream media, of all places, to mention what happened at the Dem convention with the Israel-Jerusalem nay and yays should clue DC-AIPAC in to how most of the public views this Israel thing in our politics.
    This grumbling not to mention the outright protest about Israel in the US’s business like annie’s 30 billion bus ads is being totally ignored by
    I- firstdom.
    The Israeli infiltration should have nipped in the bud 60 years ago but now where ever it’s gonna go it’s gonna go.

  15. seafoid
    September 6, 2012, 12:37 pm

    I was reading Mondo this morning and afterwards this came on in my ipod

    Fairuz with the magical Zahrat al Mada’in

    “It is for you the city of prayer that I pray
    our eyes are set to you every day ”

    Jerusalem is their city too. Nobody can break that link.
    The emotion in her voice was echoed by the “no’s” in the chamber.

    And frankly it doesn’t matter what a bunch of rich Jews who fund the Dems and the Republicans think

    Because Jerusalem isn’t exclusively Jewish.
    And never will be.

    • Mooser
      September 7, 2012, 1:20 pm

      “Because Jerusalem isn’t exclusively Jewish.
      And never will be.”

      Oh yeah? Then why is it named “Jewrusalem”? You got an answer for that, smart guy? Why would any G-d, or G_d, or, for that matter G-D, fearing American need to know any more than that? They don’t call it “Islamrusalem, do they? Well, do they?

      • seafoid
        September 7, 2012, 3:21 pm

        Ya qudsu …..

      • seafoid
        September 7, 2012, 6:13 pm

        It’s called Jewruslame because there was a business similar in naming style to Toys- r- us called Jew-r- salami which sold pork products but then this fundamentalist called Moses came along and said pigs were doity . And it turned out he was funded by the beef industry.

      • Mooser
        September 7, 2012, 6:48 pm

        “And it turned out he was funded by the beef industry.”

        Ah-ha! I should have known! Cause the first thing I said, after the ceremony, was “Where’s the beef?”

  16. kalithea
    September 6, 2012, 12:51 pm

    As much as the Democratic and Republican parties enable Zionist influence in American politics and enable Zionist policy, let’s face it, both parties have also been put in a position of having to grovel and LIE unwillingly to Zionists in order to grasp at the Presidency.

    Ironically, this all reminds me of torture tactics because you’ll never get reliable information from torture only what you want to hear and likewise through blackmail, the Zionist gang will never get a real friend who gives it to them straight for their own good; what they’ll get is coddling, lies, and shameless groveling. Friends hate being put in that compromising, humiliating position having to grovel and lie.

    Torture is an ugly, dirty business and blackmail is just as subversive and low with similar results. And Zionists excel in all that is subversive.

  17. Rusty Pipes
    September 6, 2012, 1:00 pm

    It comes down to Democracy or the Israel Lobby for the Democratic Party. At a convention to re-elect the first Black president of the USA, the voting-rights of its delegates were blatantly violated on national television, just to accommodate the demands of the Israel Lobby. The Party functionaries have decided that, especially since the Citizens United case, securing funding from major donors is much more important than inspiring enthusiasm (and volunteerism) among its base. Even representatives of the most committed members of its base, DNC delegates, have been given the message that their time, talents, energy, education and voices are not valued by the party as much as contributions from major donors, especially Zionist donors.

    And if Dershowitz wants to take credit for calling up the White House to get the platform changed, no number of references to him as a “civil rights lawyer” will erase the image of his treating the President like the Lobby’s White House Negro. The klieg lights have just been shone on the nightflower. The Lobby may have won this battle, but it has come at an important price.

    • ritzl
      September 6, 2012, 1:40 pm

      “Even representatives of the most committed members of its base, DNC delegates, have been given the message that their time, talents, energy, education and voices are not valued by the party as much as contributions from major donors, especially Zionist donors.”

      Spot on, Rusty. What a waste of an opportunity, if not a Presidency. Completely alienating.

    • biorabbi
      September 6, 2012, 2:06 pm

      The way I read this is that folks whose disgust at Israel is a top priority will be disenchanted by President Obama, whereas folks whose love of Israel is a top voting priority will be greatly motivated by Romney. The progressive rank and file are irate at Obama’s bending down to this special interest and that special interest, whereas the right wing is more motivated by the day.

      • Rusty Pipes
        September 6, 2012, 4:23 pm

        It’s pretty clear that the rightwing Zionist strategy in this election is to convince Christian Zionists and Jewish swing voters that Romney is more pro-Israel than Obama and to demoralize the Democratic base about how craven the Democratic politicians are in placing the demands of their major donors above the domestic and international concerns of average Democrats. Republicans have been working on many different strategies to diminish the Democratic vote. Unfortunately, the DNC, by its pandering, appears to be enabling the Republican strategy.

    • Citizen
      September 8, 2012, 3:40 pm

      @ Rusty Pipes

      “Speaking of “rogue elements” within the Democratic party, which he said range from Arab-Americans to anti-Israeli American Jews, Dershowitz said it was their goal to end the alliance between the United States and Israel, and that the 2008 language regarding Jerusalem, Hamas, Palestinian refugees, and Israel’s borders were all left out of the initial 2012 platform due to their efforts.
      ‘I think these rogue elements had a hand in changing the 2012 platform from the 2008 one.  Whatever the arguments and justifications are, there is no doubt in my mind that there are these rogue elements within the Democratic party, and they are trying to exercise influence,” he told The Algemeiner.  ‘If they had their way, (they) would end the kind of positive relationship between Israel and the United States.’
      Dershowitz said that delegates ‘tend to reflect the extremes of the party’, which he says are a minority on the left, however he does not believe there was the two-thirds vote necessary to amend the Democrat’s platform language on Israel, which passed when convention chair and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa passed the measure after three separate votes.
      ‘I do not believe that two thirds of the delegates voted to change the platform. I think that there was a statement made by the chairman, but I don’t think he was right about that,’ Dershowtz said to The Algemeiner.  ‘From the voices that I heard, it sounded like it was split down the middle, with maybe a slight majority in favor of changing the platform.’
      After stating that he believes the president had not seen the platform before it was released, as senior White House advisor David Axelrod asserted on CBS News, the Harvard Law professor stated he was happy that Wednesday night’s events took place the way they did, because it brought what he believes to be a festering problem within the Democratic party, to the surface.
      ‘I was frankly very happy to see that vote yesterday and to see the verbal screaming that went on, because I think it alerted everybody to the fact that this group within the Democratic Party poses a tremendous danger to the bipartisan support for Israel that has characterized American politics since 1948,’ he said.
      ‘We caught them and the President rebuked them basically.’”

      • Annie Robbins
        September 9, 2012, 2:06 am

        delegates ‘tend to reflect the extremes of the party’, which he says are a minority….this group within the Democratic Party poses a tremendous danger to the bipartisan support for Israel that has characterized American politics since 1948,’ he said.
        ‘We caught them

        classic..delegates are the extremists. i suppose that holds true for the gop convention too where the ron paul delegates were also wiped out to loud boos. what we’ve got here is 2 parties, both wiping out the voices who do not support israel. and if per chance they represent the people of the united states, (as opposed to our 100-0 pro israel congress) so what? they are extremists doncha know?

  18. biorabbi
    September 6, 2012, 1:16 pm

    I also love this Stalinist video as it exposes the true face of the democratic party. One of pro-Israel establishment types with a split rank and file, one which is moving away from Israel(and G-d).

    This video will be used(and already is)by Republicans. It may switch the election against Obama in Florida and, more important, in Ohio. Yes, the tiny fraction of elderly Jewish votes abandoning Obama could cost him the election. There is already wide spread unease at Obamas treatment of Israel in the American Jewish community and I say this as somebody who loves him(Obama), but if you think this entire episode will not be used(and used again(by the Romney campaign then you’ve got another thing coming. The ludicrous false-face Debbie Washerman Shultz isn’t helping matters either.

    • seafoid
      September 6, 2012, 2:04 pm


      most of the Jews in Ohio are decent Mentsches. Harvey Pekar was one of them.

      Following Likud now is like sending your kids off to follow the music of the pied piper of Hamelin .

    • kalithea
      September 6, 2012, 3:06 pm

      Who caaaaaaaaares if Jews with dual citizenship vote for Romney and abandon Obama! Who needs their ball and chain agenda anyway? That way when Obama wins without Zionist support he’ll be FREE, free at last to do what he wants without Aipac breathing down his neck. The August jobs report that was supposed to come out on Friday is very positive and is hitting Republicans from out of left field. Na-na, na, na-na, naaaaaah!

    • Citizen
      September 14, 2012, 7:02 am

      @ biorabbi

      New video ad using the loud NO DNC vote and out calling all Jews to switch from Obama to Mitt to the tune of Wagner:
      The article accompanying the dramatic video argues that a vote for Mitt is more in the Jewish tradition.

  19. radii
    September 6, 2012, 1:17 pm

    in an otherwise beautifully scripted and flawlessly executed show, the DNC allowed for one moment of ugliness – the sourpuss-faced Antionio Villaraigosa clearly ramming through something not reflective of what the assembly wanted – the process of gavelling a decision rather than voting on one is exactly what people hate about politics … and it was done in slavish service to the tiniest of special-interests, the Likkud bloc of the zionists

  20. ColinWright
    September 6, 2012, 1:52 pm

    Pretty impressive. Some folks manage to keep fighting the good fight.

    The New York Times has a good score of headlines dealing with convention news.

    Not one touches on the Jerusalem vote fiasco.

    Oh well. There must have been a lot of really exciting developments. Couldn’t cover them all, I guess.

    This is what I mean. Fox News et al may be more blatant — but organs like the NYT are probably more effective. As often as not, the spin is a matter of judicious omission as anything else.

    • seafoid
      September 6, 2012, 2:02 pm

      Of course the NYT doesn’t say anything. Maddow doesn’t. That large Democrat who waffled on about the president stamping his authority on things by moving back to the default “Isreal” position after a problem with Hillary in 2008 – he doesn’t say anything. Because they are careerists and it doesn’t matter how ludicrous the whole thing is. Don’t draw attention to the fact that the cult must be worshipped and just try to make it look as american as apple pie.

      But the emperor is still naked .

    • Les
      September 6, 2012, 3:53 pm

      The Times has long recognized the occupation of East Jerusalem as legitimate by making sure its reporting never includes maps that show what is Israel and what is not. Times’ readers may thus be forgiven for not knowing that East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights are occupied.

    • lysias
      September 6, 2012, 5:12 pm

      Interestingly, the Washington Post had a rather long article on the amendment and the irregular way it was adopted (although it was buried on an inside page).

  21. Kathleen
    September 6, 2012, 2:06 pm

    First the language was in then out then in. But did not take place in the shadows. Not this time. And half to over half of the people at the convention made their nay voices heard. We still need a sound o meter to judge the nays and yays. The Mayor had to ask three times THREE TIMES then took orders from the sidelines. Still would like to know just who he turned to and what they said. Did they order the 2/3rd’s of the voters voted in favor statement. Rachel and Lawrence are clearly cowards on this issue. We have seen this over and over. Hurrah for Chris Hayes he has demonstrated spine on this issue on his show. Thank for all the rest of the info Phil. I think this naked demonstration of Israel and the I lobbies power was great.

    Anyone else notice no one, no one except Robert Wexler talking much about foreign policy. Not Clinton, Warren, Michelle, etc. We will all be listening closely to whether Obama genuflects to the I lobby and demonizes Iran even more than he all ready has and whether he even brings up the illegal settlements. Hope he surprises us but will not be holding my breath or out working my ass off for Obama again.

  22. David Doppler
    September 6, 2012, 2:28 pm

    I didn’t like that a single Arab American delegate was singled out multiple times as loudly voting no. There were obviously many voices voting no, and the selective camerawork told a hasbara story, that Arab Americans oppose this, while I would have found it interesting to see what demographics generally were voting no. I suspect that it was a broad cross-section, including many Jews and other, non-Arab, Americans who believe that pushing for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not in Israel’s or America’s or the Democratic Party’s interest, for any number of reasons. My own position is that these Likudnik-Beiteinu right-wingers, the racist element among certain Rabbinical groups, and the settlement movement generally are fighting for control of the wheel of the Israeli Bus of State (and directing AIPAC for its help in the US), so that they can drive it recklessly over a cliff, all the while hysterically screaming about largely imaginary existential threats. More serious, realistic minds, cooler heads, need to re-establish adult supervision. But I recognize that the opposition on this issue includes Arab Americans, Anti-Semites of various persuasions, Roman Catholics, Realists, among many others, and it would have been interesting to see and hear from the broader perspective (as we do on this priceless blog). It is not an existential threat to Israel for Americans to explore the daylight between the many factions who feel passionately about this issue. Rather, it is an existential threat for a nuclear-armed state to be controlled by right-wing fanatics and racists convinced that they are surrounded by hated Others who would obliterate them, and convinced that everyone must speak with one voice or else all is lost.

    • Andreas Schlueter
      September 6, 2012, 4:26 pm

      A well founded critic on the camera! This was surely not incidental!
      Andreas Schlüter

    • kalithea
      September 6, 2012, 7:56 pm

      Yes, I found that repeatedly singling out that Arab man on the Nay side was a racist, shocking tactic, but lest you forget, it happened at a DEMOCRATIC Convention. Here’s the thing, UNLIKE YOU, I don’t believe the oppression against Palestinians, Apartheid in Israel and the problems Israel causes the U.S. and U.S. democracy can be solved with a switch in party in Israel as Kadima was just as bad as the Likud party and even worse since the Gaza invasion happened under Kadima and the blockade against Gaza continued through that administration. No, there is only one solution that will rectify the problem: the END OF ZIONISM. But then, that’s where all the weakness in your arguments lies; you are unable to reach the core of the problem and let go of Zionism. This weakness is reflected in your commentary, UNFORTUNATELY.

    • lobewyper
      September 6, 2012, 8:29 pm


      I was troubled by exactly the same thing–focusing on one or two delegates in opposition when it was clear from all three voice votes that there were roughly equal numbers for and against the resolution. As if a mere handful of delegates were in opposition to the motion! I was surprised at the strength of the resistance. When voice votes are unclear as these were, you normally vote. The absence of a vote is clearly undemocratic and shows the fear of the Lobby by party leadership. The failure of the major media to discuss this important shift in opinion on the part of many Democratic delegates is one more bit of evidence that the media in this country are for the most part dedicated to the power elite and not to the democratic process. My friends, we are living in what future political historians will consider the dark ages of “representative government.”

      • Annie Robbins
        September 7, 2012, 1:01 am

        there were roughly equal numbers for and against the resolution.

        listen again, no’s are louder.

      • ColinWright
        September 7, 2012, 2:06 am

        Annie Robbins says: ” there were roughly equal numbers for and against the resolution.

        listen again, no’s are louder.”

        That’d be kind of a moot point. The measure clearly didn’t have the support of two-thirds of the delegates — which is what was required.

        I actually think this is a pretty good outcome. A whole lot of delegates (a) got their snouts rubbed in the power of the Israel lobby, and (b) learned that there are others who feel as they do.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 7, 2012, 9:22 am

        it’s not a moot point to me. it tells me a lot more people know whats going on and are sick of it. of course it is a good outcome even if they did demonstrate how things get done in our ‘democracy’. the choices are all predetermined and zionist wishes come first, before the people have their say. we get to choose between the options allowed for us and usually it is behind closed doors. out in the open tells another story.

  23. douglasreed
    September 6, 2012, 3:01 pm



     The Israel lobby claims a membership of 100,000 out of a total population in the US of 310,000,000 = 0.3%!

    This 0.3% of the population apparently controls the foreign policy, and probably other national policies, of the US Congress – an elected assembly that is supposed to represent the people i.e. the MAJORITY of the people, not that tiny fraction of one percent withmoney and influence.

    What is happening in America today is the overt destruction of democracy but in such a way that the electorate as a whole apparently does not appreciate what is happening and why it is happening. They appear to be unaware that a high proportion of their tax dollars go towards ensuring that Israelis, and others, lead a safe, secure and profitable life – at the expense, it must be said, of the people who pay those taxes and who elected the House of Representatives to represent THEM, not to represent a foreign state.


     When unemployment is so high in virtually every state of the Union, this is an absolute disgrace and a dereliction of duty of every member of Congress who submits to the demands of the Israel lobby, and who consequently fail in their specific responsibilities to the constituencies of the American people that elected them. FACT.



    • ColinWright
      September 6, 2012, 5:28 pm

      douglasreed says: “…When unemployment is so high in virtually every state of the Union, this is an absolute disgrace and a dereliction of duty of every member of Congress who submits to the demands of the Israel lobby.”

      Indeed. However, in many cases, if they don’t submit, they don’t get to become members of Congress. AIPAC literally makes prospective candidates write essays on ‘why I love Israel.’ I kid you not.

      If they don’t toe the line, AIPAC makes sure they don’t get in.

      Go ahead. Try running. See what happens if you (a) manage to mount a serious candidacy, and (b) fail to toe the line.

      • pipistro
        September 6, 2012, 7:15 pm

        Asbarah Inc. works all over the world 24h a day. That’s why.
        Since the “Democratic” Platform is democratically allowed to assume the following statements about US ties with Israel:
        “we share common values”
        (even if it is not clear in a state of blatant apartheid what are these “common values”.)
        “a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord, producing two states for two peoples”
        (the usual No-State Solution. It smells of nothing.)
        “a Jewish and democratic state”
        (this is a full nonsense, looking at the situation they are in. Maybe they meant a Jewish… or democratic state.)
        “checking Iran’s destabilizing activities”
        (pure pandering the Israel Lobby)
        – (let alone the absurd statement on Jerusalem capital)

        without making anyone laugh for that, you’re all (310 millions tax payers) in a pretty mess.

        Down here the Israel Lobby seems not that strong… (as of today). Relating to the decision of Dems’ Platform in the US… well, from Italy someone thinks we’d better set our new Capital… uhm (let me think a bit) in Los Angeles. Agreed?
        (I must add, unfortunately, though, that since a lot many years in EU we follow US policy about the Middle East.)

  24. Rusty Pipes
    September 6, 2012, 3:44 pm

    Anonymously demanding that the President show some courage?

    More left-leaning Jewish leaders who welcomed a step toward a Jerusalem compromise were furious.

    The Administration should “grow a sack,” one said — on the condition of anonymity.

    But the pro-Israel forces welcomed the move.

    “It was a show of force by President Barack Obama,” the chairman of the Council [sic] of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, Alan Solow, told BuzzFeed.

    Perhaps if more liberal Jewish leaders spoke on the record, the President would have more ability to withstand pressure from rightwing Zionists. But that would require some courage.

  25. Ranjit Suresh
    September 6, 2012, 3:58 pm

    Note the breathtaking lying that’s Alex Seitz-Wald engages in on the undemocratic Democratic platform:

    The big remaining question in the row is why it wasn’t avoided. Both Zogby and Democratic leaders have said there was no debate or discussion on the lack of Jerusalem language when the draft platform went before the Platform Committee. “I do not for one minute believe that AIPAC [the pro-Israel lobby group] didn’t see this. That’s like telling me the NRA didn’t look at the gun language on the Republican side or NARAL [the pro-choice group] didn’t look at the abortion language on our side,” Zogby said, noting that it would have been better to avoid the platform getting passed out of committee if people were going to object later.

    While Ahmed said a new procedural challenge is “still an open question,” Zogby said he’s not interested in relitigating the issue. “It’s language that everyone can live with, it’s just the way it was done,” he said. Moreover, the platform language on the issue is essentially meaningless to people outside of the interest groups, which makes it even more befuddling that the party didn’t see this coming. “If I had a nickel for every platform on the Middle East that didn’t come to fruition, I’d be rich,” he joked.

    Source: Salon

    This pathetic representative of the media tries to sell us that the language is meaningless to everyone except those in “interest groups” – nevermind the fact that the language was changed to recognize an illegal capital to serve the most powerful of interest groups and not the American people or Democratic electorate as a whole.

  26. American
    September 6, 2012, 4:12 pm

    Col Lang mentions something I have thought about before regarding the Dems…about the dems doubling down on diversity big tent is a downside for the zionist.
    Can AIPAC corrall all the dozens of “diverse” now becoming influencers for their own interest within the Dems. I doubt it. And maybe that is what is happening a bit now, maybe it’s more than Iran that has ubers backing the repubs…maybe all the new groups are threatening the zio minority hold on the dems and they are counting on the GOP in the future..

    “”The “down side’ for Democrats in their relentless quest for diversity is the diversity itself. Traditional Democratic support groups like Jews and especially Zionist Jews have less and less “clout” in the face of the indifference of the multitude of other groups for whom Zionism is just another tribal nationalism seen through the anti-colonial lens of the predominately “left” orientation of today’s Democratic Party.

    The platform committee tried to walk away from the worshipful attitude towards Israel that Zionist money and media power still dictate. Then the delegates tried to vote down the platform amendments. AIPAC won that vote. How long will that continue? How long will US policy be dictated in Tel Aviv? pl

  27. Les
    September 6, 2012, 4:28 pm

    Here’s from MJ Rosenberg’s take on this:

    “Ignore the cover story that Obama requested the AIPAC language. That is a lie and spin. Even if he did “request” it, it is because returned money man Rahm Emanuel told him he had too.”

    Philip, it’s fair for you to take credit that both Scott McConnell of the American Conservative and MJ Rosenberg lnk to the very article of yours we are reading to get the meat of the story. Take a bow!

  28. yourstruly
    September 6, 2012, 4:53 pm

    so here we are with israel firsters pushing for the u.s. government to offer israel its unconditional support for an attack on iran en route to doomsday, supposedly to avert an existential threat of the zionist entity’s own making? is this not a warning that for life on earth to survive, the delegitimization of the zionist entity is a must?

  29. wes
    September 6, 2012, 5:54 pm

    this is how reuters reports it
    Democrats were embarrassed on Wednesday when they were forced to revise their policy platform after it was approved by delegates to reintroduce language that mentioned God and named Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    Dropping the Jerusalem wording had upset Jewish supporters and annoyed Obama, who ordered it put back in the platform, mostly a symbolic document.

    all a stunt to show arabs he is their guy ,you know,all bs.
    desperate days for palestinian lobby
    mitt and bat and we have game

    • Annie Robbins
      September 7, 2012, 1:11 am

      this is how reuters reports it…..all a stunt to show arabs he is their guy ,you know,all bs.
      desperate days for palestinian lobby mitt and bat and we have game

      lol. yeah right.

  30. DICKERSON3870
    September 6, 2012, 7:37 pm

    “This most recent incident of Israel pandering in American politics would be comical if it didn’t have such grave implications for people in the region.” ~ Yousef Munayyer

    MY COMMENT: The status of Jerusalem is mostly significant only because Jerusalem’s truly being the indivisible capital of Israel eliminates the possibility a two-state solution.
    Obama probably supported adding the plank declaring Jerusalem the indivisible capital of Israel because he realizes that the two-state solution is dead (largely due to the Israeli settlements in the West Bank (and in East Jerusalem). Why should he put his head on the chopping block when the two-state solution is already dead?

    FROM ELLIOTT ABRAMS, The Washington (Neocon) Post, 04/08/09:

    . . . Is current and recent settlement construction creating insurmountable barriers to peace? A simple test shows that it is not. Ten years ago, in the Camp David talks, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat approximately 94 percent of the West Bank, with a land swap to make up half of the 6 percent Israel would keep. According to news reports, just three months ago, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 93 percent, with a one-to-one land swap. In the end, under the January 2009 offer, Palestinians would have received an area equal to 98 to 98.5 percent of the West Bank (depending on which press report you read), while 10 years ago they were offered 97 percent. Ten years of settlement activity would have resulted in a larger area for the Palestinian state. . .

    SOURCE –

    P.S. Elliott Abrams has totally convinced me by the sheer power of his “logic” (and his excellent math skills)!
    Ergo, the ‘Abrams Principle’ stands for the proposition that more Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank will result in a larger area for the Palestinian state. That’s why I say: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” with the settlement actvity; so as to result in the largest Palestinian state possible (from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River)! “Let Right Be Done.”

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 6, 2012, 7:56 pm

      P.P.S. FROM Jason Ditz,, 9/05/12: [EXCERPT] “. . . And while the Republicans were chastising Democrats for not having that language in their platform in the first place, it was eventually discovered, because apparently they didn’t check first, that the Republican platform did the same thing, removing a 2008 promise to endorse Jerusalem as the “undivided capital” as well as removing a promise to move the embassy. . . “
      SOURCE –

      • DICKERSON3870
        September 9, 2012, 2:36 am

        P.P.P.S. RE: “it was eventually discovered . . . that the Republican platform did the same thing, removing a 2008 promise to endorse Jerusalem as the “undivided capital” as well as removing a promise to move the embassy. . .” ~ Jason Ditz (from above)


        [ITEM 25]
        • Our Unequivocal Support of Israel
        Israel and the United States are part of the great fellowship of democracies who speak the same language of freedom and justice, and the right of every person to live in peace. The security of Israel is in the vital national security interest of the United States; our alliance is based not only on shared interests, but also shared values. We affirm our unequivocal commitment to Israel’s security and will ensure that it maintains a qualitative edge in military technology over any potential adversaries. We support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with secure, defensible borders; and we envision two democratic states – Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine – living in peace and security. For that to happen, the Palestinian people must support leaders who reject terror, embrace the institutions and ethos of democracy, and respect the rule of law. We call on Arab governments throughout the region to help advance that goal. Israel should not be expected to negotiate with entities pledged to her destruction. We call on the new government in Egypt to fully uphold its peace treaty with Israel.
        The U.S. seeks a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, negotiated between the parties themselves with the assistance of the U.S., without the imposition of an artificial timetable. Essential to that process will be a just, fair, and realistic framework for dealing with the issues that can be settled on the basis of mutually agreed changes reflecting today’s realities as well as tomorrow’s hopes.

        SOURCE –

  31. DICKERSON3870
    September 6, 2012, 7:50 pm

    RE: “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.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Can you really blame them?


    [EXCERPT] . . . For her part, Amber Lyon insists that CNN journalists and producers complained relentlessly about the type of business-driven censorship she now vocally claims was prevalent at CNN. Back in 2004, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal reported on the network’s Middle East bureau:

    “CNN sources say the network has bowed to considerable pressure on its editors. Israeli officials boast that they now have only to call a number at the network’s headquarters in Atlanta to pull any story they do not like.”

    Lyon insists that few are willing to speak out due to fear that they will immediately be viewed as a troublemaker and made radioactive to future news employers. Several former CNN employees echoed Lyon’s experiences and complaints, but nobody other than her would speak on the record. . .
    . . . As to why Lyon has decided to disregard careerist fears, despite still being only in her 20s, she said that she hopes her act of speaking out about what she witnessed inside CNNi will lead to other journalists to do the same:

    “I want to encourage mainstream journalists to speak up when they discover their companies are misleading the people, doing PR for corporations and governments and disguising it as journalism. Many journalists get into this business, for low pay and grueling hours, because they genuinely want to make a difference, expose injustice. But what’s the point if the elephant in the room is the conduct of own company, and you ignore it?”

    Revealingly, Lyon’s purest and perhaps bravest act of journalism became possible only once she had left CNN.

    SOURCE –

    • Mooser
      September 7, 2012, 7:51 pm

      Dickerson, I can’t help but notice your gravatar. Do you think it’s really fair? Psychologists tell us that people are drawn to and respectful of handsome and distinguished looking individuals, no matter what their viewpoint. And I never would have suspected you are so tall, which also, psychologists tell us, lends versimilitude. Something I can’t get, no matter how many points I offer.
      Between your looks and Graber’s tawny, flowing mane, I haven’t got a chance.

  32. Nevada Ned
    September 6, 2012, 7:51 pm

    US politicians have been promising to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem at every election since the 1980’s. Back in the Reagan era, I recall one left-wing Jewish friend growling, “I’ll tell them where they can put the stupid embassy!”

    They never actually move the embassy. They never deliver on their ridiculous promise.

    For example, back in 2008, candidate Obama voiced the slogan
    “Undivided Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel for all Eternity”

    Uri Avnery commented at the time (2008)

    In prior US presidential races, the pandering candidates thought that it was enough to promise that the US embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. After being elected, not one of the candidates ever did anything about this promise. All were persuaded by the State Department that it would harm basic American interests.

    It’s been four years since 2008. Did Obama move the embassy? Of course not.

    I predict that this is the last we’ll hear of his issue until 2014 or 2016, at which time more politicians AGAIN promise to move the US embassy (still located in Tel Aviv) to Jerusalem.

    • Walid
      September 7, 2012, 8:38 am

      Ned said “It’s been four years since 2008. Did Obama move the embassy? Of course not. I predict that this is the last we’ll hear of his issue until 2014 or 2016, at which time more politicians AGAIN promise to move the US embassy (still located in Tel Aviv) to Jerusalem.”

      Not really, while we are concerned about Democrats and Republicans waving their Jerusalem flags and making wild promises, Israel is going on its merry way slowly and systematically emptying Jerusalem of its Arab population. It’s now on a 2-year program to have Jerusalem free of all Arabs. Once this happens, expecting part of Jerusalem to be the capital of the Palestinians will be redundant since no Arabs would be left there and no more reason for the US to not relocate its embassy there.

      Article from al-Akhbar a couple of days back describing the devious methods employed to make Jerusalem free of Arabs. Add to it Netanyahu’s story from a few days back about the annexation to Jerusalem of the 22 settlements and we begin to see the big smoke screen put up by Israel about a possible war on Iran to hide what it’s doing to the Arabs in Jerusalem. Israel isn’t about to do anything about Iran, it’s in its last phase of of the final solution in expelling Jerusalem’s Arabs before dumping the WB in the same manner it dumped Gaza:

      “…….In December 2011, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat announced that the municipality would soon classify 70,000 citizens of Jerusalem as non-residents, referring to Palestinians living behind the wall. He added that these areas will be under the West Bank civil administration.

      “This is a dangerous declaration,” said Hammouri. “It means that Palestinians in these areas will be subjected to the military law.”

      Today, 290,000 Palestinians have the Jerusalem ID. According to Hammouri, between 100 thousand to 120 thousand of those live behind the wall.

      “The municipality’s future plans will most probably include getting rid of highly-dense Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem that are currently within the wall,” he added. “This plan will include Essawiyeh, Sur Baher, Im Tuba and Anata.”

      The tens of thousands of Palestinians whose residency will be revoked will be considered Absentees according to the Israeli law. Subsequently, all the properties they own in Jerusalem will be confiscated by the state.

      … In efforts to pursue their plans undisturbed, the Israeli government is “drugging” Palestinians. The restrictions on entering Jerusalem during this Ramadan were eased in an unprecedented way since the eruption of the Second Intifada in 2000. Ma’an News Agency reported that the Israeli government granted around 150,000 Palestinians permits to enter Jerusalem in Eid al-Fitr. Even employees of Palestinian security forces, who were previously banned from getting permits, were granted permits. Palestinians who had a security ban in their files were granted permits despite the security ban.

      “Israelis are enjoying 100 percent security in the West Bank and Jerusalem,” said Mahdi. Palestinians are being “domesticated,” lulled into accepting the Israeli reality for years to come. Currently, the Israeli government is testing the waters of the Palestinians reaction. We are in the experimental phase of the Israeli plans for Jerusalem.

      The Israeli infrastructure was built on the determination never to withdraw from East Jerusalem. In 2011, Israel finished building the light train in Jerusalem. The track of the light train connects settlements in East Jerusalem to the center of West Jerusalem. The main highway that connects Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, “Road 1”, crosses portions of lands occupied in 1967 [Latrun Area].

      The Guardian published in March 2009 an EU report that says: “Israeli ‘facts on the ground’ – including new settlements, construction of the barrier, discriminatory housing policies, house demolitions, restrictive permit regime and continued closure of Palestinian institutions – increase Jewish Israeli presence in East Jerusalem, weaken the Palestinian community in the city, impede Palestinian urban development and separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.”
      The 2010 statistics of the Israeli National Insurance Institute says that 78 percent of Palestinians in Jerusalem are below the poverty line. Today, there are 20,000 standing demolition orders for Palestinian houses and installations in East Jerusalem.

      At this rate, within two years there will be a minimal Palestinian presence in Jerusalem. Palestinian negotiators will be faced with new facts on ground that make it impossible to reach an acceptable agreement on the status of Jerusalem. The Israeli government continues to stall to buy time to finish its plans, while the international community plays along and their only actions are ink on paper.

      • seafoid
        September 7, 2012, 9:13 am

        Walid – it looks great on paper but the situation on the ground in Israel is not stable and god only knows what the settlers will have done by 2014 . It is going to explode.

        The people in the monastery said that Israel has to invest in education for values that will prevent hate crimes. What is the man talking about, this man who, even in his state of shock, spoke politely. What education? The enforcement arms of the state know exactly who is doing what and where they’re coming from.
        Those who know how to reach Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus, also know how to reach these thugs. First, there is a terrible helplessness of the system here. Second, they are no less dangerous than Al-Qaida. At first the graffiti looked like a form of release for hotheaded settlers. Now we have to assume that those who reach the monastery can also reach the Al-Aqsa mosque and start a conflagration in the Muslim world

      • Shmuel
        September 7, 2012, 9:26 am

        A very important point, Walid.

        Last time I was in Jerusalem, I spent a couple of nights in Kufr ‘Aqab – a Jerusalem neighbourhood that illustrates Israeli strategies for the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem perfectly. It lies within the artificially-drawn municipal boundaries of Jerusalem (“maximum territory, minimum Arabs”), but beyond the wall. It has become one of the few housing options for Jerusalem’s Palestinians – who must remain within the municipal boundaries or lose their residency permits, with far-reaching consequences.

        Contrary to other Palestinian areas, the municipality seems to have turned a blind eye to illegal construction (legal construction is virtually impossible and wholly inadequate), resulting in a very densely-populated neighbourhood of unplanned high-rises and insufficient infrastructure. And now the mayor has threatened to simply cut them off.

        It reminds me of the story (told, inter alia, by Khawla Abu-Baker, in Coffins on Our Shoulders) of the Palestinians of Haifa, who were crowded onto a pier at the port in 1948 and set adrift, suddenly finding themselves floating out to sea.

        So yes, let the Dershes and the Dems fake arm-wrestle over whether an assertion regarding the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel should or should not be in the party platform. Meanwhile, the process of strangling and emptying the Palestinian city of its inhabitants and lifeblood continues unchecked.

        Good thing they put God back into the platform too. Ya allah.

      • seafoid
        September 7, 2012, 10:09 am

        Some haaretz links

        jerusalem municipality-asks idf-to-take-responsibility-for-residents-who-live-east-of-the-separation-fence

        Palestinians denied water in EJ

        Israel closes key Jerusalem checkpoint, limiting Palestinian residents’ access

        Refugee camp residents will only be able to cross into Israel via central checkpoint now; plan contravenes 2008 High Court ruling construction must be undertaken to Shoafat crossing before Ras Khamis checkoint closed.

        I think it is all pointless. They are not going to get Jerusalem.The city has never worked like that.

        Interesting quote in haaretz today from the top catholic in the region

        “But Jerusalem teaches us to you can’t take any decision alone,” he added. “You need the other [party]. That’s the difficulty and the beauty of Jerusalem.”

        Everything Israel does to the Palestinians is done out of a deep paranoia that is slowly consuming Israeli society.

      • Walid
        September 7, 2012, 2:03 pm

        Shmuel and Seafoid, Israel has something big and vile planned for the Palestinians of Jerusalem. I think it will soon make its move to expel them and to wash its hands of what’s remaining on the other side of the WB wall. The wall had nothing to do with stopping Palestinian bombers; it was to delineate Israel’s final boundries, steal a bit more land in the process and to ensure the water sources are within the wall. Iran is the smoke screen for what’s to happen to Jerusalem, especially that the other Arab states don’t seem to care.

      • seafoid
        September 7, 2012, 5:23 pm

        They are vile, Walid, and they probably are planning something but they are running short on time and Jerusalem isn’t exclusively Jewish – it never was – and they are no longer in control of the story. Israel’s economy is in trouble and the settlers are slowly breaking Israeli society from the inside. There will be a lot of suffering before there is equilibrium but when the dust settles

        لن يقفل باب مدينتنا فأنا ذاهبة لأصلي
        سأدق على الأبواب و سأفتحها الأبواب

        و ستغسل يا نهر الأردن وجهي بمياه قدسية
        و ستمحو يا نهر الأردن أثار القدم الهمجية
        like Fairuz says

        Because Zionism is a sickness at this stage. They have to be rescued from themselves.

        Even if the Arabs are useless the world is watching. And the Malaysians and the Indonesians aren’t going to take any horseshit.

  33. Denis
    September 6, 2012, 8:34 pm

    Very helpful post, Phil. Great collection of media responses/links. Thanks for the effort.

  34. Kathleen
    September 6, 2012, 8:40 pm

    Chris Hayes went out on the limb on MSNBC. Al Sharpton then lectured him about giving an opinion which Al Sharpton does all of the time about social justice in this country Too bad Al Sharpton’s commitment to social justice stops at the U.S. boundaries. . Chris Hayes opinion is based on facts

    And Rachel, Ed, Al and Lawrence have all demonstrated over and over again that they are cowards total yellow bellied cowards on this issue. Suck it up and tow the Israeli lobby line. But who knows maybe they do not even have to suck it up. Maybe they are just blind when it comes to the injustices around this issue or just weak kneed pukes on this critical issue(which is what I think)

    Go Chris Hayes

  35. kalithea
    September 6, 2012, 8:59 pm

    Yikes! I’m listening to John Kerry’s speech at the convention. It’s shameful, laughable and embarrassing. How this man was EVER nominated for the Presidency I’ll never understand and with John Edwards at his side, very appropriate! His speech is a stark reminder of how close and interchangeable the Republican and Democratic parties really are especially on foreign policy…UGH. John Kerry totally strips the Democratic Party to its jiggly, dimpled, moled, unattractive parts. I was flabbergasted with his Netanyahu comment. What a monumental ass he made of himself!

  36. kalithea
    September 6, 2012, 9:19 pm

    Yikes! I was just listening to John Kerry’s speech at the convention. What a pandering, embarrassing monumental ass and fool he is! His Netanyahu comment was laughable! After James Taylor, Mary J. and all the hype, he really strips the Democratic party to its wrinkled, sagging flab and snaps you back to reality. Are you awake yet???? What a pathetic choice Americans have!

    • marc b.
      September 7, 2012, 9:18 am

      Yikes! I was just listening to John Kerry’s speech at the convention. What a pandering, embarrassing monumental ass and fool he is!

      kalithea, his detractors in the great commonwealth of massachusetts refer to kerry as ‘live shot’, as in he never misses a chance to get his smug face on camera. every once in a while he does something of consequence, e.g. see his kerry committee on the drug trade and money laundering back in the day. some very revealing information came out of those hearings.

  37. TwoRedDogs
    September 7, 2012, 3:05 am

    “Gwen and Judy trying to do their job–but trying with the usual MSM timidity: no follow-up questions, no information.”

    During 2008 Primaries, when he was convinced Obama would win, Tim Russert said something about ‘discussion of foreign policy in Middle East will now be possible’. I had been thinking of the same, and when he died within a month or two, I felt uneasy. In my view, he was the ONE journalist who could start that discussion and get away with it. He had the respect of the right and the left, then he died from a heart-attack at a young age.

    As for what happened yesterday, from a pragmatic point of view, it is not the most opportune moment to let the noise machine take the stage. It would be a distraction. Why the omission in the first place? Perhaps the changes were overlooked by the campaign, or they were just sending a message about crossing lines.

    • Kathleen
      September 7, 2012, 8:21 am

      Russert was a wienie when it came to the middle east. In the run up to the invasion of Iraq he rolled over like the majority of the MSM. Soon after the invasion he did several interviews with Cheney where Russert not only rolled over on Iraq not asking Cheney any challenging questions but allowed Cheney to begin building up his lets go get Iran platform. Cheney was repeating all sorts of unsubstantiated claims about Iran and Russert just kept nodding his portly face and then asked Cheney “what should we do”
      Jumping Jehosephat the Bush administration had just invaded Iraq based on a bunch of cherry picked horse shit, thousands were all ready dead and all Russert could say to Cheney when he was lying about Iran was “what should we do” Russert was a coward of a journalist. Bought and paid for

  38. Peter in SF
    September 7, 2012, 4:11 am

    I got so curious about this that I plotted the waveforms of the voice votes. It appears to me that the noes win the first vote (barely), and the other two votes are too close to call. Others are welcome to check them too:

    • Kathleen
      September 7, 2012, 8:10 am

      . Kept saying we needed a sound o meter (my blue collar thinking.) Waveforms love it. With the naked ear (not like it lives any other way) I thought the same thing. The first round a bit louder for the Yes vote. The second one a stalemate. The third I thought the no’s had it. But the 2/3rd’s decision was complete hooey.

      Lawrence O’Donnell making light, Nancy Pelosi’s arrogant and telling dismissal of the dynamics, MSNBC’s Ed covered his ass, Rachel Maddow kept silent (silence is complicity Rachel)Al Sharpton not only covered his ass but corrected Chris Hayes for being the one brave soul to tell it like it is. The MSNBC panel of exposure. Their views were indeed naked on that set. Chris Hayes the only one to lay it on the line

      • lysias
        September 7, 2012, 2:43 pm

        Was there no procedure for delegates to demand a roll-call vote?

      • Mooser
        September 7, 2012, 7:59 pm

        “Was there no procedure for delegates to demand a roll-call vote?”

        You mean a procedure which would: 1) accurately tally the votes, and 2) make possible attaching a name to each vote? No, there was very little chance of that.

      • Citizen
        September 7, 2012, 10:48 pm

        The amendments suddenly appeared on the screens, the guy got up and said, we’re voting on them now, and then they did, three times–without any thinking on the subject at all; in this local video here

        the yays clearly had it the first two times, and the third was very close; the guy looked befuddled, a woman came up and told him to “just read” the teleprompter, which he did–“the chair has decided the yays have it.”

  39. NickJOCW
    September 7, 2012, 6:29 am

    He didn’t hesitate to go after Mitt Romney. “You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally,” he said.

    Obama on Romney

    I thought the closest ally was supposed to be…Well, never mind who believes what any of them say anyway.

  40. Kathleen
    September 7, 2012, 8:28 am

    But in the Wizard of Oz the man behind the curtain comes out and in many ways seeks redemption for his manipulative and deceptive ways. Ok I am into redemptive stories. Not like it is ever going to happen but one can understand that some in the I lobby and in Israel operate out of fear of the past (understandable) some operate out of power and hate but whatever they are operating out of it is ultimately doing more harm than good to Israel based on the internationally recognized border.

    • Mooser
      September 7, 2012, 8:01 pm

      “I lobby and in Israel operate out of fear of the past (understandable)”

      Yes, Nazi zombies have proved a formidable opponent.

      • Rusty Pipes
        September 10, 2012, 2:24 pm

        Nazi Zombies and Jewish Bra-a-ains! I think you’ve hit on a new angle for fomenting Zionist paranoia.

  41. Annie Robbins
    September 7, 2012, 8:32 am

    checkout jpost’s understatement covering the dissent in ‘Democrat J’lem policy begs for Jewish votes’:

    But at least some in the hall were supporters of the Palestinian position and objected to adding in text declaring that “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.

    at least some?

    • NickJOCW
      September 7, 2012, 9:48 am

      But isn’t it a source of delight that the tide is beginning to flow this way?

  42. Erasmus
    September 7, 2012, 9:25 am

    Demasking democracy for what it is – when it comes to Israel.

    This Voice “Voting” procedure at the Democratic Party Convention on the issue of Jerusalem being the “capital of Israel” – three times repeated –
    is a perfect example of what Democracy in the USA is – or has become :

    A tragic Farce and joke!
    What a SHAM!

    • LanceThruster
      September 7, 2012, 1:28 pm

      I didn’t realize just how craven it was until I saw the replay. Not only was it clear in the vote by acclamation (3x no less), but the teleprompter was already loaded with “The ayes have it.”

      Simply reprehensible.

  43. NickJOCW
    September 7, 2012, 10:44 am

    I’ve been following this debate with great interest and I must confess I don’t really see that Mayor Villaraigosa had much choice. The future of Jerusalem is not within the Democratic convention’s mandate anyway and had the clause, having been left out then reintroduced been thrown out again, Netanyahu etc. might have gone ballistic and started bombing things, Teheran, Beirut, the long suffering people of Gaza, or even a US vessel in the Persian Gulf. One needs keep in mind these people are not rational.

    • ColinWright
      September 10, 2012, 4:44 pm

      NickJOCW says: “…had the clause, having been left out then reintroduced been thrown out again, Netanyahu etc. might have gone ballistic and started bombing things…”

      Lol! I read this and I cracked up.

      ‘OMG. We’d better put this back in the platform or Netanyahu’s going to get angry and start bombing things!’

      Gimme a break. What planet do you live on? When has anything like this ever happened anywhere? Give me one frigging example.

      ‘Launch ze bombers.’

      ‘Jawohl mein Fuhrer. Aber — warum?’

      ‘A platform vote at a political convention in Charlotte North Carolina didn’t go the way I wanted. Not only am I insanely juvenile and impulsive, but as God-King of Israel, I command your unquestioning and immediate obedience.’


  44. hophmi
    September 7, 2012, 1:15 pm

    Phil, like almost everybody else, sees this as he wants to, rather than as it actually is.

    I’ve written extensively on this elsewhere, but the truth is utterly lost in all of the political posturing on this issue. For several platforms, until 2008, the line on Jerusalem read: “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.” In 2008, it was altered slightly to read: “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.” In this platform, there was no mention of it, but the rest of the pro-Israel language was strong. It really just appears to be an oversight, and it’s the Republicans who exploited the change. No one in the Democratic party and no one in the Jewish community raised any objection to the language outside of Jewish Republican operatives.

    What happened on the floor is subject to a great deal of interpretation. The process of amendment was ad-hoc and rushed, and David Gergen suggested that this may well have been the reason for dissension. Ted Strickland’s addition of God, based on his history as an ordained minister, may well have ticked off those who believe in church-state separation. In addition to that, the amendment was made early in the day, when the hall was about half-full.

    When several speakers last night, including Kerry and Obama, mentioned the US’s unshakable commitment to Israel, everyone was cheering.

    To me, it’s all very silly, because the platform is not the same thing as US policy, and there is no disagreement between the parties over the fact that Jerusalem is subject to final status negotiations. Personally, I would not have bothered to amend the platform. It was wholly unnecessary.

    • Philip Weiss
      September 7, 2012, 2:15 pm

      if there’s so much wiggle room, why did obama see to it that this was changed. why didn’t he say, oh, that’s just the platform, it’s not my policy, and leave it be? because he felt a strong compulsion to change it, arising from the importance of the lobby to his campaign

      • lysias
        September 7, 2012, 2:40 pm

        And, even if you don’t care about the change — or even support it — why shouldn’t you be more disturbed by the undemocratic means of achieving that change?

      • Mooser
        September 7, 2012, 8:05 pm

        Gee, I don’t suppose that “undivided Jerusalem, capital of Israel” stuff in any way emboldens those Zionists who are cleansing it of Arabs, does it? I mean, you know, it only indicates that the largest most powerful superpower in the world wants Jerusalem to be all-Jewish, too. Can’t see how that would embolden them, or engender feelings of impunity, can you? Why, I can’t see where that being in the platform of both parties matters at all, huh, Hophmi?

      • Mooser
        September 7, 2012, 8:12 pm

        “there is no disagreement between the parties over the fact that Jerusalem is subject to final status negotiations.”

        And of course, those “final staus negotiations” won’t be in any way affected by the “facts on the ground”. And we can look forward to the Zionist Jews returning all property to Arabs as required by the “final status negotiations” and in such good condition, too.

        BTW, in accessing the comments of somebody like “Hophmi” be sure to go back to their earliest comments, and comments chronologically in the first third of their archive. Most commenters like him drop out, but a few (the ones who didn’t get the +15, I guess) hang around and learn to play just inside the rules.

      • Citizen
        September 8, 2012, 8:27 am

        @ Mooser
        Damn, antlers really sharp!

  45. LanceThruster
    September 7, 2012, 7:08 pm

    That’s truly the kicker, isn’t it?

    “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.” (Josef Stalin)

  46. dbroncos
    September 7, 2012, 7:49 pm

    The upside of this episode is that it exposes the Israel Firsters as being out of step with popular opinion. Anxious Zionists who read the tea leaves about how Americans feel about Israel should be even more anxious after this vote. Word is spreading about Israel’s crimes and people don’t like what they’re hearing. They also don’t like it that they had to hear it from a friend/family member/congregation member/fellow student etc… rather than from politicians and media oulets who are responsible for informing the public wrt the public interest (i.e. supporting fascism in Israel is not in the public interest)

    • Citizen
      September 8, 2012, 8:28 am

      supporting fascism in Israel is not in the public interest

  47. Kathleen
    September 10, 2012, 11:06 pm

    Chris Hayes “craven capitulation” go Chris Hayes. He did not mention this issue on his news program on Sat or Sunday. Wonder if Comcast executives slapped him down for telling the truth

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