Obama was ‘absolutely livid’ when Dem platform didn’t say Jerusalem is Israel’s capital — Villaraigosa

Israel/Palestine
on 36 Comments

Last summer you may recall that there was a wonderful floor demonstration at the Democratic Convention when the party sought to reinsert language in the platform calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel (and to reinsert a reference to God into the platform, too). Well, LA Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa was chairing the convention at the time, and on CNN he tells Jake Tapper that Obama himself wanted the language back in:

I got a call, said that the President was absolutely livid, the President wanted it back in immediately. My response to that was Great, but we got to whip it…. So I had to go up there and do what I did….

I banged the gavel for God and Jerusalem and I’m proud that I did.

Laura Rozen reported as much at the time, but it’s good to hear it from Villaraigosa. And let’s be clear: Obama did this not because he cared about the grassroots, which include many younger Jews, but because he cared about major Jewish organizations and donors, and because he was running to Romney’s right on the issue, or trying. And in 2008 at AIPAC he said Jerusalem must never be divided. He sure knows how to feint left and move right.

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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36 Responses

  1. W.Jones
    March 25, 2013, 11:38 am

    A city is not just buildings- they can get moved far away, nor is it a geographic location- a new city can replace a forcibly abandoned one. A city is also people.

    Relatively half of the people who lived in Jerusalem in 1947 and their descendants are now living in forced exile. They lived in Jerusalem for many centuries, if not as long as anyone else. Are they not a major part of Jerusalem?

    How does this livid resolution serve the true Jerusalem when it effectively separates the city’s land from so many of its native people?

    • sardelapasti
      March 25, 2013, 12:46 pm

      Jones – “How does this livid resolution serve the true Jerusalem…”

      Who are you talking to? As if Obama’s job was not that to wipe excrement off the ass of the Zionist murder team.
      Or do you really believe the US Gov makes any decisions anymore?

  2. jimmy
    March 25, 2013, 11:38 am

    geez i thought this potus was a muslim….

    that israel had to be mentioned at a US rally…

    yikes

  3. Gart Valenc
    March 25, 2013, 12:21 pm

    Reading Abdeen Jabara’s piece makes me wonder who is more asinine: Obama, who thinks people are gullible enough to believe his rhetoric or those who actually do believe his rhetoric!

    Anyone who listened to Obama’s speeches in Israel can only conclude one thing and one thing only: not only does Obama believe his own rhetoric, he clearly suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder!

    Obama is not a disappointment, he is a disgrace. He has betrayed oppressed minorities, trampled basic human rights & violated international law!

    Gart Valenc
    Twitter: @gartvalenc

    • kalithea
      March 25, 2013, 1:49 pm

      “Reading Abdeen Jabara’s piece makes me wonder who is more asinine: Obama, who thinks people are gullible enough to believe his rhetoric or those who actually do believe his rhetoric!”

      I agree, but careful, some of the gullible are in this room!

    • Gart Valenc
      March 25, 2013, 2:15 pm

      Apologies if this comment sounds (slightly?) off-topic but it was intended for Abdeen Jabara’s post here in Mondoweis: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/03/obama-israels-court.html

  4. Sumud
    March 25, 2013, 12:44 pm

    Who had it removed in the first place?

    Whoever it was, they certainly managed to demonstrate that Israel’s star is fading fast, whatever Obama and Villaraigosa might say. I’ll bet more than one pair of zionist pants were soiled that day.

  5. hophmi
    March 25, 2013, 12:48 pm

    “Obama did this not because he cared about the grassroots, which include many younger Jews, but because he cared about major Jewish organizations and donors, and because he was running to Romney’s right on the issue, or trying.”

    That’s a silly interpretation. No rational person would conclude that Obama was running to Romney’s right on Israel. Taking Jerusalem out of Democratic platform (and it’s a vague endorsement that has nothing to do with borders) was something that did not reflect the will of the Democratic party (the protest on the floor was a protest in a half-filled hall and was at least in part about putting God back in the platform) and was very clearly not worth the trouble it caused because of how it was used by the GOP.

    When you nitpick like this, the only people you help are right-wingers who attach undue significance to little issues like this that they don’t deserve and further politicize Israel. Maybe this is your plan – find common cause with Likudists on the right who want to politicize Israel in America like Malcolm X found common cause with neo-Nazis who believed in segregation.

    • lysias
      March 25, 2013, 1:42 pm

      Taking Jerusalem out of Democratic platform (and it’s a vague endorsement that has nothing to do with borders) was something that did not reflect the will of the Democratic party (the protest on the floor was a protest in a half-filled hall and was at least in part about putting God back in the platform

      Oh? CNN Poll: Only 33% Of Democrats Consider Israel A U.S. Ally…

      When you nitpick like this, the only people you help are right-wingers who attach undue significance to little issues like this that they don’t deserve and further politicize Israel. Maybe this is your plan – find common cause with Likudists on the right who want to politicize Israel in America like Malcolm X found common cause with neo-Nazis who believed in segregation.

      Meanwhile, your plan is pretty obvious: use the distraction of the false division between left and right to neutralize Americans’ — especially Democrats’ — dislike of the sorts of things Israel is doing.

      • hophmi
        March 25, 2013, 3:45 pm

        “Oh? CNN Poll: Only 33% Of Democrats Consider Israel A U.S. Ally…”

        46% say Israel is an ally, and 33% say Israel’s not an ally, but friendly.

        http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/19/cnn-poll-most-say-israel-a-friend/

        ” A plurality of Democrats think that Israel is friendly to the U.S.; only one in five think it is unfriendly or an enemy.”

        So, 20% of Democrats think Israel is unfriendly or an enemy.

        “Meanwhile, your plan is pretty obvious: use the distraction of the false division between left and right to neutralize Americans’ — especially Democrats’ — dislike of the sorts of things Israel is doing.”

        The false division? You just cited an article about a 30 point spread between Republicans and Democrats on whether Israel is an ally. Seems to me you’re the one intimating that there’s a division. My plan is to break down this line of wishful thinking that the Democrats are anti-Israel or the loony notion that because Obama understood that taking Jerusalem out of the Democratic platform was a bad idea politically, he was running to the right of Romney.

    • Donald
      March 25, 2013, 5:41 pm

      I think Phil was wrong to say Obama was trying to run to Romney’s right on Israel. It’s the Republican Party that has prominent members denying that Palestinians even exist as a people.

      But I don’t think it is nitpicking to point out that Obama was personally involved in this platform scuffle–that’s rather interesting.

      “Maybe this is your plan – find common cause with Likudists on the right who want to politicize Israel in America ”

      What’s wrong with politicizing an issue? That’s what politics tends to do. It’s been a disaster the way Israel receives bipartisan support no matter what it does. It’s bad for the US, bad for the Palestinians and in the long run bad even for the Israelis. You only say “don’t politicize the issue” if you like the status quo.

    • MK_Ultra
      March 25, 2013, 7:25 pm

      That’s a silly interpretation. No rational person would conclude that Obama was running to Romney’s right on Israel.

      You mean somebody accused you of being rational? :)

      • hophmi
        March 29, 2013, 2:56 pm

        “You mean somebody accused you of being rational? :)”

        I know, everybody in the room agrees with you, MK_Ultra. That makes it harder for you to see how off-the-rails your views really are.

    • ryan-o
      March 26, 2013, 2:58 am

      Your last paragraph is a baseless and (deliberate?) delusional/paranoid assumption. To me, it reads as though your comment is steering the reader toward your deceptive conclusion in an attempt to influence the gullible. Am I correct? Is there a name for this sort of “tactic”???

  6. Les
    March 25, 2013, 1:36 pm

    Did Obama mean occupied East Jerusalem?

  7. lysias
    March 25, 2013, 1:46 pm

    My response to that was Great, but we got to whip it…. So I had to go up there and do what I did….

    Only he didn’t whip it, at least not effectively, as it was pretty clear that he lost the voice vote.

  8. kalithea
    March 25, 2013, 1:57 pm

    “…. the only people you help are right-wingers”

    Ohhhhhhhh! You mean like YOU!!!

    Nitpick????????????????????????????? Oh, that’s rich coming from you!

    Libreeel Zionist! Huh! Make me believe there’s such a species! On second thought, spare me the nitpicky hasbara…LOL!

  9. kalithea
    March 25, 2013, 1:58 pm

    He’s OPPORTUNISTIC alright!!! But-but: HE GETS IT!

  10. Abdul-Rahman
    March 25, 2013, 2:53 pm

    “I banged the gavel for God and Jerusalem and I’m proud that I did.”

    WOW!!! What a clown!

    “United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, adopted on 20 August 1980, is one of seven UNSC resolutions condemning Israel’s attempted annexation of East Jerusalem.”

    • MHughes976
      March 25, 2013, 4:54 pm

      But the clowns are in charge, aren’t they? The audience applauds their show. Their red noses fall off and the audience applauds some more. Except for us bunch of misfits sitting outside mainstream morality.

  11. Gart Valenc
    March 25, 2013, 2:56 pm

    The question one needs to answer is where does the so-called “power” of Israel’s lobby come from? Is that power real or just a convenient ‘deus ex machina’? Who needs whom more & why? How does one explain that the US has never seriously penalised Israel despite its continuous and relentless violation of international law over so many decades?

    It seems to me that the US & Israel are two sides of the same coin, for Israel has always been the US’ workhorse in the Middle East. What does Israel demand in return? It demands US supports Israel unconditionally, so that it can continue with its occupation, annexation and violation of international law with total impunity!

    Gart Valenc
    Twitter: @gartvalenc

    • American
      March 25, 2013, 4:57 pm

      ‘It seems to me that the US & Israel are two sides of the same coin, for Israel has always been the US’ workhorse in the Middle East. ‘..Gart

      How has Israel been the US ‘work horse’ in the ME?
      Explain.

    • Sumud
      March 25, 2013, 8:12 pm

      It seems to me that the US & Israel are two sides of the same coin, for Israel has always been the US’ workhorse in the Middle East.

      What has Israel ever done for the US in the ME, except been a LOT of trouble? Workhorses work, I can’t see a single thing Israel has done that has been beneficial for the US.

  12. David Doppler
    March 25, 2013, 3:09 pm

    Somebody on Obama’s staff might have been “absolutely livid,” but that’s a characterization I’ve never seen before attributed to President Ice Cube, in any circumstance.

    • lysias
      March 27, 2013, 7:08 pm

      According to Jonathan Alter’s The Promise, Obama gets livid over leakers in the government.

  13. dbroncos
    March 25, 2013, 3:24 pm

    Villaraigosa’s story points out (again) how empty Obama is when he speaks of peace and justice in I/P, or any other topic for that matter. Historians won’t smile on the man except for being our first black President. He’s a pathetic fraud.

  14. MRW
    March 25, 2013, 5:30 pm

    And let’s be clear: Obama did this not because he cared about the grassroots, which include many younger Jews, but because he cared about major Jewish organizations and donors, and because he was running to Romney’s right on the issue, or trying. And in 2008 at AIPAC he said Jerusalem must never be divided. He sure knows how to feint left and move right.

    As they say: Word. And the Obama Presidential Library. In Chicago.

  15. jimmy
    March 25, 2013, 5:39 pm

    taken…..a movie…is what someone should be doing to the borg today…

  16. DICKERSON3870
    March 25, 2013, 6:16 pm

    RE : “He [Obama] sure knows how to feint left and move right.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: During the Carter administration, Jody Powell was once asked why their statements (and/or policies) regarding the Middle East sometimes seemed contradictory. He replied that when one is trying to bicycle up a steep hill, it often helps to zigzag instead of taking a direct path.

  17. biorabbi
    March 25, 2013, 6:56 pm

    Question to Phil. Phil, is it possible that you and MJ Rosenberg(and Norman Finkelstein among others) have it wrong. Your thesis(please correct me if I’m wrong)is Obama is deeply neutral to crypto-hostile to Israel. He only talks the talk and walks the walk because of the lobby and its power.

    I guess my retort is what is a second term for but to show your true side.

    1. First foreign trip… Israel.
    2. Increases iron dome spending at every intervel.
    3. He isn’t running for anything anymore and I seriously doubt he gives a rats ass who runs congress if truth be known and this point needs to be taken into account.
    4. He conflates zionism with Judaism as friends(and foes)of Israel does with abandon, and ties the two together, almost into a unitary force. One would be hard pressed to see the distinction between zionism and Judaism if you watched any of Obama’s speeches in Israel.
    5. Despite having a horses ass as Prime Minister of Israel to deal with as Obama does, he not only makes the best of it, and has learned how to deal with him.
    6. Despite tying the settlements with negotiations, he jettisoned this approach on his trip to Israel.
    7. Working with Israel on Iran in a much more layered approach than Bush did.
    8. At the UN and on his trip to Israel, when it counts, Obama does back Israel up. He especially addresses the entire boycott issue with his strong support of Israel. By showcasing the positive, diverse aspects of Israel, he increases the current against BDS. Whether this is by design or chance is another question, and whether you agree with BDS or oppose it, love or hate Israel is not my point.
    9. Increased dramatically the aid to Israel in terms of military partnership.
    10. From his standpoint, he seems to conflate Israel and Judaism. And many of his professional friendships in the past 6-8 years have been Jews. Rahm et al.
    11. He conflates the civil rights movement with the history of Judaism, both in text with rabbis marching in the ’60’s but also from a theoretical standpoint with moral teachings.

    Again, my point here is not to necessarily posit these points regarding Judaism. I am a zionist and a Jew, but realize one can be one without the other. I also realize that American Jewry did not completely support the civil rights movement, although there were guiding forces such as the late, great rabbi A. Heschel whose book The Prophets influenced Dr. King and others.

    I encourage others not to debate my points, but my thesis. I mean what election is Obama running for? Is it possible as I believe that he is a zionist, a zionist who conflates Israel and Judaism, a zionist whose favorite holiday is Passover, a zionist with a keen identification with the civil rights movement and it’s biblical underpinning, a zionist with a deep understanding of the Holocaust and its impact on history, a zionist whose closest friends and peers are Jewish?

    Jimmy Carter has done just fine as an ex-President without Jewish donors… many arab donors have filled in just fine. I always felt a visceral antipathy regarding Carter and the Jews. Obviously, I’ve never felt this about Obama. I believe Cornell West made some mention how Obama’s friends are all Jewish(not black men as he puts it) and Rev. Wright made mention about how it’s hard to reach Obama due to his Jewish friends.

    Long winded, but my thesis is that Obama is deeply philo-semitic and a zionist, whereas Phil, MJ Rosenberg, Finkelstein and others see Obama as only acting this way to please the donors. I guess it’s kind of like the ink blot test =)

  18. biorabbi
    March 25, 2013, 7:08 pm

    Another case in point from today’s Passover wishes: “As my family and I prepare to once again take part in this ancient and powerful tradition, I am hopeful that we can draw upon the best in ourselves to find the promise in the days that lie ahead, meet the challenges that will come, and continuing the hard work of repairing the world,”

    In this sentence, he identifies especially with the concept of penitence the penitent, Tikkun olam… on the one hand the concept of drawing upon the best in ourselves(turning towards god, god hears the penitent’s pray above others ect…ect…) and the concept of Tikkun olam or healing or repairing the world.

    Is this donor bait, or is it his heart? or a little of both. I believe his words and actions suggest this represents not only his heart, but also with extension to his identification and support of Israel.

  19. biorabbi
    March 25, 2013, 7:20 pm

    As full disclosure, I’m not comfortable with being called chosen, Tikkun olam kind of scares me since to me that such an ideal could be grossly misused, but the concept of repentance and it’s centrality to Judaism does greatly appeal to me. But again, this is a universal concept in all religions I believe. The very concept of Jihad is a form of repentance as is the entire New Testament. I liked Abraham Heschel precisely because he moved away from Orthodox Judaism to a more universal message and he had a towering intellect and supported the civil rights movement, opposed Viet Nam.

    But the question is now what I believe, but what does President Obama believe. I’m starting to believe he is our first Jewish President(did Norman Finkelstein posit this?).

  20. MK_Ultra
    March 25, 2013, 7:21 pm

    Aaaawe…Obama is such a good poodle!

  21. Rusty Pipes
    March 25, 2013, 7:29 pm

    Sounds like one of Obama’s aides asserted to Villaraigosa that the President was livid, as though the President had just found out about the details of the platform:

    I got a call, said that the President was absolutely livid, the President wanted it back in immediately.

    Lots of spin happens at party conventions — some of it more obvious than others.

  22. chris o
    March 25, 2013, 8:45 pm

    Yes, he banged the gavel for God and if not Jerusalem, then the Jews of Jerusalem, but he did not notice or care that he was banging it like a club on the already downtrodden Palestinians.

  23. CarlK
    March 25, 2013, 10:59 pm

    I cannot imagine what it’s like to live a life almost completely devoid of honesty, sincerity or integrity. Obama must be a very special kind of person. I mean that in the very worst way.

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