Pro-Israel Democrats regret omission of Jerusalem from party platform
Congressmen insist Democratic Party is staunchly pro-Israel despite omission; anti-Israeli activists stage mock checkpoint in front of AIPAC event on margins of Democratic National Convention.
CHARLOTTE - On the second day of the National Democratic Convention, the Democrats' omission of Jerusalem from the party platform continued to stir unrest among pro-Israel party activists.
Several congressmen made an extra effort to depict the Obama administration's as well as their personal, strong ties to Israel, but the widespread assumption was that it was a misstep on the part of the drafting committee.
A source close to AIPAC told Haaretz, "The organization's view is that this is a strong pro-Israeli platform. It is troubling that language on Jerusalem was not included. AIPAC officials were not in the room when the platform was drafted, and they did not review the full text of the Middle East section, Jerusalem as the capital was in the AIPAC written submission to the platform committee."
The Republican Jewish Coalition, meanwhile, released an ad blasting the Democratic platform, which they plan to run in Jewish newspapers.
RJC's Executive Director Matt Brooks said: "The changes to the Democratic Party platform raise serious questions about Pres. Obama's and the party's commitment to Israel. It is clear from the platform that the Democrats are backing away from Israel at a critical time. This is yet another reason why Jewish support for Democrats continues to erode."
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada), currently running for Senate, told Haaretz that she thinks the omission of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on the party's platform is a mistake, and she hopes it might still be reconsidered.
"I wasn't on the drafting committee, so I found out about it only this morning. This president has been pro-Israel on all the important issues, but I am not surprised the Jewish Republicans are taking advantage of this."
Earlier Wednesday, several anti-Israel activists from the Code Pink anti-war group staged a mock Israeli checkpoint in front of the AIPAC event on the margins of the Democratic National Convention.