By JOSEPH KLEIN, FRONTPAGE—
Despite some introductory bromides proclaiming the “unshakable commitment” of President Obama and the Democratic Party to Israel’s security, the 2012 Democratic National Platform, titled “Moving America Forward,” mirrors perfectly President Obama’s decision to turn his back on our closest ally in the Middle East. It represents a radical break with prior Democratic Party platforms, not to mention its counterparts issued by the Republican Party, that have expressed unequivocal support for the Jewish state.
Obama has demanded publicly that Israel agree to return to the indefensible pre-1967 armistice lines with some unspecified land swaps. However, he made no comparable demand on the Palestinians to give up their “right of return” claim under which millions of “refugees” and their descendants would be permitted to populate pre-1967 Israel and destroy the Jewish character of Israel in the process.
In keeping with this totally unbalanced approach, the 2012 Democratic Party platform removes language that has appeared in previous Democratic Party platforms on the Palestinian refugee issue. The 2004 and 2008 platforms had stipulated that, as part of the peace process in creating a Palestinian state, “the issue of Palestinian refugees” should be resolved “by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.” The 2012 Democratic Party platform is silent on the issue.
The 2012 Democratic Party platform is also silent about the status of Jerusalem. Again, while Obama has insisted that Israel negotiate a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 armistice lines, Obama does not appear to have a problem with the Palestinian demand that, as part of the final negotiations for a Palestinian state, the holy city be divided, with East Jerusalem (where Jewish holy sites are located) becoming the Palestinian capital. This would mean that the people with the longest historical connection to the undivided city of Jerusalem as their most sacred ground have to give up control over their holiest sites based on an artificial division that occurred when Jordan illegally seized the eastern half of Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish population and annexed it.
What a difference four years makes. The 2008 Democratic Party platform, on which Obama ran for president the first time, was unequivocally supportive of Israel’s position on Jerusalem: “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.”
The only reason why the Obama administration did not insist on explicitly reversing this plank in the current platform and chose to remain silent is that they are afraid of the political repercussions among their key Jewish-American constituency. Just remember Obama’s statement to former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” If re-elected, an unleashed President Obama will have the “flexibility” to side fully with the Palestinians’ demands.
The 2012 Republican Party platform has not broken faith with the Jewish state on the final status of Jerusalem:
“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.”
The current Democratic Party platform omits any reference to the Hamas terrorists, let alone the decision of the supposedly more moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate a “unity” government with the terrorist organization while it still launches rockets against Israeli civilians. The current Republican Party platform, by contrast, states that “radical elements like Hamas and Hezbollah must be isolated because they do not meet the standards of peace and diplomacy of the international community.”
The United Nations is a hotbed of Israel-bashing, among its many other failings. Nevertheless, the 2012 Democratic Party platform calls the UN “a centerpiece of international order.” It takes great pride in the Obama administration’s “reversing the previous administration’s disdain for the UN.”
What the Obama administration has actually done is to engage the dysfunctional United Nations as if it were the central part of its foreign policy, as well as the sole arbiter of international law – all while the UN itself is rapidly succumbing to the influence of radical Islam. Obama decided that the United States should join the travesty known as the UN Human Rights Council, which is dominated by the 57 member state Organization of Islamic Cooperation. When the Human Rights Council is not busy dutifully passing the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s resolutions restricting freedom of speech that is critical of Islam, it goes after Israel while conveniently whitewashing the records of the real serial human rights violators the world over, some of whom sit on the Council.
Between the UN Human Rights Council, the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Human Rights Practices Affecting the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, more UN resources and time are devoted to the advocacy of the Palestinian cause than to any other issue. And the United States is picking up nearly a quarter of the tab.
Incredibly, the Obama administration wants to reverse years of bipartisan support for cutting off funding to any UN agencies that admit the Palestinians as a member state. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice testified before a House subcommittee in March 2012 that “longstanding legislative restrictions,” which require withholding of U.S. funding from such agencies “only harms U.S. interests.” Which interests are those – to appease the Palestinians and pave their way for full UN member state status when they have not yet met the standards for international recognition of statehood including a viable governing authority?
This year’s Democratic Party platform claims that “the President and the Democratic Party” are “working to reform international bodies.” Which international bodies would those be, since the Obama administration’s actions certainly do not indicate any seriousness about reforming the UN? This is evidenced in Rice’s own testimony that the Obama administration opposes “legislation that would link efforts to reform the UN to withholding dues.”
The Republican Party platform does not gloss over the UN’s failings, especially its use as a forum for Islamists and other human rights abusers to try and delegitimize the democratic Jewish state:
As long as its scandal-ridden management continues, as long as some of the world’s worst tyrants hold seats on its Human Rights Council, and as long as Israel is treated as a pariah state, the U.N. cannot expect the full support of the American people.
Anyone who cares about the future of the Jewish state of Israel need only look at the two major political parties’ platforms to see which of them also cares.