News Release

Democratic Party Forces Jerusalem Position on Delegates

ALI ABUNIMAH [email], @aliabunimah
Abunimah is co-founder of the Electronic Intifada website and author of the book One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. He wrote the piece: “Did Democratic Delegates Just Vote Down Obama Bid to Pander to AIPAC on Jerusalem?” The piece states: “An extraordinary thing happened at the Democratic National Convention [Wednesday]. The official party platform for 2012 left out a reference that ‘Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel’ that was in the 2008 version.

“Under pressure from the Israel lobby and the Republicans, the Democratic leadership hastily moved to shove it back in on a voice vote that required a two-thirds majority. But to the stunned surprise of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who was chairing the convention, the ‘No’ votes seemed to be louder, as the video shows.

“Shocked, Villaraigosa held the vote a second time, and then a third time. Each time it seemed the ‘nays’ had it. Nonetheless, Villaraigosa declared that it had passed anyway. Loud booing could be heard. It’s an astonishing spectacle.”

Abunimah said today: “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.

“Both the Democratic and Republican platforms are full of pro-Israel rhetoric, but the Republican platform actually welcomes democratic movements in the Arab world. The Democratic platform does the opposite: It states that the U.S. should work closely with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries — perhaps the most authoritarian regimes in the region — in order to weaken Iran.”