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News, September 2012
Democrats Refuse to Consider Jerusalem as Capital of Israel, But Antonio Villaraigosa Scandalously Announces their Approval
By Hassan El-Najjar
September 7, 2012
One of the scandals that happened in the Democratic National Convention in North Caroline, on September 5, 2012, was the distortion of the vote on an amendment that considers Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli Apartheid state.
Cunningly enough, the Zionists in the Convention phrased the amendment to contain adding both God and Jerusalem as a Capital of Israel together, because they knew that most members have no problem adding the word "God" to the platform. They hoped that members would hesitate refusing the addition of the word "God," which means that they would approve the addition of both.
However, realizing the trick, members of the Democratic National Convention refused that amendment to the platform three times with loud voice. They refused to approve the Israeli occupation and annexation of the Palestinian Holy City. Their repeated refusal disturbed the Mayor of Los Angeles and Chair of the Convention, Antonio Villaraigosa.
He repeated the voting three times, getting a louder voice of refusal every time. Then, he scandalously announced that the "Ayes had it," meaning those who approved or said "yes" were more than two thirds of the members.
This was a big lie and a scandal, to be added to other scandals related to the capitulations of the puppets in both parties whose ultimate role in politics is to serve their Zionist puppeteers by expressing support for the Zionist, racist, Apartheid, and occupation state of Israel, and fighting its wars in the Middle East and around the world.
Shame! Shame! Shame!
Fundamentalist Christians want to see Jews “slaughtered
DNC Overrules Delegates, Rams God and Jerusalem Back into Platform
Tonight, the Democratic National Committee suspended the rules of the convention and inserted language regarding God and the State of Israel back to its platform. They had to vote three times to do it – and they had to lie to deem it passed, even though it was clear that the measure did not pass a voice vote in the chamber. The original 2012 Democratic Party platform had excised all mention of God and Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.
Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio made the motion to change the platform:
This summer, I was proud to serve this party as the platform drafting committee chair. I came before you today to discuss the two important matters related to our party's national platform. As an ordained United Methodist Minister, I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the value we have expressed in our party's platform. In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party's platform should as well. Mr. Chairman, I have submitted my amendment in writing and I believe it is being projected on the screen for the delegates to see. I move adoption of the amendment as submitted and shown to the delegates.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, the head of the Democratic National Convention, got up and asked for a two-thirds vote on the amendments to the platform. He took a voice vote, with people stating aloud “aye” and “nay.”
The first time, he couldn’t determine if two-thirds of the voters had said “aye”; a loud “no” vote was heard. He asked for a second vote.
The second time, he couldn’t determine whether the voice vote had passed. Again. Villaraigosa looked around in confusion.
Finally, on the third attempt, Villaraigosa took a voice vote and simply declared, in the “opinion of the chair,” that it had been passed. There were widespread boos in the convention hall to the renewed inclusion of God and language about Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And Villaraigosa was lying, in any case – there is no way that the voice vote had passed. Opponents stood up and protested, waving and shouting. The fix was in. The Democratic leadership had to ram a mention of God and a mention of Jerusalem through, violating their own rules, to avoid the fallout within their own ranks.
Multiple sources are reporting that this means that the Democrats will reinstate their 2008 language, which reads:
The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient efforts and the personal commitment of the President of the United States. The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. 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.
Sources also report that the language was changed "to reflect the president's personal view." This is bull. President Obama has never recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and neither has his spokesperson or State Department. He has never taken a public position against the so-called "right of return," which would destroy Israel as a Jewish state. And he has publicly stated that Israel should use the 1949 armistice lines as the baseline of any future negotiations. This was obviously a political move designed to prevent disillusioned Jewish voters from leaving the Democratic voters in droves. If Jews are smart -- and if they watch this tape -- they'll realize that the base of the Democratic Party simply does not support Israel, even if the DNC quashes their votes.=================================
God, Jerusalem and the Democratic National Convention
4:27 pm September 6, 2012, by
AJC, Charlotte, N.C. –
While delegates waited for President Barack Obama’s speech tonight, Wednesday’s bungled handling of a fix to the Democratic platform – restoring the word “God” and reinserting the assertion that Jerusalem is the rightful capital of Israel – filled the news gap.
CNN this morning was filled with stuttering from Democratic leaders, who gave assurances that Obama was the fellow who insisted that the fix be made.
After this morning’s breakfast meeting of the Georgia delegation, several state lawmakers – including Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson of Decatur — recognized that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had failed to handle his gavel properly.
In charge of the debacle, Villaraigosa called for three voice votes before he gaveled the issue to a close – and each vote sounded the same. The first mistake, of course, was removing the words in the first place.
“It was a boneheaded decision, said U.S. Rep. David Scott of Atlanta. “I was just as upset as i could be but I was so proud of President Obama. He said, Nope, we’re putting God back in there and we’re putting Jerusalem back in there, and I think that gave him an opportunity to show how concerned he was about it.”
U.S. Rep. Adam West, R-Fla., has tried to stoke the issue with this ad today:
But there’s some push-back as well. George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post said the “Jerusalem” issue has pushed Florida Democrats into a corner:
Here’s the video that sparked the Florida furor, posted on a conservative website:
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider
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As DNC Pushes Through Jerusalem Vote, Critics Ask Why GOP is Dictating the Democrats’ Platform
Controversy erupted at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday when party leaders forced through a platform change to reinstate references to God and the view that Jerusalem is Israel’s undivided capital. The language in question was included in 2008, but was left out when delegates approved their 2012 platform earlier this week. At the reported behest of President Obama, DNC chair and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presided over a voice vote to reinstate the references through a two-thirds majority. Villaraigosa appeared prepared to automatically accept the change, but those voting "no" were so loud that he ended up holding the vote three times. We’re joined by James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute and a superdelegate at the Democratic National Convention. We also hear from New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler; Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress; and Michigan Democratic delegate Ismael Ahmed. [includes rush transcript]
James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute and a superdelegate at the Democratic National Convention.
Ismael Ahmed, Michigan Democratic delegate and vice chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.
This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.Donate >
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! We are "Breaking With Convention." This is "War, Peace and the Presidency," covering the Democratic convention, inside and out. I’m Amy Goodman. The 2012 Democratic National Convention has entered its third day here in Charlotte. President Obama arrived here last night and is scheduled to accept his party’s nomination for a second presidential term tonight.
Democratic delegates held a surprise voice vote on the party platform yesterday afternoon. The convention invoked God and reinstated language from the 2008 platform describing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In confusing scenes in the first moments of the convention proceedings on Wednesday, when many delegates were not present, a vote on the language was called three times, because of the large number of voices both for and against the motion. Despite loud objections from the audience, convention chair, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, said he determined that two-thirds of delegates had voted in favor of the proposed changes. This is [Ted] Strickland, former Ohio governor and chair of the party’s platform [drafting] committee.
AMY GOODMAN: That was convention chair and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announcing the results of the surprise voice vote held on Wednesday afternoon at the Democratic National Committee. The Democratic Party had faced mounting criticism from Republican nominee Mitt Romney and others for omitting the reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan said, quote, "This is tragic. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Mitt Romney and I are very clear on this. ... What is so tragic about this is that this is one of the few issues where the Republican Party and the Democratic Party agreed," Paul Ryan said. Reports emerged shortly afterwards that President Obama had personally intervened to change the platform’s language back.
Well, to talk more about the significance of the vote, we’re joined now by James Zogby. He’s the president of the Arab American Institute, and he’s a superdelegate here at the Democratic National Convention, also a member of the convention’s platform committee.
Welcome to Democracy Now!
JAMES ZOGBY: No cape, though. Superdelegate, but I don’t fly, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: OK. What does "superdelegate" mean exactly?
JAMES ZOGBY: It means we’re members of the Democratic National Committee, and we become automatic delegates to the convention.
AMY GOODMAN: So, can you explain what took place yesterday afternoon, to the shock of people, I think, both in the convention center as well as people watching on television?
JAMES ZOGBY: Look, I’ve been dealing with platforms on the Middle East on this issue now for almost 30 years. They run scared, like Chicken Little, any time somebody raises a peep about the issue. I think, you know, the mounting criticism came from Republicans, and then from the predictable characters in the Democratic Congress. Frankly, the platform was just fine, and it should have made the Israeli side very happy. The new language coming from 2008 is so inconsequential that—and so vague.
AMY GOODMAN: It started in 2008?
JAMES ZOGBY: No, no, no. They’ve actually had some language on Jerusalem. Other language, they dropped. Really offensive language about refugees, etc., they dropped, thank God. But the Jerusalem language is rather vague and inconsequential. And so, the notion of adding it and solving a problem, it doesn’t mean anything. What they’ve done is, they’ve frankly dumped on their own convention. I mean, today, we’re talking about this. We ought to be talking about Bill Clinton’s speech. And that was a huge blunder. I think it was a—not thought through. You can see from Villaraigosa’s face as he gets out there that—you know, what’s going on here? And three votes. At some point—
AMY GOODMAN: Because he could not figure out—I mean, how you determine—
JAMES ZOGBY: At some point—
AMY GOODMAN: —two-thirds of the delegates? Also, how many of the delegates were even there?
JAMES ZOGBY: They just assumed it was going to be a slam dunk, everyone was going to go. We’ve polled in the Democratic Party. Most Democrats do not support these positions. We’ve known this now for decades. And the fact is, is that they just should let it go, because raising it now means we’ll be talking about this for days yet to come.
AMY GOODMAN: Explain how it came out. It was in the platform in 2008. And then, what happened in 2012?
JAMES ZOGBY: Don’t know. They took some heat for the language of 2008, because, frankly, the president is supposed to be negotiating a peace process or involved in that. And the 2008 platform predetermined many of the issues of the negotiations about refugees and borders, etc. Wiser minds, I suppose, prevailed. So when we looked at the draft—and everyone looked at the draft. AIPAC and everyone saw the draft. The draft had language that was very supportive of Israel on the security and defense front, supportive of Israel on the—Israel is the—you know, our ally, etc., etc. And then it eliminated some of these predetermining of negotiated issues, like borders in Jerusalem, etc. Why now, after Romney complains and Paul Ryan? I didn’t know that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan wrote the Democratic Party platform. They didn’t have a voice. They weren’t on our committee. And yet, they reacted scared and did what sometimes the party does, which is make a mistake out of fear.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to Democratic Congressmember Jerrold Nadler. Democracy Now! producer Mike Burke interviewed him inside the convention last night and asked him about the change in the platform and this extremely irregular vote—
JAMES ZOGBY: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: —that took place yesterday afternoon.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Congressmember Jerrold Nadler on the floor of the Democratic convention, interviewed by Democracy Now!’s Mike Burke. Well, last night, also on the floor of the convention, I ran into Congressmember Keith Ellison of Minneapolis, the first Muslim elected to Congress. I asked him to respond to the vote on changing the platform to include language that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Congressmember Keith Ellison, first Muslim member of Congress, speaking on the House floor yesterday of the convention here in Charlotte. I also spoke to Michigan delegate, the vice chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, Ish Ahmed, to get his response to Wednesday’s vote.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s Ish Ahmed, who is vice chair of the Democratic Party of Michigan, responding to this chaotic vote that took place yesterday afternoon on the floor of the Democratic National Convention. James Zogby is our guest, who’s a member of the Democratic National Committee. Your response to all of what you’ve heard? Let’s start with Jerrold Nadler.
JAMES ZOGBY: He’s right: the language is inconsequential. Where he’s wrong is that, procedurally, this was a huge embarrassment. And I think Keith Ellison is right: no good comes of this. The simple fact is, is that you don’t win any votes on one side, but you run the risk of losing votes on the other side. My community had been at this convention, came to this convention, as Ish noted, very excited. It was a record number, and we were treated with respect. Folks felt like they had literally gotten punched in the solar plexus by this procedural, very heavy-handed tactic that was used by the chair. Someone at a higher level in the party needed to think through how they did this and what the optics of it were. The optics were: "Oh, my god! Israel is upset! We’ve got to do it! Let’s do it. Oh, the delegates don’t care? I mean, they don’t support it? To hell with them! We’re going to do it anyway." That was really dumb. And that’s why we’re talking about it today. We’re not talking about whether Jerusalem ought to be the capital of Israel. We’re talking about how the party behaved. That was dumb.
AMY GOODMAN: President Obama has taken responsibility. He says he pushed this through.
JAMES ZOGBY: I don’t know that. Look, I’ve been to the White House for now 30-something years, and every time some 21-year-old kid walks in the room, he says, "Oh, the president really wants me to express his deep regards to all of you, and the president is very committed to this." I just don’t know. When I hear President Obama speak on it, I’ll believe it. But tell me, did Barack Obama want the mayor of Los Angeles to go out and create this embarrassing situation? No. Could it have been handled better? Absolutely. Is Nadler right that the language doesn’t mean a damn thing? Because, ultimately, what the language says is that a united city—Palestinians want a united city. The capital of Israel? It’s going to be the capital of Israel. But it also is going to be the capital of Palestine. And sovereignty has to be shared between both parties. The platform doesn’t speak to any, it doesn’t rule out any of those things. It says it needs to be negotiated. I can live with the language. But the way it was done, I can’t live with that.
AMY GOODMAN: How does Mayor Villaraigosa, who has to hear people shouting "yea" and "nay" three times, determine on the third time, where you can’t hear a difference in decibel level, that two-thirds of those who were there, however many there were that were there at that early hour, have voted for the amendment?
JAMES ZOGBY: He actually doesn’t. What he goes into it is with the notion that "I’m going to pass this damn thing, no matter what happens." But I think that they were up-ended by the fact that there was such opposition on the floor. And, you know, I mean, Republicans sort of spun it as Democrats booed this. Democrats were upset about the procedure, went through the platform, past the platform. The committee met over the platform. To then sort of, "Oh, my god! Republicans are upset! We’ve got to change the platform," that’s what bothered people.
AMY GOODMAN: And Ted Strickland, who introduced it, the former governor of Ohio, was the head of the—
JAMES ZOGBY: The drafting committee, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: —drafting committee of the platform.
JAMES ZOGBY: Yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Jim Zogby, I want to thank you very for being with us.
JAMES ZOGBY: Thank you, Amy.
AMY GOODMAN: President of the Arab American Institute and a superdelegate at the Democratic National Convention. He’s a member of the Democratic National Committee. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, "Breaking With Convention." Back in a minute.
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