At the Democratic National Convention 2012 in Charlotte, N.C., the Democrats changed its platform language on Israel; the party dropped language on Jerusalem being Israel’s capital – much to the chagrin of many in the pro-Israel community, particularly Democrats.
Watch Larry Gellman, well-respected financial advisor and leader in the Jewish community, on some of the biggest concerns among the American Jewish community heading into the presidential election. Plus, how being Jewish and politically active is more complicated than ever:
“There’s a lot of noise out there about Jews who have real concerns about President Obama and his treatment of and feelings toward Israel,” Gellman said. “But I don’t think that really reflects what’s going on in the Jewish community. It’s harder to generalize, probably, about the Jewish community than it ever has been in the past.”
Jewish organizations and lobbying groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and J Street have evolved in recent years; J Street more promotes the voices of American Jews on Jewish matters, as well as support Israel, whereas AIPAC is more of a “booster club” to promote the positions of the Israeli government in the U.S., Gellman says.
At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Democrats identified Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, vowed to isolate Hamas and stressed that Palestinian refugees should find a home in a future Palestinian state in their platform. At the Democratic National Convention 2012, the party makes no mention of Hamas nor Palestinian refugees in its platform, and makes no mention of Jerusalem. Any peace accord reached between Israelis and Palestinians, it says, should recognize Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
But a day later, upon order of Obama himself, Democrats brought the 2008 language back, recognizing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and also restoring wording mentioning God; the platform language now says government should help people “make the most of their God-given potential.”
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