September 9: A party backtracks
It’s hard to imagine that US President Obama and his advisors didn’t catch a glimpse of the Democratic platform before the convention.
Letters Photo: Thinkstock/Imagebank
A party backtracks
Sir, – After failing to include mention of support for
Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel in the Democratic Party platform
(and even mention of God), US President Barack Obama insisted that the platform
Yet it’s hard to imagine that he and his army of advisors
didn’t catch a glimpse of the platform before the convention.
embarrassment! It was an embarrassment that an amendment was even necessary,
that it took three votes to arrive at a decision, and that although those who
were against the amendment clearly won in a voice tally, convention leaders
decided to railroad a yes-vote to save face with Jewish voters.
more awkward? Clint Eastwood and an empty chair at the Republican convention, or
a party caught flatfooted and a convention chairman who can’t count? With such
math skills it’s no wonder the American economy is such a mess.
could, I suppose, be grateful for small gestures, even as an afterthought – you
won’t find a mainstream party anywhere in Europe that would mention God or
Israel in a positive light. But when your existence is threatened with nuclear
annihilation and your historical connection to Jerusalem is denied almost daily,
it’s still not very assuring.
Sir, – Jerusalem
Post readers might have been intrigued by the incredible turn of events at the
Democratic National Convention last week. It now becomes apparent that the
Democratic Party, once a hallmark of support for Israel, is divided on the very
essence of our existence, our capital Jerusalem.
It is also interesting
that we witnessed a correlation between the terms “Jerusalem” and “God” in the
political turmoil of an American election campaign. There are those who would
argue that it is no accident, either philosophically or grammatically.
would, therefore, not be imprudent for American Jews who care about the security
and future of Israel, with its eternal capital Jerusalem, to be very careful in
choosing the next US president.
Sir, – Behind
the Jerusalem debacle at the Democrats’ convention almost certainly lies the
sinister hand of an unrepentant, pro-Arab State Department.
President Harry S.
Truman’s fight to overcome the Machiavellian tactics
of his secretary of state, George C. Marshall, to torpedo the UN’s 1947
Partition Plan for Palestine and the subsequent US recognition of Israel. The
unanswered question is whether Barack Obama has the same instincts as
Sir, – Gil Troy makes a
compelling and cogent argument (“Don’t make Israel a wedge issue in 2012,”
Center Field, September 5). However, we do ourselves no favors by ignoring the
slow but steady changes taking place over the past several years.
both parties still officially consider Israel an important ally, the subtle
changes taking place in the Democratic Party are not in Israel’s
One need only look at the changes that were made to the final 2012
party platform – it no longer states that the US should isolate Hamas until it
renounces terrorism, that the issue of Palestinian refugees be solved by
settling them in a Palestinian state, or that it is unrealistic to expect Israel
to return to the 1949 armistice lines.
At the same time that the
Democratic Party’s support for issues important to Israel has been waning,
Republican Party support has been on the rise.
There are many wonderful
and extremely pro-Israel Democrats (both Jewish and not) who deserve our
wholehearted support. But it is high time the American pro-Israel Jewish
community stopped blindly supporting Democrats and started looking at the
stances of individuals.
RANDI MELLMAN OZE
– The humanitarian plight of the African migrants stranded on the Egypt-Israel
border cannot be ignored by Israel, even if we are not obliged under
international law to allow entry (“State says it is not obligated to allow entry
of migrants waiting next to border fence,” September 6). At the very least we
should be supplying food and temporary shelter.
Nevertheless, one must
question why the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and others ignore
Egypt’s responsibility. Egypt now has additional military forces in Sinai and we
should demand that the UN require that it use these forces to protect the
Without in any way diminishing Israel’s humanitarian duty, it
is Egypt’s responsibility, as a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the
Status of Refugees, to protect the refugees who have come directly from a
territory where their lives or freedom were threatened.
Sir, – The racist position taken by Interior Minister Eli Yishai is
He has long had a habit of causing humiliation to Africans
living in Israel without any justification, even though most Israelis don’t
agree with him.
I am a refugee from Darfur. I arrived in Israel in 2008,
when I was 15, and enrolled in an Israeli high school. I graduated two months
ago and am now preparing to enter the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. But Yishai
will always lurk in my dreams.
Under no circumstances would it be an
African’s first choice to be in Israel, receiving constant abuse from Yishai and
others who speak out against migrants and asylum-seekers. It is because of wars
and dictatorships that we seek refuge.
Sir, – The University of Witwatersrand student council recently
decided to support the boycott of Israel (“S. African university’s student
council votes to boycott Israel,” September 5). That same day, I received an
invitation to join the Wits Web Mentoring Platform to “collaborate and share
knowledge” with other “mentors, mentees and peers.”
Alumni should decline
Sir, – The
article “PLO’s Ashrawi: Jews who came to Israel from Arab countries are not
refugees” (September 2) was shocking and offensive.
I was born in Cairo
In 1958 my father’s industry was confiscated and my family was
expelled from Egypt, with no explanation. We had to leave behind all our
That made us refugees, whatever Hanan Ashrawi might
Sir, – There is a positive aspect to
Hanan Ashrawi’s claim about Jews forced to leave Arab lands.
“If Israel is their homeland, then they are not ‘refugees.’” She’s admitting
that Israel is their – and our – homeland! There it is, in black and white, for
all Israel-bashers to see!
Doesn’t The Jerusalem Post believe it has the duty not to publish absurd ads
like the one that appeared on Page 2 of its September 5 paper? “America will
sink under the ocean’s water.... Israel will stretch over millions of square
kilometers.... London, Paris...
will sink....” No self-respecting
newspaper would publish this gibberish, even if it incurred a loss of
The writer is a professor of physics