Delegate Disagrees With Leaders on Why Jerusalem Dropped from Platform

A Democratic delegate who runs the Arab-American Institute in Washington disagrees with the contention of party leaders that a reference to Jerusalem being the capital of Israel was inadvertently left out of the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform.

James Zogby says he doesn’t “buy” the explanation offered by party leaders such as New York Senator Charles Schumer, who called it “an act of omission, not commission.” The language was restored by the convention yesterday after President Barack Obama intervened and sought it’s inclusion, along with a reference to “God,” Schumer and other party leaders said.

The chief platform drafter also disagrees with Schumer’s account. Ted Strickland, the former Ohio governor who headed the platform-drafting panel, said the omission to “God-given” talents of “working people” was a mistake. The reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which had appeared in the 2008 platform, was left out because State Department policy states that issue should be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinian people, Strickland said.

Zogby, president of the Washington-based Arab-American Institute, said the omission of the Jerusalem reference “was not like a surprise to anybody.” A Democratic delegate and platform committee member, Zogby cited his own conversations with panel staffers last month. He says he was shown a draft and voiced relief that it didn’t include the Jerusalem reference.

“No one said in response ‘oh, oh, we’ve got to fix that,’” Zogby said. The dropped reference was “not like a surprise to anybody.”

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