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2012 DNC Platform and Israel

From Daniel Harper at The Weekly Standard:

An Obama campaign official confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD that President Obama “personally” intervened to alter the Democratic platform to include a reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The new platform, adopted this evening at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, now includes pro-Israel language that the previous document did not.

The president did want to make clear what his personal beliefs were because they were not in the original platform,” the campaign official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The new language reads, “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.”

However, while the new Democratic platform apparently now reflects the “personal beliefs” of President Obama, it is now at odds with Obama administration policy.

In July, when White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked to name the capital of Israel, he refused to do so. Acknowledging that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the Obama administration insists, would pre-judge one of the “final status issues” in the peace process.

The campaign official acknowledged this discrepancy. “The president has a personal view, but the president and the administration’s view as a matter of policy is ultimately that Jerusalem is a final status issue,” said the official.

She elaborated, “It doesn’t make sense for a U.S. a president impose his personal beliefs in a policy context. … But it’s important for him to make clear where he stands on these issues.”

So while Obama personally believes Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, his administration will not say so.

The official insisted, however, that it is commonplace for presidents to hold conflicting personal and policy views on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, citing Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan as examples.

But let us not forget what President Obama said last year concerning the borders of Israel.

From the National Journal:

“The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states,” Obama said. “The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”

President Barack Obama

DNC Benediction Has No Mention of Israel

Last night, amid the controversy over the official DNC platform, Rabbi David Wolpe offered the closing benediction, but excluded Jerusalem and all of Israel itself.

Here is Wolpe’s prayer:

Dear God, we are grateful that our nation is founded on the highest principles of freedom and resourcefulness and creativity and ever-renewed strength. And we understand that those worthy ideals stand alongside the commitment to compassion, to goodness, our sacred covenant to care for those who are bereaved and bereft, who are frightened, who are hungry, who are bewildered and lost, who seek shelter from the cold.

As your prophet taught us: “shiftu yatom, rivu almanah.” Defend the orphan and fight on behalf of the widow. We know that our lamp is lifted not only to illuminate our way but to serve as a beacon to others that here, this land, is a place where the dreams of a weary world flourish and endure.

Ours is a holy charge. A single moment, a touch, a glance, a word, can change a life. Our children look to us with aspirational eyes, with the hope that their world will be kinder, sweeter, smarter, than the one we have known.

Each of these changes touches us all, for you have taught us that we must count on each other, that our country is strong through community and that the children of Israel, on the way to that sanctified and cherished land, did not walk through the wilderness alone.

‘Rachmana,’ merciful God. May we be guided by your wisdom, and so become more understanding of the convictions of others. May our souls be enlarged by empathy and uplifted by leaders and thinkers and teachers who believe in strength of soul and wild, wonderful visions. So together, with right and left worshiping the same God, our nation – this strong, blessed nation, filled with spirit and called to noble cause – will become more passionate, more purposeful, more burnished and bright through the warmth of your embrace and the extraordinary power, dear God, of your love. Amen.

As mentioned, any reference at all to the State of Israel or Jerusalem is missing. There really wasn’t even a reference to Jews, except for a tiny reference to the “children of Israel”, which Wolpe used as a metaphor.

Is this any real surprise though? Considering that the original 2012 DNC platform didn’t mention anything about the state of Israel or about where the actual capital was, our embassy is still in Tel-aviv, and Jay Carney dances around questions about Israel, I am not surprised at all. This is just the continuation of Obama and his administrations war on Israel.

Rabbi David Wolpe delivers the Benediction Wednesday evening at the 2012 DNC

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DNC Schedule: Day 3

9 a.m.-10 a.m.: Morning Prayer Gathering (Room 211AB/212AB).

10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Caucus Session 1. Women’s Caucus (Ballroom ABC).

2 p.m.-4 p.m.: Caucus Session 3. Rural Council (Room 203AB).

11:35 a.m.: First lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will speak at the Women’s Caucus Meeting.

11:45 a.m.: International Leaders Forum: Madeleine Albright; Michele Flournoy; Jack Lew, White House chief of staff.

12 p.m.-2 p.m.: Caucus Session 2. LGBT Caucus (Room 203AB). Senior Council (Room 211AB/212AB).

12:10 p.m.: Dr. Jill Biden will speak at the LGBT Caucus meeting.

1 p.m.-3 p.m.: The Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network will host the nation’s prominent black clergy and civil rights leaders at NAN’s ministers’ luncheon to declare a state of emergency over voter suppression. Participants: the Rev. Al Sharpton, president of NAN and MSNBC host; Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus; the Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, chairman of the Conference of National Black Churches; the Rev. Freddie Haynes, senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church; Roslyn Brock, chairwoman of the NAACP; John Kee, gospel singer.

2 p.m.-4 p.m.: “Electoral Dysfunction” screening — After discovering that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to vote, political humorist CBS correspondent Mo Rocca sets out on a road trip to see how voting works — and doesn’t work — in America.

8 p.m.: Web-only convention special hosted by actor Kal Penn that will include interviews with campaign officials and guests, including Marc Anthony, Elizabeth Banks, Aisha Tyler, Olivia Wilde, Fran Drescher, Zach Braff and Alexis Bledel.

The 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina

Charles Krauthammer “Didn’t Buy a Line” of Michelle Obama’s 2012 DNC Speech

First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama delivering her 2012 DNC speech

Following first-lady Michelle Obama’s speech last night, nationally syndicated Conservative Columnist Charles Krauthammer, he displayed his displeasure with the speech, saying he “didn’t buy a line of it.”

Obama’s speech began with the account of her and Barack’s early life as a couple, and how they became the couple they are today. In the speech, Michelle recalled when her husband picked her up for their first date in a rusted out car, and how together they owed more in student loans than they did on their mortgage.

“I know from experience that if I truly want to leave a better world for my daughters, and all of our sons and daughters, and if we want to give all our children a foundation for their dreams and opportunities worthy of their promise…if we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility – that belief that here in America, there is always something better out there if you’re willing to work for it…then we must work like never before,” she said with a very excited crowd.

View Krauthammer’s analysis of the speech here:

 

Krauthammer commented:

“She told the story of a Gandhi, and you know…looking at how he’s conducted himself in the present scene, particularly in the campaign, with ruthlessness, and determination and drive, it’s not quite a plausible story. I’m sure in the arena it was a plausible story, I saw the tears, but I‘m afraid I didn’t … I’m sure it was a great speech but I didn’t buy a line of it.”

However just because he didn’t think it was a genuine speech, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an effective one:

“Nonetheless I would say within that, and despite the repetition that have, Michelle Obama’s speech I thought was a brilliant speech, and brilliantly delivered… All of the other speakers would talk about what Obama does — the achievement and legislation and whatever, and the political implications. Her whole task was to say why, her answer was, ‘Why? Because essentially he’s a saint. Because of his upbringing and because of his emotions and because of his humanity he does this because he cares and the brilliance of it is this.’ It drained Obama of any ideological motivation or any having to do with self-interest or ambition, which I think is sort of more plausible explanation.”

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DNC Schedule: Day 1

Day 1 of the DNC is full of events and speakers. Here is the full list of todays events:

9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Morning Prayer Gathering (Room 211AB/212AB).

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Caucus Session 1. Women’s Caucus (Ballroom ABCD).
9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. R+D and America’s Energy Outlook. Moderator: Amy Harder, Energy and Environment correspondent, National Journal. Panelists: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.); Marvin Fertel, president and CEO, Nuclear Energy Institute; Mike Howard, CEO, Electric Power Research Institute; Michael Levi, senior fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Richard Newell, Gendell Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and director of The Energy Initiative.

10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Introduction – Speakers: Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state and chairman of the National Democratic Institute; Kenneth Wollack, president, NDI; Dan Murrey, executive director, Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee.

10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. The 2012 Campaign: The Role of Primaries, Nominating Conventions and Presidential Debates. Panelists: Frank Fahrenkopf, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates; Paul Kirk, former senator, co-chairman emeritus of the Commission on Presidential Debates, and former Democratic National Committee chairman; Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont and former DNC chairman; and Elaine Kamarck, Harvard lecturer and former Clinton White House senior policy adviser Moderator: Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, The Washington Post.

11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Latino leaders luncheon: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, chairman of the Democratic National Convention, will be honored.

Location: Marriott City Center (Grand Ballroom), Charlotte .

12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Caucus Session 2. LGBT Caucus (Room 203AB). Senior Council (Room 211AB/212AB).

12 p.m. – 2 p.m. The U.S. Conference of Mayors delegation holds a luncheon and press availability.

Location: Omni Hotel, Grand Ballroom, 132 East Trade St., Charlotte.

2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Caucus Session 2. LGBT Caucus (Room 203AB). Senior Council (Room 211AB/212AB).

3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. How They Would Govern – Panelists cover how the next administration would turn campaign promises into reality, including working with Congress and setting priorities, all within the context of our contemporary political process and challenges in the U.S. and throughout the world. Panelists: Tom Daschle, former Senate majority leader, co-chairman, ONE Vote 2012, and vice chairman of the NDI; Vin Weber, former congressman and former chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy; John Podesta, chairman and counselor of the Center for American Progress, former White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton; Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker; Scot Lehigh, columnist for The Boston Globe – Moderators: Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; John Fortier, director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

3 p.m. – 5 p.m. – Voto Latino hosts policy forum “People Powered Politics,” addressing immigration, economics and education. Participants include: Rosario Dawson, Maria Teresa Kumar, Cecile Richards, Javier Palomarez, Lily Eskelsen, Jose Antonio Vargas and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.).

3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. Religious Liberty Panel – Catholics for Choice hosts a panel discussion on “Keeping Faith in the Democratic Party: Protecting Religious Liberty for Everyone,” featuring speakers from member organizations of the Coalition for Liberty & Justice.

Location: Holiday Inn Charlotte Center City, 230 North College St., Charlotte.

Speeches from the Time Warner Cable Center:

5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.:

  1. • Call to Order by DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  2. • Invocation By His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas, Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Detroit
  3. • Presentation of Colors, Disabled American Veterans, The Stanly County Chapter 12 Honor Guard
  4. • Pledge of Allegiance, 3rd Grade Class, W.R. O’Dell Elementary School from Concord, North Carolina
  5. • National Anthem by ‘Glee’ actress Amber Riley
  6. • Stephen J. Kerrigan, Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic National Convention Committee
  7. • Welcome Video
  8. • Presentation of Credentials Committee Report from Co-Chairs
  9. • Presentation of Rules Committee Report from Co-Chairs
  10. • Appointment of Convention Officers
  11. • Gaveling-in of Permanent Chair
  12. • The Honorable Steny Hoyer
  13. • Andrew Tobias
  14. • Alice Germond
  15. • Roll Call for Attendance

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.:

  1. • Platform Committee Remarks by Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy (Retired)
  2. • Platform Video and Remarks by Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker
  3. • Remarks by N.C. Gov. Bev. Perdue
  4. • American Hero Video: Education
  5. • American Voices Remarks by Ryan Case
  6. • Mary Kay Henry from International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  7. • Rep. Charles Gonzalez (Texas) and Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (N.Y.)
  8. • Gov. Pat Quinn (Ill.)
  9. • Ohio firefighter Doug Stern
  10. • Va. Senate candidate and former governor Tim Kaine

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

  1. • Charlotte Mayor Anthony R. Foxx and Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.)
  2. • An Economy Built to Last Video: Education
  3. • Women of the US House of Representatives
  4. • Jimmy Carter Video
  5. • Ken Salazar
  6. • Kennedy Family Tribute Video
  7. • Remarks
  8. • Joe Kennedy III, Mass. House candidate
  9. • Singer Ledisi
  10. • Fomer Rep. Robert Wexler (Fla.)

8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

  1. • Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak
  2. • Rep. Jared Polis (Colo.)
  3. • Stronger Together Video: Reproductive Choice
  4. • Maria Ciano, American Voices
  5. • Nancy Keenan , President of the National Abortion Rights Action League – Pro-Choice America (NARAL)
  6. • Progress for People Video: American Veterans
  7. • Nate Davis, American Voices
  8. • House candidate Tammy Duckworth (Ill.)
  9. • Gov. Lincoln Chafee(R.I.)
  10. • Rep. James E. Clyburn (S.C.)
  11. • Progress for People Video: Health Care
  12. • Stacey Lihn
  13. • Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.)

9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

  1. • Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland
  2. • HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
  3. • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
  4. • Kal Penn, actor and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement
  5. • Craig Robinson and Maya Soetoro-ng, Brother of Mrs. Obama and Sister of President Obama
  6. • Stronger Together Video: Equal Pay
  7. • Lilly Ledbetter
  8. • Gov. Deval Patrick (Mass.)

10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

  1. • Gov. Martin O’Malley (Md.)
  2. • Joaquin Castro, Texas House candidate and brother of keynote speaker
  3. • Julián Castro, Mayor of San Antonio
  4. • Michelle Obama Video and Remarks by Elaine Brye
  5. • Michelle Obama
  6. • Benediction
  7. • Recess

 

The 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina