Charlotte: Expressing deep disappointment over the inclusion of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital in the Democratic platform, Arab-Americans have termed it as a knee-jerk reaction to baseless accusation.
"Today`s (Wednesday) amendment to re-insert the language on Jerusalem was a clear case of putting pandering above responsible politics," the Arab-American Institute (AAI) said, claiming that 55 Arab American delegates to the ongoing Democratic National Convention opposed such an amendment being moved by the former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.
"President Obama recognises Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, and our party`s platform should as well," the motion said which was adopted by the party by voice vote, which the AIA said was pushed through, despite heavy opposition.
"Not only is this change a knee-jerk reaction to baseless accusations from the far-right that the Democratic Party has "thrown Israel under the bus”, it also flies in the face of decades of policy and the positions of President Obama, international peacemakers, and the American public at-large.
"Worse still, the vote was clearly forced through the delegation, despite considerable opposition on the floor," AAI said.
AAI is disappointed by the inclusion of the amendment, but is also proud of the many delegates, including a record breaking 55 Arab Americans represented this year at the convention, for voting against the amendment, supporting the President and fighting for progress in achieving a lasting peace for Israel and Palestine, it said.
AAI president Jim Zogby stated: "Having been through these battles many times, I am disappointed in the irregularities of the procedure.”
"This effort hurts the President and it hurts chances for a lasting peace. I am, however, proud that so many delegates delivered a resounding no.”
The language, which was also present in the 2008 platform, AAI said had previously been modified to state that the US President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party "maintain an unshakable commitment to Israel`s security”, and, "it is precisely because of this commitment that President Obama and the Democratic Party seek peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
"...A just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord, producing two states for two peoples, would contribute to regional stability and help sustain Israel`s identity as a Jewish and democratic state.”
"The 2012 language was clearly an attempt to bring rhetoric in line with reality - the generally acknowledged fact accepted by all sides of the conflict that the final status of Jerusalem is an issue that needs to be determined in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians themselves," it said.