The Democratic Platform, Obama’s Personal Views, and Israel

by Benjamin Zycher

I may have missed this point if others have made it, but it strikes me as potentially very damaging for Mr. Obama: Amid the Israel/Jerusalem blowup at the Democratic convention, the administration at the end made it very clear that it was at Mr. Obama’s direction that the platform was revised to define explicitly the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Fine.

Why, then, were the Hamas renunciation-of-terrorism and the Palestinian right-of-return planks not also revised at his direction? Why did Mr. Obama accept the new language on those two issues?  My sense is that if this point is made effectively, it could help in Florida and elsewhere. The Obama campaign may be a bit nervous about Michigan and so decided not to alienate the Arab/Muslim electorate there even more, but this question, framed properly, strikes me as very difficult for Obama.

— Benjamin Zycher is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.