If words did not matter in life there would be three types of people, those who go around punching people in the face to make their point, those hiding from those who go around punching people in the face, and the mass majority of people who would be numb to it all, without even getting punched. This was my first thought after reading today’s news in the Jewish Insider (JI) that the “Democratic National Committee advanced the party’s 2020 platform following a vote by members of the drafting committee to approve the language during a virtual meeting on Wednesday.” The draft lays out their take on the issues of Israel and some other persons living on that land between the river and sea whose name starts with “P.”
Democrats have joined Trump and Republicans in punching Palestinians in the face. Nothing new there! From what is known thus far, the democratic echelons have already dropped the elections race ball. If I were Netanyahu or Trump — God forbid — I’d be laughing all the way to Sheldon Adelson’s wallet.
Here’s what’s being reported. The platform’s “Israel plank” will be absent the word “occupation,” as in the 53-year old military occupation, and also absent is “support for Palestinian rights,” as in Palestinians are expected to be human but without rights. This is the exact language lapse of four U.S. political fiasco masters, Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, David M. Freidman, and Jason Greenblatt, among a long line of others.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is the governing body of the United States Democratic Party. The committee coordinates strategy to support Democratic Party candidates. During presidential races, like in 2020, it takes a heightened public role because it drafts the party’s platform on all issues. In short, if politics were an honest game, which it is not, the platform that is approved by the Democratic National Convention should guide the elected democratic candidate if he or she wins the race.
Josh Orton, a senior advisor for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was the lone drafting panel member who has spoken out, hopeful that the wording of “occupation” and support for Palestinian rights would be added in the final draft ahead of the final vote in a few days.
The agreed draft thus far is reported to reiterate, as if biblical text, all the nonsense that it has repeated for decades. On a few key issues, they would have been better off remaining silent. Such as their noting support for the two-state solution “that ensures Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state with recognized borders and upholds the right of Palestinians to live in freedom and security in a viable state of their own.”
On illegal Israeli settlements, they note that all that concerns them is their “expansion.” The text states their opposition to “unilateral steps by either side — including annexation — that undermine prospects for two states’ and opposition to ‘settlement expansion.”
On the powder-keg issue of Jerusalem, they write, “We believe that while Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations, it should remain the capital of Israel, an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.” Think here: Trump with a big smile.
For icing on the cake, they state their opposition to “any effort to unfairly single out and delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement, while protecting the constitutional right of our citizens to free speech.” I am so relieved that they only care about the “unfair” punches dished out to Israel because the listed outfits are as fair as fair can be. Thus, I take it the Democratic Party will soon be joining the BDS movement.
That is a lot to swallow but let me try to translate their doublespeak into plain English:
“We despise Trump, except on Israel. We support a two-state solution determined by at least one superpower backing Israelis, none supporting Palestinians. Hopefully, this two-state solution will take at least 10,000 years to become a reality. We want to ensure Israel’s future as an Apartheid and Martian state (with borders unilaterally set and walled-in exclusively by Zionists, the Chosen Ones) while upholding the right of the remaining 100 Palestinians to live in freedom, and security, and in tents of their own. We will demand Congress fund the best available candles for every tent, and 24/7 electricity too, starting with Gaza which has suffered so much from Palestinian incompetence ever since Jesus arrived in Bethlehem.”
Seriously, what this Committee is considering is not a Democratic Party “plank,” it is the platform’s Israel prank.
One needs only to focus on two of their points. The first is regarding Israel’s non-existent borders, yet the US recognized the state of Israel 73 years ago and have yet to recognize the state of Palestine. Could it be they are not aware that such a statement incriminates themselves since a requirement for statehood is having defined borders, something Israel has refused to declare?
Secondly is the generous offer of acknowledging that Palestinians may in the future be due a “state of their own.” Hello! Palestine exists today and always has. I strongly suggest they visit the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations at 115 East 65th Street in New York. They can ask to meet our Ambassador Dr. Riyad H. Mansour, a family friend.
Of course, they will not go out of their way to learn where these issues stand in 2020. It seems they have not even bothered themselves to read the latest Pew polls showing where their members stand. Instead, as reported in the JI news story, “Julianne Smith, who served as Biden’s deputy national security advisor from 2012 to 2013, said she was pleased to see Democratic unity on the Israeli-Palestinian issue in the platform. ‘I think that the platform language truly reflects the views of our party and I think it’s perfectly in line with Vice President Biden’s own convictions.’” Unity? On what planet does she live?
If Senator Biden and his team are reverting to 30-year-old words after Rome has fallen, then his chances are as good as mine to be elected president come November.
This year, the final platform vote will take place on July 27 by the full 187-member platform committee ahead of the 2020 Democratic National Convention which is scheduled for August 17–20. We wait and see what the Democratic Party rank-and-file can do to save their party from itself.
Sam Bahour (@SamBahour) is a Youngstown, Ohio-born and raised Palestinian-American business consultant and a frequent commentator on Palestinian affairs from Ramallah/Al-Bireh in Occupied Palestine. He is a registered Democrat, was an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention for the Jessie Jackson Presidential Campaign in 1988, and who is about to become an Independent if Democrats cannot get this one right.