By Larry Gordon
In viewing video of the Democratic National Convention plenum vote to reinstate references to G‑d and the fact that Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel, the world witnessed the perpetration of a casual fraud before our very eyes.
It was a stellar moment for this Democratic Party that, as far as I could see, did not resemble the Democrats of years gone by. The way they sought to go about it is not dissimilar to the way you might forget something after you leave home and then just calmly turn your car around, retrieve the item you left behind, and then once again go on your merry way.
But the Democratic Party last week in Charlotte, North Carolina, did not forget their keys or their cell phones. It was just an oversight, they claimed, perhaps an indifference, that eradicated references to G‑d in their national platform, which was carefully written, voted on, adopted, and presented. If they hadn’t also excised the traditional, yet fraudulent, claim that they recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, this episode might not have been such a glaringly large item in the news media.
But, you say, isn’t leaving G‑d out of one of those platform planks a bigger deal than this persistent debate about whose sovereignty the holy city of Jerusalem falls under? After all, it is true that Jerusalem looms large on the global scene, but isn’t G‑d just a little bigger?
The way this observer sees it, G‑d is invisible and agile, and therefore can maneuver around a lot more easily than is the case with any other issue that mundane characters like the Democratic Party may have to deal with. I mean, G‑d can be whisked in and out of some political party plank a lot more quickly and gracefully than a disputed chunk of real estate with multiple claims on it from a combination of well-meaning as well as devious parties.
And that brings us to Jerusalem and the so-called oversight that left the reference to the city as the recognized capital of the State of Israel out of the Democratic platform. The “oversight” at least might have had some slivers of honesty and integrity represented therein. What happened next, in response to the criticism of the extraction of the Jerusalem reference, is even more bogus and a larger fraud than the initial move.
The amendment to the platform midway through last week’s convention was read into the record and flashed on a large electronic screen in the arena, saying, “President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.” Have any more dishonest words come to the fore of late?
There is one small matter that causes a bit of a problem with that stated position—that is, President Obama does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Other than that, it was an accurate statement. But why should small contradictions befuddle the American political process?
The Obama administration has at times painfully contorted itself in order not to express the usually simple fact that Jerusalem is the capital city of not only the State of Israel but of the Jewish people wherever we may find ourselves anywhere in the world. It appears that this administration would, if it could, go even further by quite possibly someday supporting the establishment of the state of Palestine. Two states for two nations is a nice little pithy idea to wrap your mind and hopes around, but not when that so-called state is smack dab on top of the already established, existing, and recognized state of Israel.
Where in the history of the modern world, in the annals of modern diplomacy, has there been a country recognized to supplant, replace, or eclipse an already existing country? That is the case here. And while President Obama last year came down emphatically against such a crooked maneuver at the UN, we have to believe that, considering what took place last week in Charlotte, that earlier move was more electoral politics than it was that repetitious mantra of the “unshakable bond” that exists between the U.S. and Israel.
I mean, have we ever witnessed such a comical procedural fiasco as we did at the DNC last week when the chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa received his orders from the White House strategist—and we learned later that the instructions came directly from the president—to amend the platform? What the chairman thought was going to be an unnoticeable, off-hours amendment to the platform quickly became no simple matter.
Before the astonished and speechless Villaraigosa stood before the plenum, wondering in front of a national audience what to do next, the changes were read into the record by one of the DNC platform committee members, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. Strickland presented it and laid it out quite simply. He said that speaking as an ordained United Methodist minister, he referenced how important the recognition of G‑d is to the Democratic Party and indeed the way of life here in the United States.
One would have thought that you would get an easy and smooth majority to go along with that traditional, deeply-rooted-in-American-culture type of reasoning. But it does not look like this is true in the case of today’s Democratic Party.
It is in fact one issue to get G‑d and the recognition of Jewish Jerusalem placed back into the party platform, and quite a completely different thing to discover the circumstances under which these references fell out of the platform to begin with.
We were told that it was just a plain oversight by the platform planners, but we know that this is not true. What is more likely was that these careless moves were reflective of a new ideological drive in the Democratic Party that seeks to take this country in a new direction with the hope of over time completely redefining and changing its character. We cannot have a country bogged down in traditional faith in G‑d—a throwback to the good intentions of our founding fathers—if we are going to move this country in this new direction.
If you want radical change, you have to let go of tradition and the old ways of doing things. If you are nonchalantly set on weakening Israel, step one is to pry Jerusalem as its capital city away from her. But, unexpectedly, Mr. Obama and his party were caught in the act and had to sneak the stuff they took out back into the Democratic house. It was done, however, in a most ungraceful way.
The look on Chairman Villaraigosa’s face when he tried to reassemble and restore the connection between the Obama administration, G‑d, and Jerusalem was priceless. It was clear that he did not have the two-thirds voice vote from the floor that he required. But as long as your premise is intellectual dishonesty, what is the big deal about deceitfully claiming there is a majority and the amendment has passed? What is one small deception amongst so many giant ones anyway?
The entire episode was a display that should not be overlooked by voters come November 6. King David, in the Book of Psalms, in his ode to Jerusalem, wrote: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its cunning.” To be cunning is to be able to display extra talent or dexterity. David is saying that in a sense severing the connectedness between Jews and Jerusalem is the equivalent of significantly weakening a strong right hand.
There must have been a lot of lefties last week at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. G‑d knows there were an abundance of leftists.
Comments for Larry Gordon are welcome at email@example.com.