Seeming to try to sift through the pandering and political theatre yesterday on MSNBC, some of the network’s hosts thought it was good that Obama embraced the DNC platform and made it his own, as compared to Mitt Romney, who had previously distanced himself from some of the GOP’s more distasteful elements. But fellow host Chris Hayes challenged his colleagues and the entire charade and noted that the Democratic platform isn’t even-handed on the Israel-Palestine issue:
HAYES: Can we just say, I’ll just say for myself, it’s a substantively terrible decision. It’s bad policy alright. It’s a craven capitulation and it’s a craven capitulation that empowers the worst elements in the people that are working on this issue. If you read this platform, there is not a single condition put on Israel, in the Israel-Palestine section, there’s conditions put on the Palestinians that they must renounce — they must accept Israel’s right to exist, etc. There’s nothing said about the settlements.
And if the American government policy is actually that Jerusalem is the capital and the American government wants move the embassy to Jerusalem, there have been plenty of opportunities for both Republicans and Democrats to do that and they have not done it because it’s a terrible idea from the perspective of actually getting a lasting peace between these two peoples.
Watch the clip:
Indeed, as this blog also noted yesterday, in 1995 Congress passed a measure mandating that the U.S. move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and every U.S. president since has refused to implement it on grounds that such a move would severely damage the peace process and the two-state solution. As Jerusalem expert Daniel Seidemann wrote yesterday at the Daily Beast, the whole faux-controversy is all about politics:
It has become politically suicidal to refrain from declaring loyalty to an undivided Jerusalem in which no one, save the ignorant and the true believers on the fringes, genuinely believe. Parties, party platforms, and even Presidential candidates pander to what they, correctly or incorrectly, perceive to be “the Jewish vote,” advocating policies—like transferring the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—that no responsible president, regardless of party, will carry out. The discourse on Jerusalem within the political arena in the United States is a charade, and all but the deluded and the devout know it.
“Those of us who deal with Jerusalem relate to presidential elections in the United States much as Floridians do to the hurricane season,” Seidemann writes, “we board up our windows, hunker down, hope for the best, and wait for the season to pass (when possible, maintaining a sense of humor).”