September 6, 2012
On Wednesday evening, Democrat convention delegates took three voice votes calling Jerusalem Israel's capital. Each time, nays sounded louder than yeas.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa chaired the convention. Despite boos and no votes more audible than yes ones, he declared rewriting platform language policy.
Doing so violates international law and justice. Obama caved to AIPAC and other Israeli Lobby organizations. Pandering to Lobby pressure and Israeli lawlessness is policy. Palestinians don't matter so ignore them. Spurning international law is OK.
In 1947, the UN designated Jerusalem an international city under a UN Trusteeship Council. The area includes Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Beit Sahour. It encompasses Christian and Muslim holy sites.
After Israel's 1947-48 War of Independence, it was divided between Israel and Jordan. During Israel's 1967 Six-Day War, East Jerusalem was captured and occupied. It remains so lawlessly today.
UN Resolution 181 called for an Independent Arab state by October 1, 1948. It asked:
"all Governments and peoples to refrain from taking any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations."
The Security Council was to take "the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation." It was to assure "a just and lasting peace...."
Israel's "War of Independence" intervened. Decades later, peace remains elusive. Palestine's still occupied. World leaders never intervened. Over eight million Palestinians, including diaspora ones, await justice.
On June 30, 1980, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 476. America abstained. It declared "all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant (Fourth Geneva) violation."
On July 30, 1980, Israel's Jerusalem Law lawlessly annexed the city as its unified capital.
On August 20, 1980, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 478. America again abstained. Resolution language "censured (Israel) in the strongest terms." It condemned its Jerusalem Law.
It called doing so in violation of international law. It refused recognition. It told member states to withdraw diplomatic missions from the city immediately.
The Security Council and General Assembly called East Jerusalem occupied territory. Expropriated land is illegal. Israeli legislative and administrative measures altering the city's character and status are null and void. They must be rescinded forthwith.
Israel spurns all international law and UN resolutions contrary to its interests. It continues land seizures, home demolitions, dispossessions, and expelling Palestinians from their rightful homes.
Judaizing the entire city is planned. Palestinians are denied and banished. Ethnic cleansing is policy. So is spurning international law with impunity.
Democrat platform language initially excluded mentioning Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Romney and other Republican hardliners criticized its exclusion. In 2008, Democrats said:
"Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."
Obama personally intervened to restore similar language. He sucks up shamelessly to Israel. He callously spurns Palestinian rights. He won't condemn Israel's settlement project. He vowed never to support an independent Palestine.
He insisted on one-sided pro-Israeli platform language. No wonder James Petras calls him America's first Jewish president. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said:
"The platform is being amended to maintain consistency with the personal views expressed by the President and in the Democratic Party platform in 2008."
It outdid Republican language. It referred to Jerusalem's status only in passing, saying:
"Two democratic states: Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital, and Palestine, living in peace and security."
Omitted was explaining that achieving it is impossible under occupation. Neither party explains facts too important to ignore.
AIPAC praised the decision, saying:
"We welcome reinstatement to the Democratic platform of the language affirming Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Together, (both) party platforms reflect strong bipartisan support for the US/Israel relationship."
called new language "at odds with US policy calling for the status of Jerusalem to be resolved through negotiations." It stopped short explaining fundamental international law.
Jerusalem is an international city. East Jerusalem is Palestine's rightful capital. Democrats and Republicans have no negotiating rights. Platform language and policy can't reinvent fundamental law.
Jerusalem remains the epicenter of controversy. It's religiously important for Christians, Muslims and Jews. Today it represents epic injustice and discrimination. Palestinians are grievously harmed.
Israelis call Jerusalem politically important, their historic capital, and symbolic of Judaism's revival and importance. For Christians, it's where Jesus lived and died, and for Muslims it's their third holiest site.
The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque rank only after Mecca's Sacred Mosque and Madina's Mosque of the Prophet.
After Israel's 1967 annexation, East Jerusalem underwent legal and bureaucratic changes. Its physical, cultural, and spiritual character were altered. Israeli Judaization dispossesses Palestinians from their land.
Their cultural and religious heritage are threatened by facts on the ground. The process began 45 years ago. It continues relentlessly to this day.
Militarized and occupied, Palestinians have no rights. They're used, abused, dispossessed, and entirely denied. Republicans and Democrats compete with each other to show which party sucks up most shamelessly to Israeli lawlessness.
Call them even. Palestinians are sacrificed on the alter of whatever Israel wants it gets. Who cares what's right or wrong. Both parties support colonization, occupation and apartheid. Party platform language affirms it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"