Shenanigans in Charlotte Israel lobby vs. democracy at the DNC

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Recently by Justin Raimondo: The Iron Fist in Tampa

If you thought the Republican national convention was the worst display of narrow-minded chauvinism, belligerent nationalism, and fanatical Israel First-ism, then you didn't imagine what the Democrats were going to be like. The attacks on Romney for his lack of u201Ceconomic patriotismu201D limn the Bush years, albeit in blue. The requisite anti-Chinese rhetoric was on full display: Beijing is the new Soviet Union for both the unions and the neocons. Speaking of neocons: if anyone doubted the stranglehold the Israel lobby has on American politics, then the shenanigans in Charlotte should settle that once and for all.

It's almost a joke – I say almost because the most vital issues of war and peace are at stake. Through some oversight, the Dems forgot to mention in their platform Jerusalem's alleged status as the capital of Israel – and, heaven forfend, there was no ritual condemnation of Hamas that mentioned the group by name. The Republicans pounced – and the Democrats were quick to respond – not with any kind of defense, but with an instant capitulation.

Call re-write! The party scribes got busy, and the u201Cmistakeu201D was fixed faster than you can say u201CHaim Sabanu201D – but there was the troublesome question of submitting it to the delegates. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, chairing the platform committee, submitted the new plank to the delegates – who promptly voted it down in a voice vote. With ayes and nays about even, the amendment fell short of the two-thirds required for passage, but that didn't phase machine politician and party hack Villaraigosa, who called for another vote – with the same results. Undeterred, he called for a third vote – and although the results were clearly with the nays, Villaraigosa ruled the plank had passed.

This was met with a loud chorus of boos.

The parallelism with the GOP committee vote on their rules change – which will put the kibosh on future Ron Paul-like insurgent candidacies – is all too telling. And what it tells us is this: the two state-privileged, state-subsidized u201Cmajoru201D parties are private clubs, under the complete control of party bosses and unresponsive to the will even of their own activists. That Villaraigosa would pull something like this on national television is indicative of the deep contempt our political class has for ordinary Americans.

Even more telling is the way the Democrats tried to put a casual face on their panic: the President let it be known that Jerusalem's status as Israel's capital is his personal opinion, in spite of what the draft platform language said. Democratic officials said AIPAC was in the room when the platform was drafted, and registered no objection. AIPAC's Patrick Dorton (kinda) denies this:

“Any assertion that AIPAC had prior knowledge of the deletion of language including on Jerusalem, Israel as the most reliable ally, Hamas, or the refugees is categorically false. AIPAC was never provided with a final copy of the Middle East part of the platform. Jerusalem as the capital was part of AIPAC’s written submission to the platform but we did not see, review, or sign off on the final text.u201D

You'll note he doesn't flat out deny AIPAC representatives were in the room, and it's hard to imagine they weren't: or were they so confident of their power to that they didn't bother attending?

How Bibi Netanyahu must be chortling at the sight of a subservience so craven it has lost sight of the very concept of shame. Has a foreign entity ever exercised such power over the domestic politics of the American republic? Didn't our forefathers warn us about this possibility, and the dangers of falling prey to foreign-backed u201Cfactionsu201D?

Israel lobby – what Israel lobby? I don't see an Israel lobby anywhere in sight. Do you?

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Justin Raimondo [send him mail] is editorial director of Antiwar.com and is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard and Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.

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