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Democrats Find Jerusalem Hard to Lift

What we should learn from the DNC platform changes

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6 Sep 2012 (All day)
Democrats Find Jerusalem Hard to Lift

All the grandeur of the Democratic National Convention was almost completely overshadowed this week as the Democrats found themselves under fire for releasing a party platform missing a key historical phrase supporting Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. They took further flak for removing any reference to God in their manifesto.

Realizing the error they had made in trying to be a little too progressive, the Democrats quickly turned around and held a voice vote at the Convention to reinstate the line on Jerusalem and a reference to God, claiming this had all been a mistake.

Unfortunately, the situation did not improve from there as the Convention chairman, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, had to call for three voice votes in an embarrassing effort to ram through the changes despite the obvious problem the Democrats encountered in securing the necessary two thirds support from their own delegates.

What do we learn from all this?

Firstly, it’s clear that the once infallible non-partisan support for Israel in the US is now at risk with the Democratic Party struggling to control its own members’ open hostility to the idea that Jerusalem is and should be the capital of Israel. Even the Republicans made changes to their platform regarding Israel, pulling language that called for the US Embassy to be relocated back to Jerusalem, and endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state.

For those who have been following the trend over the last few years, the removal of Jerusalem from the Democratic platform is not so much a surprise as it is further confirmation of what was already apparent. The current administration has been intentionally vague on several occasions when questioned by the media regarding their view on whether or not they consider Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital. On top of that, President Obama’s attempts to reach out to the Muslim world and to reignite peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians have included references to Jerusalem wherein on the one hand, Israel’s ownership is not affirmed, but rather, on the other hand, Islamic claims to the city are reinforced.

How so?

In his famous 2009 speech in Cairo, President Obama opined for a day when all the three major faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam could mingle peacefully in Jerusalem. He hasn’t visited the city since being in office, so one might forgive him for not realizing that situation already exists today under Israeli sovereignty. In fact, the last time the Old City was divided and inaccessible to all faiths was when the Arabs held control under an illegal Jordanian occupation from 1949-1967.

In his speech, the President also referred to the Islamic tale of Isra wherein Muslims believe Mohammed flew on his horse to the farthest mosque (assumed to be Jerusalem) and ascended into heaven where he led Moses and Jesus in prayer. It all sounds very ecumenical until you realize that, for Muslims, this tale establishes their claim to the Holy City and sets up Islam as the supreme religion, dominant over Judaism and Christianity, since it was Mohammed who led the prayers.

This point would not have been lost on the Muslims who came to listen to President Obama in Cairo or the thousands who watched from around the world. Neither would it have gone unnoticed by the Muslim Brotherhood, who were invited to occupy ten seats in the front row before Obama. We shouldn’t be surprised then to find out that the man who recently became the Egyptian president, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi, launched his political campaign at a rally where the imam called for a new Islamic caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital.

President Obama made another famous pronouncement last year when he declared that the starting point for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians should be the borders before 1967, or the 1949 armistice line, or to be honest, the area illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967 when Jerusalem was under Arab control. To see this as anything other than the President’s unwillingness to support Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital is to belie the facts. Unfortunately, it makes the original Democratic platform for 2012 seem far more believable than the one rammed through in response to public pressure. That anyone was surprised by all this is probably the most surprising part of all.

But, what we really learn from all this is that whether or not you want God on your platform, you can never escape Him or the truth of His Word. In Zechariah 12 verse 3 He says (and I paraphrase) that He will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for everyone, and anyone who tries to lift it will damage themselves. The Democrats got a little taste of that this week; they tried to lift Jerusalem (and God) from their platform and suffered some hefty political damage as a result.

It should be a warning to all of us in this nation regardless of political affiliation. God will not be mocked and He will judge those who come against His land and His people. Now is the time to call on Him on behalf of this nation, to stand up as never before for Israel and her capital, Jerusalem, and to pray that the United States will be a blessing to Israel and not bring a curse upon herself.

In God we should trust.

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Daryl Hedding serves as the US Deputy Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.


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