Sunday, September 9, 2012

"No Takebacks":Sins of Omission in Election Politics

Seaira Christian-Daniels

The Obama camp committed two great sins of omission at the Democratic National Convention this year. The DNC Committe removed the name of God and failed to establish Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the original language of the Democratic Party platform.

 DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz answered elusively--passively at best--when Don Lemon thoroughly interrogated her on CNN. That's the old news.

But, what's the big deal? And, why do I insist on keeping America's shrinking attention span focused on this "unfortunate distraction", as NPR Washington Correspondent Liz Halloran calls it?

 Let's think: how often do we consider the explicit language of a party platform? Be Honest. NPR's Ron Elving says that party platforms are "like contracts": No one bothers to read them until something happens." Well, something happened. And here's why it may be a bigger deal than we may think.

What all of the Presidents Say
Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney said in an interview with CNN that he wants to move the U.S. Embassy to capital of Israel: Jerusalem.

Romney on Jerusalem as Israel's Capital
The problem is that several U.S. Presidents have promised the same thing, but none of them have done so during their term.

The U.S. Embassy is located in Tel Aviv, Israel. The US Department of State says thatU.S. embassies are always in the capital city of the country in which  they are located. Now for some deductive reasoning--holding constant any military unrest in Jerusalem--the U.S. MUST hold that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel (ie. that Jerusalem is not) because, as the government itself says, the U.S. Embassy is always located in the nation's capital, and the U.S. Embassy in Israel is located in Tel Aviv.

I say that not to "one up" the government,  but to say that Americans are being distracted by rhetoric. When considering governmental action, the old adage proves true: "Actions speak louder than words."

So, should Mr. Obama have reacted in such haste when the Romney camp exposed the omission of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? I don't think so. In fact, keeping the original language would have made more sense. Omitting the issue would have actually been CONSISTENT with the current state of U.S. affairs (ie. We don't want to get between a domestic dispute, so we'll just keep the embassy outside of Jerusalem and let the two parties hash it out).

I am sure that Congresswoman Schultz is an honorable Jewish woman, but how about arguing with the truth instead of avoiding the questions. It would have made her backbone look much more sturdy on national television.

**Note, I cite CNN because frequently cites CNN on its web coverage. 

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