The Big Oy: Israel and the DNC

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 5 2012 10:58 PM

The Big Oy: Israel and the DNC

CHARLOTTE -- The first familiar face I saw inside the Time Warner Cable Arena was that of former Rep. Robert Wexler, who represented a heavily Jewish district in Florida until he left to run the Center for Middle East Peace. It didn't feel like I was the first person to ask him about Jerusalem-gate -- the admittedly ridiculous name we're giving the confused booing of the restored Israel/God language.

"The president's record is excellent when it comes to Israel in every respect," he said, "particularly when it comes to stopping Iran's nuclear weapons program. The president actually intervened today, to put the 2008 language back in, to reiterate his committment to Israel. And, you know, I'm glad." So what were the delegates booing about? "My understanding is that it was over the God amendment. I think that was the confusion -- process, not substance."


A few other reporters found the congressman and kept nudging him. The new language, he said, was "stronger than the Republican platform. The Republican platform this year was amended to take out the language requiring the embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem." Obama, though: "He's the strongest president on Israel since Harry Truman!"

Inside the arena, I found delegates ready to put the whole story behind them. Two Missouri delegates tried to convince me that their fellows did not quite understand what was being voted on -- sure, there was some rejection of the Israel lines, but who knew how much? A California delegate talked helpfully, until I mentioned that I was curious about the platform vote.

"Isn't it a beautiful day?" he said with a smile. "Let's go, Dodgers!"

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

Should the United States Grant Asylum to Victims of Domestic Violence?

The Apple Watch Will Make Everyone Around You Just a Little Worse Off

This Was the First Object Ever Designed

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 


How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest jewels.


A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now …

The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.

Is Everyone Going to Declare Independence if Scotland Does It? 

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Trending News Channel
Sept. 12 2014 11:26 AM Identical Twins Aren’t Really Identical
  News & Politics
Sept. 14 2014 2:37 PM When Abuse Is Not Abuse Don’t expect Adrian Peterson to go to prison. In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM Olive Garden Has Been Committing a Culinary Crime Against Humanity
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 13 2014 8:38 AM “You’re More Than Just a Number” Goucher College goes transcript-free in admissions.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 12 2014 4:05 PM Life as an NFL Wife: “He's the Star. Keep Him Happy.”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 12 2014 5:55 PM “Do You Know What Porn Is?” Conversations with Dahlia Lithwick’s 11-year-old son.
Sept. 14 2014 11:44 PM A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now … The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.
Future Tense
Sept. 12 2014 3:53 PM We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often
  Health & Science
New Scientist
Sept. 14 2014 8:38 AM Scientific Misconduct Should Be a Crime It’s as bad as fraud or theft, only potentially more dangerous.
Sports Nut
Sept. 12 2014 4:36 PM “There’s No Tolerance for That” Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh say they don’t abide domestic abuse. So why do the Seahawks and 49ers have a combined six players accused of violence against women?