Democrats Vote Down Anti-Israel Amendment from Bernie Sanders Surrogate

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses the crowd during a campaign rally at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, April 26, 2016 in Huntington, West Virginia.
John Sommers II/Getty

TEL AVIV – Democrats on Friday rejected an amendment from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ surrogate to the party’s platform committee that demanded Israel cease Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem and seemingly withdraw from those territories.

Members of the Democratic National Convention drafting committee voted down the amendment from Israel boycott supporter and pollster James Zogby that called for “an end to occupation and illegal settlements,” and urged the international community to rebuild the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.  Zogby was appointed to the committee by Sanders with the intent of influencing the outcome of the DNC platform.

It was unclear what exactly Zogby meant by “an end to occupation.” The Palestinian Authority says Israel is occupying the so-called pre-1967 borders, meaning the Gaza Strip, West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount.  Israel refers to the pre-1967 territories as disputed.

However, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party, Hamas, and other major Palestinian factions routinely refer to the entire state of Israel as “occupied” territory.

Instead of Zogby’s amendments, the DNC’s draft platform now reflects Hillary Clinton’s views on Israel. It calls for Israel and the Palestinians to work toward a “two-state solution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict” that provides Israel with secure and recognized borders, “and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity.”

The AP has more on the platform voting:

Members of a Democratic National Convention drafting committee defeated a proposal led by Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., that would have added language rejecting the Pacific Rim trade pact, which has been opposed by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

The panel, which is developing the party’s platform ahead of next month’s Philadelphia convention, instead backed a measure that said “there are a diversity of views in the party” on the TPP and reaffirmed that Democrats contend any trade deal “must protect workers and the environment.”

Allies of Clinton and Sanders pored over the 15,000-word draft of the platform at a St. Louis hotel. It was the result of late nights and long hours of policy exchanges between the two campaigns and the Democratic National Committee, reflecting both the party’s divisions and areas of consensus.

In some cases Clinton’s side gave ground to Sanders. The panel approved language calling for the abolition of the death penalty, calling it “a cruel and unusual form of punishment which has no place” in the nation. Clinton said during a debate earlier this year that it should only be used in limited cases involving “heinous crimes,” while Sanders said the government should not use capital punishment.

Reflecting Sanders’ advocacy, the platform also calls for the expansion of Social Security and says Americans should earn at least a $15 an hour, referring to the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour as a “starvation wage,” a phrase the Vermont senator often uses. Sanders has pushed for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, while Clinton has supported efforts to raise the minimum wage to that level but has said states and cities should raise the bar as high as possible.

Sanders’ allies wanted the draft to specify that the $15 minimum wage should be indexed with inflation. But Clinton’s side struck down the amendment, noting that the document already included a call to “raise and index the minimum wage.”

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.


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