After Republicans spent a day questioning Democrats' commitment to Israel and God because of the omission of both words in the Democratic Party's official platform, Democrats decided to amend the platform Wednesday. A senior White House official said President Obama personally intervened in order to get language in the platform naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Similar language appeared in the Democrats' 2008 platform, but it was left out of this year's version because many Palestinians also want the city to be the capital of a Palestinian state. The original language in this year's platform professed an "unshakable commitment to Israel's security," but did not name Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The Ed Show's Ed Schultz played down the significance of a party platform to the candidate and said Obama made the right decision. The Rev. Al Sharpton commended the president for "not running away from his platform." msnbc contributor and senior McCain 2008 campaign advisor Steve Schmidt called it an "unforced error." Chris Hayes, however, had much stronger words, calling it a "craven capitulation" and "substantively terrible decision."
"I just want to get that on the record," he said Wednesday night on a panel with Rachel Maddow and other msnbc hosts and contributors. He explained:
If you read this platform, there is not a single condition put on Israel ... there's conditions put on the Palestinians ... there's nothing said about the settlements. If the American government policy is actually that Jerusalem is the capital, and the American government wants to move the embassy to Jerusalem, there's been plenty of opportunities for both Republicans and Democrats to do it, and they have not done it, because it's a terrible idea from the perspective of actually getting a lasting peace.
On the subject of the word "God," which was also added back into the platform, Rachel Maddow pointed out that the original draft used the word "faith" many times. She said, "They used faith instead of God, which of course is a scandal, because this is an even-numbered year."
"Don't feed the trolls," Hayes said.