But what about that fabled unshakeable support for Israel that's always been given at least lip service by the Democrats in the past? Are we seeing the end of that support as we know it? The Weekly Standard reports that in this year's party platform, it's been watered down beyond recognition. Judge for yourself:
In the 2008 Democratic party platform, there was this language on Jerusalem, Israel:
Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.
This year, however, that language has been removed. Indeed, there is no mention of Jerusalem in the 2012 party platform adopted by Democrats.
Since 1968, with the sole exception of the rather odd platform (more like a manifesto) adopted in 1988, every Democratic party platform has included language similar to that quoted above from 2008. Note that recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a point to which every Democratic (or Republican) administration has refused to acquiesce once safely in office, was always explicitly acknowledged. In fact, the Democratic platforms for the years 1972 through 1984 all included this language as well:
As a symbol of this stand, the U.S. Embassy should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
And Jimmy Carter's 1980 platform actually contained this statement:
We oppose creation of an independent Palestinian state.
As a very old cigarette ad used to say ... you've come a long way, baby.
And it's not only on the issue of Jerusalem that this plank of the platform has been diluted. It focuses much more on (you guessed it) Obama and his alleged accomplishments than it does on the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. In fact, this platform is unique in that it makes no mention of Israel as an "ally" nor of the "special relationship" between our countries. You have to go back to 1980 to find a platform that doesn't use at least one (usually both) of those terms.
Daniel Pipes has a piece today at NRO entitled "What the 2012 Election Means for Israel" in which he concludes that "[i]f elected, Romney will be staunchly loyal, but Obama's coldness will turn glacial." I think it's somewhat overwrought in places, but his warnings about the waning support for Israel among Democrats obviously merit consideration.