Wexler defends Obama on Israel while Republicans slam Dems for dropping Jerusalem from platformby George Bennett | September 4th, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former South Florida U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler defended President Obama‘s support for Israel in a Democratic convention speech tonight as Republicans attacked the president and Democrats for omitting previous language from the party platform that identified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Wexler was an early supporter of Obama’s 2008 campaign when many of the constituents in his heavily Jewish Palm Beach-Broward congressional district favored Hillary Clinton. Wexler vouched for Obama’s pro-Israel credentials at the 2008 Democratic convention.
Four years later, Wexler said Obama had delivered on his promises.
“Over the past four years the president has proven this commitment time and again in both word and deed and the Democratic Party platform reflects the president’s unflinching commitment to Israel’s security and future as a Jewish state,” Wexler said.
Mitt Romney and Republicans criticized that platform today, noting that the new document removed language about Jerusalem that had been in the 2008 platform.
“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,” the 2008 Democratic platform said.
The 2012 Democratic platform states that “President Obama and the Democratic Party maintain an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” but doesn’t mention Jerusalem.
Jewish voters, a key constituency in Florida, voted 78 percent for Obama in 2008 and have historically backed Democrats by large margins. But Republicans have attempted to peel away some of that support by accusing Obama of being weak on Israel.