A senior Hamas official said Friday that the reinsertion of language declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel into the Democratic party platform was “stupid begging” for Jewish votes at the expense of Palestinian rights.
Izzat al-Rishq made the comments on his Facebook page. He added that Jerusalem was and will be the eternal capital of Palestine, and of Arab and Muslim people, according to Israel Radio.
Officials in the PLO also condemned the action taken late Wednesday by delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Veteran Palestinian politician Yasser Abed Rabo said that the rights of Palestinians should not stand in competition between the parties in the US to gain the votes of American Jews. He called the move a dangerous departure from traditional US policy not to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The original omission from the 2012 party platform of the pertinent language on Jerusalem, along with language referring to the isolation of Hamas until it renounces terror, and a third provision calling for the settlement of Palestinian refugees in a future Palestinian state, was seized upon by Republicans earlier this week during the start of the Democratic National Convention.
The reinsertion of the text, reportedly due an intervention by US President Barack Obama, was not without incident.
In calling for the voice vote from delegates to reinstate the sentence about Jerusalem — as well as a separate provision using the term “God” — into the platform on Wednesday, Democratic leaders were taken aback by vociferous shouting of “boos” and “noes” in the half-empty Time Warner Arena in Charlotte.
The vote had to be taken three times before convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa could declare the changes passed.
The “boos” surprised not only Democrats, but reporters as well. CNN and other outlets ran special reruns of the moment in their prime-time news broadcasts from the convention.
Haviv Rettig Gur contributed to this report.