Democrats rejected an effort to recognize "occupations and illegal settlements" of Palestine in their platform
Hillary Clinton's supporters opposed the proposal, while Bernie Sanders' backers supported it
Hillary Clinton supporters rejected an effort Saturday to add a call for “an end to occupations and illegal settlements” in Palestinian territories into the Democratic platform.
Clinton’s backers argued that the current language in the party’s platform, calling for negotiations for a two-state solution in Israel to give Palestinians a homeland, are enough and that going further would inflame tensions and undercut U.S. diplomats’ ability to lead future negotiations.
But Bernie Sanders’ supporters – as well as dozens of young people in the crowd in an Orlando hotel ballroom for the Democratic National Committee’s platform drafting committee’s two-day meeting – said the language they’d proposed simply repeated a position Clinton herself has taken in the past.
“This is a moral issue. This is an issue of our time. It has spiritual and moral implications,” said Cornel West, the pro-Sanders civil rights activist and philosopher. “Democratic Party, you’ve been in denial for too long. Palestinians ought to be free.”
The amendment was voted down, 73-95. Its rejection led to the loudest boos of the day, with one man being escorted out after he stood up and declared that Democrats had “sold out to (American Israel Public Affairs Committee).”
A furious group of more than a dozen young people who’d been in the audience stormed out of the room, some shouting at the delegates.
Morgan Flake, a Florida State University student, said Democrats are refusing to acknowledge what the United Nations has – that “people are dying and human rights are being violated.”
“That’s what we wanted: acknowledgment that this is actually happening, acknowledgment that the occupation is a real thing, and acknowledgment that they’re putting financial matters of the nation above human beings’ lives,” she said.
As for who bears the blame for the proposal’s defeat, Flake said: “Most of it was Hillary Clinton supporters.”