Thomas Sowell

Who would have thought that God and Jerusalem would become controversial issues at this year's Democratic National Convention?

Previous Democratic Party platforms had mentioned God and referred to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. After both were initially missing from this year's platform, someone apparently realized that this was likely to raise questions about Democrats that they could ill afford to have raised in an election year.

So the convention faced a vote on whether to restore God and Jerusalem to their party's platform. Rather than risk a roll-call vote from the delegates, the chair called for a voice vote. The voice vote sounded too close to call, but the chair called it anyway, ruling that those wanting God and Jerusalem restored had the necessary two-thirds vote.

This added an element of farce to the proceedings, but politicians are usually hardened against any sense of shame.

More was involved than a passing tempest in a teapot. Democrats were already politically vulnerable on the issue of not respecting religious freedom, because of the Obama administration's heavy-handed forcing of Catholic institutions to finance contraception, against their own religious principles.

Jerusalem raised very different questions. In the real world, there is no question that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. That is where their national government is located.

But in the murky world of international politics -- and especially in the never-never land of the mythical "Middle East peace process" -- the Palestinians' demand that Jerusalem be their capital has made liberals in general, and the Obama administration in particular, skittish about recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Nothing that would call attention to Obama's policies toward Israel is likely to quiet the fears of Jewish voters in America, especially as regards the threat of a nuclear Iran, whose leaders have openly and repeatedly proclaimed their desire to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

From the beginning, Barack Obama has tried to downplay the threat of a nuclear Iran. At one time he said dismissively that Iran was just "a small country."

In fact, Iran is physically larger than Japan, and its current population is slightly larger than what the population of Japan was when the Japanese dealt a devastating blow to the United States with its attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

A nuclear Iran can do a lot more damage to Israel than the Japanese did to the United States. Moreover, it is well on its way to being able to produce more than the two bombs that were enough to force Japan to surrender in 1945.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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