Gossip – Dissidence among the Democratic ranks

Although last weekend’s Democratic National Platform Committee Meeting was billed as the epitome of successful compromise, not every one was happy with the outcome of the “unified” platform which was passed in one session of the committee. The only Palestinian on the Platform Committee. Dr. Mohammad H. Said of Washington state, called the negotiations prior to the Denver meeting “a conspiracy. Everything was cooked. I was excited when I came: now I’m frustrated,” he revealed at the Tim Wirth reception following Saturday’s full-day meeting.

Said was amazed that the “Dukakis people had been instructed to vote against certain amendments” and wouldn’t even listen to new comments with an open mind. “I didn’t expect to find everything set up. It was a rubber stamp committee. Everything was already done. I have no faith in either party in (terms of) Middle East issues. Both are the same — full support of Israel.” lie added that his first-hand involvement with the committee process created a ”distrust of U.S. government There’s no difference between the leadership of the Democratic or Republican establishments when it comes to the Middle East.”

In an attempt to put the Palestinian perspective into the platform, Said spoke In favor of a Middle East Pence Resolution and tried to introduce three other amendments addressing Israel’s occupation and rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. ‘They didn’t even allow me to introduce the amendments, because they were not supported by Jackson. I couldn’t bring them up. They may try to bypass this (issue), but there will never be peace until this is addressed,” Said criticized.

Said favored the Middle East Peace Resolution which was presented at the Platform Committee Meeting but died there. He noted that the resolution which lost in Denver’s session was a milder version of a platform resolution which passed unanimously in (the state of) Washington.” The defeated resolution stated: “We should end the impasse in the Middle East by adopting a policy which establishes peace based on mutual recognition, territorial compromise and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians. Only such a pence will guarantee the security of Israel, the realization of aspirations and regional stability.”

The statement, which became part of Washington’s platform, was quite a bit longer and more specific than this resolution, although it addressed the same position. The extended version was “proposed and adopted by the Dukakis and Jackson delegates at the Washington State Convention on June 11. The plank was read jointly by myself and Sarah Kaplan, of the mainstream Jewish community. The joint presentation was one of the warmest moments of the day,” remembered Said.