Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Wednesday both downplayed the omission of a statement in the official Democratic platform that would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The statement had been in previous party platforms.
“I really don’t think it’s that significant,” said Silver, an Orthodox Jew. “Republicans and Democrats have run with a platform that says move the embassy to Jerusalem for many, many years,” Silver said. “Whether it was a Republican or Democratic president, nobody followed it.”
Silver said what’s important is that the Democratic platform contains a “reaffirmation of our commitment to Israel. That’s been a part of every Democratic administration.”
Asked if the omission was significant enough to hurt President Barack Obama with Jews, Silver said he didn't think so, but said it was too early to tell.
“I think what’s significant is that people don't look at the platforms,” Silver said.
Gillibrand didn’t directly say whether she thought it would damage Obama.
“I disagree with that platform,” Gillibrand said repeatedly when asked several times about the issue. “I think President Obama can stand on his strong record as a friend of Israel .?.?. President Obama has worked very hard on Israel’s security.”