Countdown at Democratic Conclave
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Countdown at Democratic Conclave

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President Carter arrived in New York City this morning as the Democratic National Convention prepared to nominate him as its candidate for a second term. In brief remarks of thanks to his supporters and volunteer campaign workers, the President, as expected, said that Vice President Walter Mondale would be his running more again.

As Carter is driven around town tomorrow before his acceptance speech in the evening, an electronic message will be flashed above Times Square which will remind the President and the Democratic delegates of Israel’s 32-year “partnership in democracy” with the United States. The message is sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

One of the many groups demonstrating outside Madison Square Garden, the convention site, was the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry which sounded a shofar and declared, “Jimmy, repent–Jerusalem is one.” With some of the SSS J demonstrators wearing mock Soviet prison uniforms and others wearing prayer shawls, the group also called for “Prisoners of Conscience in the USSR to be able to rejoin their loved ones in a united, peaceful Jerusalem.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic conventionalized down the platform today approving the sections on the Middle East which included a call for moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, Alfred Moses, special advisor to the President on Jewish affairs, told reporters here earlier this week that the President believes that the status of Jerusalem should be determined by negotiations between the parties involved rather than any unilateral action.

Moses called attention to a section of the Mideast plank which states that the Administration has to proceed with “sensitivity resulting from its deep engagement in the delicate process of promoting a wider peace for Israel.”

During the debate within the platform committee, when the platform was being completed in June, Carter forces had wanted to have this proviso placed at the end of the paragraph which said the Democrats are adopting the plank of 1972 and 1976 which calls for moving the embassy. But in a compromise with the supporters of Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, it was agreed to shift this proviso to an earlier part of the Mideast plank.


The changes approved in the platform were entirely on domestic matters. Following Kennedy’s speech last night which electrified the convention, the delegates approved the Senator’s proposals for a $12 billion job program and his condemnation of high interest rates. The convention also voted to cut off financial and political aid to Democratic candidates who do not support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and approved another amendment which calls for federal financing of abortions for poor women.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Edmund Muskie invoked the memory of the late Sen. Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota to urge support of continued Middle East negotiations. Muskie, who was Humphrey’s running mate when the then Vice President ran for the Presidency in 1968, said that Humphrey would have “applauded Jimmy Carter’s work in the Camp David agreements.”

“He would have encouraged us to see it through,” Muskie said, adding Humphrey would have understood that reaching a final agreement is hard work.

Muskie in his speech, which was part of a tribute to Humphrey, noted that the late Minnesota Senator was always in the forefront to “help laws in the Soviet Union, Blacks in South Africa” and other oppressed minorities in this country and abroad.

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