Aide Who Removed ‘Jerusalem’ from DNC Platform to Advise Biden on National Security

Democratic aide Colin Kahl named as Biden national security adviser

Joe Biden
Joe Biden / AP

The Democratic aide who removed "Jerusalem" from the DNC platform at the 2012 convention has been named national security adviser for Vice President Joe Biden.

Colin Kahl, a former Georgetown University professor and adviser to President Obama’s reelection campaign, was reportedly responsible for removing pro-Israel language from the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform, including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The removal of the language, which was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, sparked considerable controversy at the time and led to a contentious vote at the DNC convention over whether to put the pro-Israel statements back into the platform.

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Kahl also authored a 2013 blueprint for containing a nuclear-armed Iran.

While at the Center for a New American Security, Kahl authored a paper titled "If All Else Fails: The Challenges of a Nuclear-Armed Iran," which proposed how the United States could handle the Islamic Republic if it obtained nuclear weapons.

The Obama administration has repeatedly denied that it favors a containment strategy, with the president vowing to use military force if necessary to prevent an Iranian bomb.

However, critics have charged that the administration supports containment rather than military action behind closed doors and has come to terms with the idea that Iran will eventually go nuclear.

"Tehran may be able to achieve an unstoppable breakout capability or develop nuclear weapons in secret before preventative measures have been exhausted," Kahl wrote in his 2013 paper. "Tehran may be able to achieve an unstoppable breakout capability or develop nuclear weapons in secret before preventative measures have been exhausted."

"Washington would likely be forced to shift towards containment regardless of current preferences," he added.

Kahl has also worked closely with the National Iranian American Council, a lobbying group that has advocated for policies that support the Iranian regime, and has spoken at NIAC events.

In 2009, emails obtained by the Washington Times indicated that NIAC helped arrange meetings between members of congress and Iran’s then-United Nations ambassador Javad Zarif, who now serves as foreign minister.

The story prompted allegations that NIAC was skirting lobbying rules, including foreign agent registration requirements. In 2007, NIAC sued Iranian-American activist Hassan Daioleslam for libel after he accused it of lobbying for Iran.

NIAC lost the libel case in 2012, and a judge ordered it to pay over $180,000 to Daioleslam to compensate his legal expenses.