The Anti-Defamation League On Wednesday expressed their disappointment with the Republican Party dropping its longstanding support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the party’s 2016 platform.
“We are disappointed that the platform draft departs from longstanding support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – and the shared vision of successive American presidents and prime ministers of Israel, including the current leadership in both countries, who believed it was the only viable way to secure Israel as both a Jewish and democratic state,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.
The Republican Party’s Platform Committee unanimously approved proposed language that drops any reference to the party’s longstanding support for the two-state solution on Tuesday.
“We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier,” the platform’s language on Israel reads. “Support for Israel is an expression of Americanism, and it is the responsibility of our government to advance policies that reflect Americans’ strong desire for a relationship with no daylight between America and Israel.”
Greenblatt said the ADL is “pleased that the platform draft affirms the GOP’s unwavering support for a strong and secure Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and unequivocally rejects the BDS movement,” reinforcing “the broad bipartisan consensus in favor of strong U.S. support for Israel that has endured for decades.” Nonetheless, he urged GOP to reconsider the approved language and “reaffirm this pillar of U.S. policy toward Israel in the final platform.”
Jewish Democrats also criticized Republicans for drafting a platform that makes Israel a wedge issue in the 2016 presidential election. ”When it comes to Republican rhetoric on Israel, they can’t even find themselves to be in line with the rhetoric of the prime minister of Israel when it comes to a two-state solution,” the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) said in a statement on Tuesday. “But as the GOP platform overcompensates to the right on Israel, the Republican nominee still has a less than impressive pro-Israel record.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition welcomed the new platform language as a “sensible updating of our party’s traditional and unwavering commitment to a strong US-Israel relationship.”
“This is in complete contrast to the Democrats who are dealing with an anti-Israel insurrection,” RJC spokesman Mark McNulty told Jewish Insider. “Not only are Democrats dealing with the aftermath of 2012 where they booed pro-Israel platform resolutions but they are dealing with the Bernie Sanders set who are hell bent on further eroding the pro-Israel consensus in America. We have endured eight years of Democratic rule under Barack Obama who has done nothing but achieve an all-time low in US-Israel relations.”
McNulty said that instead of criticizing the platform, Democrats should take the Republican Party’s lead “and vehemently reject those voices in America who want to criticize Israel and instead codify their support of and elevate Israel – and their commitment to Democracy in the Middle-East – within their party platform.”