DNC Chair: Dems Adopted ‘Strongest Pro-Israel’ Platform

The Democratic Party has adopted the strongest pro-Israel platform in the party’s history ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week, DNC chairwoman and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz told Jewish Insider on Thursday.

“In this campaign, when it comes to which party and which candidate will make sure that we can remain solidly behind the U.S.-Israel relationship, it’s the Democratic Party, which has adopted the strongest pro-Israel plank, including adding anti-BDS language to our platform, in our party’s history,” Wasserman Schultz said during a press conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

Earlier this month, the Democratic Party’s platform committee rejected several proposals, introduced by supporters of Bernie Sanders, that would have undermined the party’s longstanding support for Israel. “We will continue to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity,” the platform reads. “Israelis deserve security, recognition, and a normal life free from terror and incitement. Palestinians should be free to govern themselves in their own viable state, in peace and dignity.”

The Republican Party’s platform also contains strong pro-Israel language, albeit it dropped any reference to the party’s longstanding support for the two-state solution. “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.”

Marc Zell, the co-chair of Republicans Overseas Israel chapter, told Jewish Insider on Monday that all of his initial concerns about Trump “have disappeared” when the GOP Platform Committee approved the new Israel language. “The straw that broke this camel’s back was this past week,” Zell said in an interview. “This is the most pro-Israel plank of any party in the history of the State of Israel, and who helped us write that and approved it? Donald Trump.”

Zell also blasted AIPAC for lobbying against the proposed amendment. “I have a lot of respect for AIPAC, but they were wrong about this,” he said. “They wanted to preserve the two-party consensus on all issues at any cost, and that’s not right. The Democrats are about to go over the cliff on Israel. It was only by a small miracle that they preserved the AIPAC plank, but there are people on that committee, as you know, who are basically anti-Semites and would have abandoned Israel in a second.”

 But Rep. Wasserman Schultz questioned the GOP’s commitment to preserve the U.S.-Israel relationship given that the party’s standard-bearer in this election is Donald Trump. Referring to Chris Christie’s Tuesday attacks on Hillary Clinton, the DNC chair remarked, “Chris Christie should really be asking his good friend Donald Trump why it is that he said that if he were president he would be neutral when it came to the U.S.-Israel relationship; why it is that he said that he would actually support reducing our foreign aid to Israel because ‘they are doing just fine.’

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.