GOP Platform Language Removes Two-State Solution

The Republican Party platform will likely make no mention of the idea of a two-state solution, a pillar of U.S. policy under both previous Democratic and Republican administrations, according to a platform draft pending the approval of the Republican Party’s Platform Committee.

“We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier,” the platform’s language on Israel, approved by a subcommittee in Cleveland on Monday, 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.”

The platform also recognizes that “the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (“BDS”) is anti-Semitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel” and calls for federal legislation “to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories, in a discriminatory manner.”

The amendment was proposed by GOP delegate Alan Clemmons, a South Carolina state representative, and approved by a 14-2 vote.

In the 2012 platform, the Republicans supported for “Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with secure, defensible borders,” and advocated for “two democratic states – Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine – living in peace and security.”

As previously reported, the platform reinstates a reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital of Israel by saying, “We recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state, and call for the American embassy to be moved there in fulfillment of U.S. law.”

The language signals a breakaway from U.S. administrations’ policy and a view held by a majority of American Jews to reflect the opinion of a majority of Israel’s cabinet and the basic guidelines of Netanyahu’s coalition.

Donald Trump’s Israel advisors, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, worked together with pro-Israel groups within the Republican Party to remove support for a Palestinian state from the party’s platform, according to people involved in the drafting.

“The language of the Clemmons amendment was adopted by a landslide,” Jeff Ballabon, chair of the Iron Dome Alliance, a group lobbying for the adoption of the current language, told Jewish Insider. “We wholeheartedly endorse the new Israel plank and we hope and pray and are working to ensure that the full committee adopts the subcommittee’s language as well. The new language is much more in line with GOP voters – and stands far more clearly with Israel’s sovereignty and security.”

“Pro-Israel voters will be confronted with a very, very clear choice in 2016,” added Ballabon.

The Democratic Party’s platform, approved on Saturday, supports “a two-state solution – 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 Democratic platform also recognizes Jerusalem as “the capital of Israel, an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”

The Republicans’ Israel language could still change before the full platform committee approves the platform.

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