Republicans, too, toned down support for Jerusalem in new platform, Times of Israel learns
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Republicans, too, toned down support for Jerusalem in new platform, Times of Israel learns

A day after Republicans slammed Democrats for their Jerusalem shift, comparison shows that 2008 GOP promise to move US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is gone from 2012 text

Haviv Rettig Gur is The Times of Israel's senior analyst.

Republican US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a press conference in Jerusalem Sunday, July 29, 2012 (photo credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash90)
Republican US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a press conference in Jerusalem Sunday, July 29, 2012 (photo credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash90)

A reading of the Republican Party’s platforms from 2008 and 2012 reveals that Republicans have toned down language in their platform related to Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

The revelation comes just a day after Republican Jewish groups, and presidential candidate Mitt Romney himself, blasted Democrats on the first day of their convention for removing key pro-Israel provisions, on Jerusalem and other issues, from the Democratic platform.

The Republican platform changes included removing the adjective “undivided” from references to Jerusalem, and cutting the sentence supporting the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The 2008 platform included the sentence “We support Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and moving the American embassy to that undivided capital of Israel.”

In the 2012 platform, that sentence is missing, with the only reference to Jerusalem – “Israel with Jerusalem as its capital” – lacking the word “undivided.” Support for moving the embassy to Jerusalem is excised entirely.

The changes seem more modest than those in the Democratic platform, which removed in its entirety the endorsement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, cut language supporting the resettling of Palestinian refugees in a future Palestine rather than in Israel, removed a call to isolate Hamas until it renounces violence and participates in the peace process, and also did away with language that opposed a “full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”

“It’s beyond the heights of hypocrisy for GOP leaders to point fingers as they remove strong pro-Israel language in their 2008 platform from their 2012 platform,” David Harris, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said Wednesday.

“As they’re watering down their platform, they’re pointing fingers at the most pro-Israel president in history,” he claimed, calling his own party’s platform “the most pro-Israel party platform in American history.

“I challenge anybody to read the relevant sections in that document” and conclude otherwise, he added.

Republican sources declined immediate comment on Wednesday.

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