Trump: Is President Obama trying to destroy Israel?
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Trump: Is President Obama trying to destroy Israel?

As Republicans remove two-state solution from platform, candidate praises it as most pro-Israel ever

Donald Trump waving after a news conference at the Trump Tower in New York City, May 31, 2016. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images via JTA)
Donald Trump waving after a news conference at the Trump Tower in New York City, May 31, 2016. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images via JTA)

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump praised the Republican Party platform as “the most pro-Israel of all time!” — a signal to pro-Israel Republicans that he embraces their outlook.

Trump’s tweet Wednesday appeared to be aimed at assuaging doubts among pro-Israel Republicans that the party’s presumptive presidential nominee will hew to its pro-Israel trajectory of recent decades.

He followed the pro-Israel tweet with another asking, “Is President Obama trying to destroy Israel with all his bad moves? Think about it and let me know!”

Trump had raised concerns during the primaries by saying he would be neutral in Israeli-Palestinian talks and refusing to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He later backed away from those positions in his March address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, although he has yet to commit to maintaining US defense assistance to Israel.

US President Barack Obama arrives to speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention in Washington, Sunday, May 22, 2011 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
US President Barack Obama arrives to speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention in Washington, May 22, 2011. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

While Trump says he believes the Iran nuclear deal was a bad one, he will not say whether he will abrogate the agreement.

The platform approved this week by the Platform Committee, at the behest of right-wing pro-Israel delegates, removed the party’s commitment to a two-state outcome. It also rejected describing Israel’s presence in the West Bank as an “occupation” and said Jerusalem was “indivisible” as Israel’s capital.

Two states has been the policy of Republican and Democratic presidents since the late 1990s, along with much of the pro-Israel community. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it is still his favored outcome, although most of the ministers in his cabinet, when asked, declined to say the same.

Trump’s team was involved in drafting the platform, and his aides favored the pro-Israel language, delegates said, although it was not clear whether the nominee would embrace the language. On Wednesday night he did on Twitter.

The Democratic platform preserves its commitment to two states but also commits to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Both platforms decry the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has praised both platforms as including “strong pro-Israel language which is reflective of the broad bipartisan consensus in support of the Jewish state.”

The Anti-Defamation League, while praising the GOP platform, expressed concern about the removal of the two-state language.

“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’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a statement.

“We hope the delegates will reconsider and reaffirm this pillar of US policy toward Israel in the final platform.”

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