Democratic Party platform stripped of key pro-Israel policy statements, Republicans charge

Romney denounces Democrats for ’embracing President Obama’s shameful refusal to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital’

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

President Barack Obama (Obama image via Shutterstock)
President Barack Obama (Obama image via Shutterstock)

The Democratic Party’s 2012 platform is missing key pro-Israel provisions that were in the 2008 platform, but have apparently now been removed, Republicans charged Tuesday.

The 2008 platform had expressly said that “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel,” but the 2012 platform carried no mention of Jerusalem, according to a reading by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

Similarly, the 2008 platform demanded “the isolation of Hamas until that organization renounces terrorism and accepts other requirements of the peace process,” insisted that “any settlement of the so-called ‘refugees’ question in a final settlement make a future Palestinian state, not Israel, the destination for Palestinian ‘refugees,’” and noted “that it’s not realistic to expect [the] outcome of negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,” the RJC noted.

All those provisions were missing from the 2012 platform, the RJC said.

The Obama campaign and the National Jewish Democratic Council could not be reached for comment.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney responded quickly to news of the platform changes on Tuesday, charging that it was “unfortunate” that “the entire Democratic Party has embraced President Obama’s shameful refusal to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Four years of President Obama’s repeated attempts to create distance between the United States and our cherished ally have led the Democratic Party to remove from their platform an unequivocal acknowledgment of a simple reality. As president, I will restore our relationship with Israel and stand shoulder to shoulder with our close ally.”

According to RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks, the removal of the provisions showed that “this administration is painfully out of touch with the mainstream of the Jewish community, which knows that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and that it must remain the undivided capital of the Jewish State of Israel.”

“Before this platform, the Obama administration had already taken the Palestinians’ side on a number of issues related to the peace process – on borders, on settlements, and on Jerusalem,” according to Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, a conservative group that has been sharply critical of Obama’s policies toward Israel.

“It seems to me that with the deletion of the language about refugees, specifying that they should be settled in a future Palestinian state, not in Israel, that Obama is taking the Palestinian side on a fourth issue. I wonder: Does the administration really intend to open up for discussion whether Israel can be flooded with millions of Arab refugees. Is that their intention here? And if not, what is their intention?” Pollak asked.

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