Tag Archives: platform

2012 DNC Platform and Israel

From Daniel Harper at The Weekly Standard:

An Obama campaign official confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD that President Obama “personally” intervened to alter the Democratic platform to include a reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The new platform, adopted this evening at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, now includes pro-Israel language that the previous document did not.

The president did want to make clear what his personal beliefs were because they were not in the original platform,” the campaign official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The new language reads, “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”

However, while the new Democratic platform apparently now reflects the “personal beliefs” of President Obama, it is now at odds with Obama administration policy.

In July, when White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked to name the capital of Israel, he refused to do so. Acknowledging that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the Obama administration insists, would pre-judge one of the “final status issues” in the peace process.

The campaign official acknowledged this discrepancy. “The president has a personal view, but the president and the administration’s view as a matter of policy is ultimately that Jerusalem is a final status issue,” said the official.

She elaborated, “It doesn’t make sense for a U.S. a president impose his personal beliefs in a policy context. … But it’s important for him to make clear where he stands on these issues.”

So while Obama personally believes Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, his administration will not say so.

The official insisted, however, that it is commonplace for presidents to hold conflicting personal and policy views on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, citing Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan as examples.

But let us not forget what President Obama said last year concerning the borders of Israel.

From the National Journal:

“The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states,” Obama said. “The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”

President Barack Obama

2012 Democratic Platform on Jerusalem, Israel

The 2008 Democratic Party Platform said this about Jerusalem, Israel:

Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.

However, the 2012 Democratic Party Platform has said nothing about Jerusalem, Israel, and the language about Israel is different:

President Obama and the Democratic Party maintain an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security. A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States not simply because we share strategic interests, but also because we share common values. For this reason, despite budgetary constraints, the President has worked with Congress to increase security assistance to Israel every single year since taking office, providing nearly $10 billion in the past three years. The administration has also worked to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region. And we have deepened defense cooperation – including funding the Iron Dome system – to help Israel address its most pressing threats, including the growing danger posed by rockets and missiles emanating from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. The President’s consistent support for Israel’s right to defend itself and his steadfast opposition to any attempt to delegitimize Israel on the world stage are further evidence of our enduring commitment to Israel’s security.

It is precisely because of this commitment that President Obama and the Democratic Party seek peace between Israelis and Palestinians. A just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord, producing two states for two peoples, would contribute to regional stability and help sustain Israel’s identity as a Jewish and democratic state. At the same time, the President has made clear that there will be no lasting peace unless Israel’s security concerns are met. President Obama will continue to press Arab states to reach out to Israel. We will continue to support Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, which have been pillars of peace and stability in the region for many years. And even as the President and the Democratic Party continue to encourage all parties to be resolute in the pursuit of peace, we will insist that any Palestinian partner must recognize Israel’s right to exist, reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements.

But as this website notes, the language in the 2012 platform is much different and weaker than that of the 2008 platform.

The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient efforts and the personal commitment of the President of the United States. The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.

Follow Chris On Twitter