Democrats Remove Pro-Israel Language from Platform Update: Romney Responds

Update: Republican nominee Mitt Romney has released the following statement in response:

It is 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.

The Democrat Party has removed a section of its 2008 Party Platform in the 2012 version recently released online -- some key language in expressing support for the state of Israel.

Below is the section missing from the 2012 document (h/t Republican Jewish Coalition, @RJCHQ) :

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.

Each of these items is crucial to Israel, and all have been key areas of contention for those who believe this President has not been friendly to the Jewish State.

1. The United States should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism. Is Obama preparing to give this group legitimacy? He has already done it with Hamas's parent group, the Muslim Brotherhood, which recently took over Egypt's parliament and presidency. Hamas's partner in the U.S., CAIR, continues to be accepted by and promoted by Democrat members of Congress, despite an FBI warning.

2. ...should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. While the number of Palestinian refugees in 1949 was somewhere between 800,000-900,000, today the number is over 4 million. This group of refugees is the only example in history where the number has grown without a population shift (the UN counts the original refugees, their children, grandchildren, first cousin twice removed on their mother's side, friends, etc. as refugees). 

Since they cannot defeat Israel militarily, one of the Palestinians' strategies is to flood the country with "refugees" so it will cease to exist as a Jewish state via election. That is why the 2008 platform included the refugee statement. 

In keeping with their strategy, the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. And while the President has said Israel is the Jewish state, he has been very careful not to call for worldwide recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. Is the removal of the "settle elsewhere" statement an indication that the President agrees with the Palestinian "flood Israel with refugees" strategy?

3. 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. Obama walked away from that statement last May when he called for Israel to begin negotiations by agreeing to return to the 1949 lines. At the time, the Democrats said it was no change from previous policy; that was a lie. In 2008, Obama ran on the basis that a return to the 1949 lines was unrealistic. Why is that language is missing from this year's document?

5. Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. During a press briefing at the end of July, Jay Carney refused to outline the President’s position on Jerusalem. Eventually, the administration released a statement that Obama's position remains unchanged; Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel because its final status has not yet been negotiated. That statement was a lie, but it is now codified with the omission from this year's platform. 

Notice that it that the campaign isn't even saying the borders of Jerusalem are subject to negotiation, which would mean that the western part of the city would remain with the Jewish state. The Obama administration has removed all reference to Jerusalem from its platform, indicating a belief that the entire city is up for grabs.

Sometimes what a campaign doesn't say is more important than what it says. In 2008, Barack Obama ran on a strong pro-Israel platform. Granted, the platform's pro-Israel language were promises the president did not keep. Those who believe in a strong United States/Israel alliance should be concerned that this year's platform does not even pay lip service to these key issues for the future of the Jewish state. 


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