TEL AVIV – J Street is pushing Bernie Sanders’ efforts to make the Democratic party platform’s language more “balanced” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with emphasis on recognizing Palestinian rights to Jerusalem and concern over Israel’s settlement policy as “endanger[ing] peace.”
A memo circulated by the leftwing, George Soros-financed Mideast advocacy group seems to highlight that the Israel-Palestinian conflict will become a flashpoint at the national convention in Philadelphia next month, Politico reported.
“The overall tone of the document should establish the party’s deep commitment to meeting the essential needs of both Israelis and Palestinians,” the June 2 memo reads.
J Street also called for the platform to raise “concern about the expansion of settlements, which entrench the occupation and endanger peace,” while the language should reflect “American recognition of the Jewish areas of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, with precise arrangements to be reached in negotiations.”
The liberal group did, however, call on platform drafters to cite the party’s opposition to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Yet Cornel West, James Zogby, and Rep. Keith Ellison – three out of five drafters appointed by Sanders – are outspoken critics of Israel.
West is a vociferous critic of Israel who wrote that the crimes of Hamas “pale in the face of the U.S.-supported Israeli slaughters of innocent civilians.”
A day before his appointment to the DNC committee was announced, Zogby described Israeli society as “extreme and intolerant.”
Sanders’ move to change the party’s stance on Israel may also scuttle Hillary Clinton’s efforts to present a united Democratic front against Donald Trump at the convention.