On Tuesday, the Republican National Platform Committee unanimously adopted the most pro-Israel platform plank adopted by a political party in recent memory.
Presented by South Carolina delegate Alan Clemmons, in one fell swoop, a quarter-century of the standard, shopworn political language about Israel was tossed out and new platform language was adopted which:
- Places the GOP squarely behind the unity of Jerusalem,
- Opposes BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions),
- Removes the label of "occupier" from Israel for returning to Judea,
- And, much more.
The wording was adopted with a standing ovation (see video) by the Platform Committee and tears from those in the audience. And in typical Jewish fashion, as soon as the amendment was adopted, they broke for lunch.
The platform does not mention a “two-state” solution or a Palestinian state - not in order to reject the idea, but to leave that decision up to Israel. Additionally, it rejects the approach to the Israel/United States relationship established by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.
“We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier. Support for Israel is an expression of Americanism, and it is the responsibility of our government to advance policies that reflect Americans’ strong desire for a relationship with no daylight between America and Israel.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that, during Obama's first administration, creating "daylight" between the U.S. and Israel was a goal. Oren even quoted Obama as explaining to Jewish leaders:
“When there is no daylight,” the president said, “Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs.” The explanation ignored Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza and its two previous offers of Palestinian statehood in Gaza, almost the entire West Bank and half of Jerusalem—both offers rejected by the Palestinians.
The new platform language describes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital not to be shared or divide:
“We recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state, and call for the American embassy to be moved there in fulfillment of U.S. law.”
Also, for the first time, the platform recognizes that the “BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) movement is anti-Semitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel” and calls for federal legislation “to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories, in a discriminatory manner.”
Jeff Ballabon, an attorney, political consultant, and pro-Israel activist who helped write the new platform language, celebrated the platform's adoption as a "huge victory," telling MRCTV:
“This is a huge victory and an historic moment for the US-Israel relationship. This new plank respects both Israel's sovereignty and its good faith and sacrifices for peace. The language reflects the sentiment of the vast majority of Americans and almost all Republicans and the unanimous vote and standing ovation Rep. Clemmons received for his incredible leadership and inspiring speech proves it. The involvement of Donald Trump's Israel advisors Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman was quite literally a godsend. A major party has finally rejected the lie that Israel is an occupier and has lifted the brutal ultimatum that conditions America's support for Israel on the creation of a terror state in Judea and Samaria. G-d Bless America.”
Below is the text of the new Israel plank which was provided to MRCTV directly from South Carolina delegate Alan Clemmons who introduced it to the committee, which is followed by a video of Mr. Clemmons' five minute speech explaining the need for the changes.
Like the United States of America, the modern state of Israel is a country born from the aspiration for freedom, and standing out among the nations as a beacon of democracy and humanity. Beyond our mutual strategic interests, Israel is likewise an exceptional country that shares our most essential values. It is the only country in the Middle East where freedom of speech and freedom of religion are found. Therefore, support for Israel is an expression of Americanism, and it is the responsibility of our government to advance policies that reflect Americans' strong desire for a relationship with no daylight between America and Israel. We recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state, and call for the American embassy to be moved there in fulfillment of U.S. law.
We reaffirm America's commitment to Israel's security and will ensure that Israel maintains a qualitative military edge over any and all adversaries. We support Israel's right and obligation to defend itself against terror attacks upon its people, and against alternative forms of warfare being waged upon it legally, economically, culturally and otherwise. We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier, and specifically recognize that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement is anti-Semitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel. Therefore, we call for effective legislation to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories, in a discriminatory manner.
The U.S. seeks to assist in the establishment of comprehensive and lasting peach in the Middle East, to be negotiated among those living in the region. We oppose any measures intended to impose an agreement or to dictate borders or other terms, and call for the immediate termination of all U.S. funding of any entity that attempts to do so. Our party is proud to stand with Israel now and always.