Jerusalem: Party Platforms Aligned

Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Joseph Block wears an Obama '08 yarmulke during day two of the Democratic National Convention.

The Republican Jewish Coalition plans to run a newspaper ad in Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention asking, “What is missing from Obama’s 2012 Democratic platform?” and highlighting what the Republicans say are pro-Israel provisions missing from this year’s document as compared with four years ago, most notably a pledge that “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.”

The platform changes “raise serious questions about President Obama’s and the party’s commitment to Israel,” said Matthew Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which has received $250,000 from Crossroads GPS, the nonprofit that Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush’s top political strategist, helped found.

The only problem is the Republicans have done something similar in their platform, as Bloomberg’s Lisa Lerer reports.

Missing from this year’s Republican platform is this sentence: “We support Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and moving the American embassy to that undivided capital of Israel.”

“Does this mean the Republican Party is suddenly anti-Israel? Of course not,” said David Harris, president of the National Jewisdh Democratic Committee. “But it does mean that GOP leaders pointing fingers are wildly hypocritical.”

Presidents of both parties have kept the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, pending a peace settlement. Israel has annexed all of Jerusalem, including the Old City that Jews were excluded from during Arab rule after the 1948 War for Independence, though the U.S. and other countries do not recognize that action.

Palestinians hope to establish the capital of their future state in East Jerusalem. Even the aforementioned 2008 Democratic platform goes on to say, “The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations.” In truth, both party platforms use similar language on U.S.-Israel relations.

“President Obama and the Democratic Party maintain an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” the Democratic document states. The Republicans state, “We affirm our unequivocal commitment to Israel’s security.”


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