21 July '16..
Everyone knows that party platforms are just for atmosphere. They bind nobody to anything, and are quickly forgotten after the election. But I must say that the Republican platform plank on Israel – regardless of what one thinks of the candidate – is remarkable, including the very fundamental statement that “[w]e reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier…” as well as recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (and not, as in the Democratic platform “a matter for final status negotiations.”)
And then there is what is not there. What has especially been noted is the absence of any mention of the so-called “two-state solution” (TSS), a consistent part of US policy since 1993.
Leaving it out today is not unreasonable. For the past 23 years we have been trying and failing to come up with a TSS acceptable to both sides, and as we shall see, there are good reasons for this. A partition of the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean to create a sovereign Palestinian state is only one of numerous possible solutions to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. Why should the platform of an American political party insist on one particular solution to a foreign conflict that ultimately can only be solved by the parties involved?
But Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, who is himself neither a Republican, an Israeli nor a Palestinian, finds it ‘ominous’, a “dangerous turning point.”
Jacobs’ arguments are surprisingly weak.
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