Wait A Minute, The Republican Platform Doesn’t Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital?
Another platform controversy?
I’ve written twice already about the problems the Democratic Party faced, mostly from within their own ranks over the removal of platform language recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Republicans, of course, also chimed in on the story quite gleefully. As Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher notes, however, the Republican Platform doesn’t contain any language at all recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:
The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has become a political football during the 2012 election,first snapped byMitt Romney‘s campaign during the candidate’s visit to Israel in July, and passed to the Democrats when they approved a platform which contained no mention of it. Now that that’s fixed, though, the mainstream media seems to have missed the glaring fact that only the Democratic Party Platform recognizes Jerusalem as the current capital of Israel.
Here’s what the Democratic Party National Platformsays about Jerusalem, reportedly at the insistence of President Obama:
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.
It doesn’t get any more direct than that. “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.”
However, the Republican Party Platform takes a different view: (emphasis mine)
We support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with secure, defensible borders; and we envision two democratic states—Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine—living in peace and security.
Given Republican rhetoric on Israel and Jerusalem, and Mitt Romney’s own promise that, as President, he would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem (a promise numerous Presidents including Obama have made and never delivered on, by the way), this actually surprises me. I had assumed, without checking, that the GOP had similar language in its platform. It clearly does not, as the quoted sentence (the only reference to Jerusalem in the entire 62 page Platform [PDF]) speaks of the future of the Middle East, not a presently existing fact. Where were the strongly pro-Israel evangelicals to protest the platforms refusal to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? It didn’t take long, after all, for Jewish Democrats to protest the removal of that language from their party’s platform, and for President Obama himself to order its reinstatement.
Some will wonder why this part of the GOP Platform didn’t become an issue last week for the press. That’s quite simply, actually. the absence of language is far less of a story than the removal of language that had been there for decades. Of course, if the Republican convention had occurred after the Democratic Convention this time around, it’s likely someone would have noticed the differences.
As I’ve said before, I find most of the controversies that develop around platforms to be rather pointless. Nonetheless, now that the Democrats have been raked over the coals over this Jerusalem issue, one wonders if anyone will ask the GOP about the lack of a similar provision in their platform. Turnabout, after all, is fair play.