Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about the results of the South Carolina primary to supporters at a primary night party in Columbia, South Carolina, February 27, 2016. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – The Democratic Platform Committee has published its first draft of language on party policy for the Middle East for 2016.
The language, first obtained by The Jerusalem Post earlier last week, was negotiated and affirmed at a meeting of the committee in St. Louis last weekend.
“A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance and pluralism,” the platform draft reads.
“That is why we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself, including by retaining its qualitative military edge, and oppose any effort to delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.”
James Zogby, a member of the committee, told the Post last week the language is largely settled.
The passage continues: “We [the Democrats] will continue to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty and dignity. While Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations, it should remain the capital of Israel, an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”
This is the first time the Democratic Party will include reference to Palestinian rights to sovereignty and “dignity.”
It is also the first time the party will condemn the boycott movement, known as BDS, of Israel.
The platform also condemns the “recent uptick” in hate speech taking the form of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.