On Tuesday morning, the Republican National Platform Committee unanimously adopted the pro-Israel Amendment presented by South Carolina delegate Alan Clemmons, who worked tirelessly to help create, lobby other delegates, and eventually to get this monumental new platform passed.
In one fell swoop a quarter century of standard language about Israel by either party was tossed out and new GOP platform language was adopted which the places Republican Party miles ahead of the Democrats in terms of supporting Israel, squarely behind the unity of Jerusalem, against BDS, and removing the label of “occupier,” and so much more.
In introducing the plank Rep. Clemmons spoke with passion:
Like the United States of America, our greatest ally, 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 our Americanism, and it is the responsibility of our party and our government to advance policies that reflect Americans’ strong desire for a relationship with no daylight between America and Israel.
(…) With the eyes of the country and wider world upon us, we have now arrived at a moment of truth, where we as a party must reckon with our principles and faith. Over the last decade, public polling has definitively proven that the Republican base overwhelmingly stands with Israel. Yet that is not what our platform presently reflects. As it now stands, our platform endorses the idea of forcing Israel to concede strategically vital territory, for the goal of creating a state to be run by the very terrorists and Jihadists who seek Israel’s destruction, and who openly celebrated the attacks of September 11th.
Today, I am presenting platform language that captures the true sentiment of pro-Israel supporters everywhere. The ideas and principles it forwards transcend partisanship. With the input of Mr. Trump’s excellent team of advisors, as well as leading policy experts from across the spectrum, we have developed a plank that is wise and deliberate in its expression, and shines a clear light upon the way forward.
Today we likewise call upon our pro-Israel counterparts in the Democratic Party to demand similarly good policy from their candidate and leadership at their upcoming convention. The false notion that the Jewish state is an occupier is an anti-Semitic attack upon Israel’s legitimacy. It is impossible for the Jew to be an occupier in his own ancestral homeland, a region that has been known as Judea since time immemorial.
The platform we present today places our support squarely behind Israel’s sovereign right to decide her own future with G-d’s help. It does not foreclose any possible solution to the conflicts Israel faces, including the Two-State proposal. Instead it affirms that we will be here to support our greatest ally in solving her challenges as she sees fit in her own superior judgment. (…)
The wording was adopted with a standing ovation by the Platform Committee and tears from those in the audience (see video below). And in typical Jewish fashion as soon as the amendment was adopted they broke for lunch.
Celebrating the big victory, Attorney, Political Consultant, and pro-Israel activist Jeff Ballabon (who helped write the new plank) told me
“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.”
Amen to that.
Below is the new Israel platform passed by the full platform committee on Tuesday, and a video of Rep. Clemmons passionate speech (any emphasis was added for publication on this site)
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.