A draft of the new Republican Party platform reportedly expresses “unequivocal support for Israel,” with the GOP platform committee adopting language that departs from past calls for a two-state solution, among other hot-button issues.
The proposed Israel language purportedly opens with a statement affirming similarities between U.S. and Israeli values, saying that Israel, like America, “is a country born from the aspiration for freedom and standing out among the nations as a beacon of democracy and humanity.”
It adds that Israel “shares our post essential values” and is the only Middle Eastern nation “where freedom of speech and freedom of religion are found.”
The text reportedly also proclaims that it is “an expression of Americanism” to support the Jewish state.
There are a number of contentious issues that are addressed within the text, including the proclamation that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel — a controversial idea considering the notion that the U.S. government, among many others, does not currently recognize it as the capital of the Jewish state.
Both the Israelis and the Palestinians lay claim to the land, but language in the new Republican platform, though, takes a firm stance, despite the fact that the U.S. embassy is currently located in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem.
“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,” the text reads. “We reaffirm America’s commitment to Israel’s security and will ensure that Israel maintains a qualitative military edge over any and all adversaries.”
The text goes on to support Israel’s right to defend herself from attacks, both militarily and economically, calling the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (“BDS”) “anti-Semitic in nature” and aimed at destroying the Jewish state.
“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 platform reads.
The document calls for negotiations to secure a lasting peace in the region, but does not wish to “dictate borders” in that dispute and will not support “funding of any entity that attempts to do so.”
The 2012 platform had said that the GOP envisioned "two democratic states," though this language is reportedly no longer present in the 2016 draft.
“Our party is proud to stand with Israel now and always,” the platform concludes.
Delegates on the floor of the Republican National Convention will vote on the text next week, NBC News reported.
That said, the platform committee unanimously voted to adopt the measures on Tuesday — a preliminary move heading into next week's key political event.
The provisions have sparked some debate. While aides for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump expressed support for the pro-Israel sentiment, others spoke out against the language.
"We wish to express our deep appreciation to the members of the subcommittee for their tireless efforts in crafting this plank," read a statement from Trump advisers Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman. "From conception to approval of this plank, we have witnessed the incredible dedication to Israel shared by so many individuals and we were humbled by this show of dedication and honored to take part in this process.”
But advocacy group J Street called the language both “dangerous and irresponsible.”
The group's statement reads, in part: “J Street is extremely concerned at reports that the Republican Party platform committee is weighing language abandoning support for a two-state solution, deleting any reference to the Palestinians and denying the international legal reality that Israel is an occupying power in the West Bank.”