The Republican Party is in the process of changing its platform on Israel to include language that is more in favor of Israel, including moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Behind the News In advance of the party’s nominating convention, the GOP platform committee held its first meeting Monday in Cleveland, where it discussed reinstating a reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital and removing a reference to “Palestine.”
This new draft marks a significant change from the platform from four years ago, which did not include the word “undivided” in reference to Jerusalem, but did include mention of “Palestine.”
The 2012 platform read, “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.”
On Monday, CNN reported, the subcommittee reviewing the platform specifically rejected language affirming the party’s commitment to what is known as the two-state solution.
Last month a senior official in the Trump campaign said that if elected president, Trump would back Israel annexing portions of Judea and Samaria.
In an interview with Israeli daily Haaretz, Trump’s co-adviser on Israeli affairs, David Friedman, addressed issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how the presumptive republican nominee would handle them if elected in November.
“I think there are parts of the West Bank that will stay part of Israel in any peace deal. I am sure he [Trump] wouldn’t have any problem with that at all,” he said.
“Regarding the entire West Bank (Judea-Samaria) I think that’s a legal issue. I don’t think he will have a problem with that but he would expect Israel to continue seeking peace. He has no doubt that Israel wants peace,” Friedman continued.
Regarding the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Friedman said that Trump recognizes Israel has a “commitment to its citizens in Judea and Samaria” and says that there is no reason not to continue building. (Clinton wants Israel to stop all building)
Achieving peace does not need to focus on land, Friedman said “There are always creative ways to allow people to live in peace. It is not always about the land. We don’t accept the idea it is only about land. Nobody really knows how many Palestinians actually live there.”
An independent Palestinian state, said Friedman, will not happen without Israel’s consent.
“The Israelis have to make the decision on whether or not to give up land to create a Palestinian state. If the Israelis don’t want to do it, so he doesn’t think they should do it. It is their choice. … He [Trump] does not think it is an American imperative for it to be an independent Palestinian state,” he continued.
Trump’s viewpoint is that Israel shouldn’t have “to wait for another generation for the Palestinians to hold more realistic expectations and show less hostile motivation,” Friedman explained. “Trump’s position is that we have to deal with reality and not hopes and wishes.”