CHARLOTTE, N.C.–The Democratic Party platform doesn’t state that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, a change from prior years that could provide fuel to critics who say President Barack Obama’s commitment to Israel is weak.
“President Obama and the Democratic Party maintain an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” begins the 70-page platform in a section titled “The Middle East.” The three-paragraph section details the Obama administration’s support for Israel—including boosting security assistance—but says nothing about Jerusalem.
For years, both parties’ official platforms have mentioned that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel as part of an effort to show unflagging support to the country (and to garner support with Jewish voters). In 2008, the Democratic Party’s platform said “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.”
The Republican Party’s platform for 2012 says “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.”