J Street is reportedly pushing for a “balanced” Democratic Party platform plank on Israel, one that would include criticism of the Israeli occupation and some recognition of the need to push for Palestinian rights.
The dovish pro-Israel group is circulating a memo that seems to underline the possibility that Israel could become a major flashpoint at the convention in Philadelphia, Politico reported.
“The party should state its commitment to Israel’s security and recognition as the national homeland of the Jewish people and their right to a normal life free from terror and incitement,” J Street writes in the memo being circulated among members of the platform drafting committee, according to Politico “The party should also state its commitment to ensuring that Palestinians can govern themselves in their own state, in peace and dignity.”
Israel is shaping up as a key battleground between presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders.
Sanders has appointed several pro-Palestinian figures to a platform committee, raising the possibility that the split will bring acrimony to the event and distract from Clinton’s efforts to craft a choreographed show of unity against Donald Trump.
J Street appeared to be hewing a middle ground between the two candidates, urging some nods to Palestinian demands without moving as sharply away from support for the Jewish state as some Sanders supporters want.
“The overall tone of the document should establish the party’s deep commitment to meeting the essential needs of both Israelis and Palestinians,” the memo said.
Jerusalem could also be a point of contention at the convention. J Street called for a position that moves the two-state solution forward, instead of focusing on the controversial idea of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, which presidents from both parties have refused to do.
The platform should call “for American recognition of the Jewish areas of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, with precise arrangements to be reached in negotiations,” the advocacy group says.