GOP platform to back two states

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Republican Party’s platform is expected to include support for a two-state solution in the Middle East.

The platform committee, meeting in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, rejected three amendments that would have removed language supportive of a two-state solution, according to a delegate who put forward two of the amendments.

A vote before the full Republican Convention in Tampa is expected next week.

The proposed language as it now stands, written by the Romney campaign and committee aides, states, “We envision two democratic states,” according to BuzzFeed, the political news site that first reported on the amendments.

Three amendments were offered but not adopted following objections from a Romney surrogate, Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.). Two of those amendments were put forth by delegate Kevin Erickson, pastor at Cross Hill Church in Virginia, Minn., who wanted to replace the two-state language with tough language on terrorism, BuzzFeed reported.

A former public defender, Erickson told JTA that Israel “is not one of my primary issues.”

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He said he was intrigued after listening to a “pretty vigorous” discussion about a two-state solution that ended in “such a close vote.” He proposed alternatives that he said were aimed at satisfying both sides, but these were also defeated.

J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group, welcomed the result. 

“That such amendments could garner even a modicum of support demonstrates the very real threat to longstanding bipartisan support for the two-state resolution as a central feature of America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s survival and security as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people,” it said in a statement.

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