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Democrats Rebuke Anti-Israel Platform Statement

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Wall Street Journal: Democrats Rebuke Anti-Israel Platform Statement

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ORLANDO, Fla.—Democrats beat back an effort by Bernie Sanders’s allies Saturday that would have tipped the party platform in a direction criticizing Israel for its treatment of Palestinians.

The party’s Platform Committee rejected an amendment that would have rebuked Israel for its “occupation” of the West Bank and for creating “illegal settlements” that have come at the expense of Palestinians. The vote to defeat the amendment was 95-73, with members loyal to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leading the opposition.

Democratic platforms have typically stressed the importance of Israel’s security. An early draft of the 2016 platform largely hewed to that script, saying Israel should retain its “qualitative military edge” in the Middle East. The draft also called for a two-state solution in which Palestinians would have their own state and live in “dignity.”

Prominent scholar Cornel West, a Sanders appointee to the Platform Committee, spoke in favor of the amendment, saying Democrats should show “double love.” “We ought to have a love for our precious Jewish brothers and sisters and a love for Palestinians,” he said to the 187-member committee.

Nancy Soderberg, a Clinton supporter opposed to the amendment, said the platform’s existing language was sufficient and ensured that both Israelis and Palestinians would “achieve dignity, justice…and independence.”

When the amendment was defeated, supporters of Mr. Sanders jeered, chanting “Free, free Palestine."
 
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