Partners for Progressive Israel calls on the Democratic Party to include forthcoming language regarding the occupation and settlements in its platform.
We note with deep concern the progress of negotiations concerning the Israel-Palestine conflict plank of the Democratic Party platform. We are pleased with the language thus far that calls for self-determination and dignity for Palestinians in a two-state solution. However, this does not go far enough. There is no mention of the occupation, which will go into its 50th year in 2017, the end of which is a prerequisite for the reestablishment of any dignified, free, Palestinian life. Nor is there mention of the illegal settlements. It is estimated that approximately 400,000 Jews will be living on the West Bank by the end of the Obama administration, and the building of settlements by Israel, contrary to international law, continues apace. At the least, the Democratic Platform should call for a cessation of all illegal settlement activity by Israel which is the only way to achieve a restart of stalled negotiations between the two sides.
We note the participation of the Sanders campaign and J Street in these negotiations with the Democratic Party Platform Committee. Bernie Sanders has during the campaign himself taken positions consistent with the immediate goal of ending the occupation and settlement activity, and these are the explicit goals of J Street as an organization. We call upon these groups to insist upon inclusion of these matters in the language of the Democratic Platform.