The US Democratic Party has been urged by top level American diplomats to include a number of pro-Palestinian positions within its platform for this year's presidential election. The request was made in a letter to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) signed by 32 leading US foreign policy professionals.
Among the signatories are: Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel and US Special Envoy for Israeli–Palestinian Negotiations; Daniel Kurtzer, former US ambassador to Israel; Rob Malley, former Special Assistant to President Barack Obama; Ned Price, former Special Assistant to President Obama; and Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Adviser.
In their letter sent to the DNC yesterday, seen by MEMO, party leaders are urged not to remain silent on the Palestinian issue by endorsing Palestinians' right to self-determination, security and freedom while opposing Israel's ongoing occupation and settlement expansion.
"The actions of the Trump administration have upended decades of bipartisan US support for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," the letter reads. "In his "Deal of the Century," President Trump has provided the Israeli government with a green light to annex all West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley and maintain its occupation in perpetuity, making a sovereign, independent and contiguous Palestinian state impossible," they added.
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They echoed the warning of a number of former Israeli Prime Ministers, like Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, who said that the country's current course would lead to Israel becoming an apartheid state.
These moves imperil Israel's future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people, undermine the US-Israel special relationship and harm Palestinians
the letter argued.
While acknowledging that previous DNC platforms have made commitments to Israel's security, the letter appeared to criticise party leaders by pointing out that they "had been nearly silent on the rights of Palestinians, on Israeli actions that undermine those rights and the prospects for a two-state solution, and on the need for security for both peoples".
Urging the DNC to include their request, the letter said: "The 2020 platform should expressly state a commitment to a resolution of the conflict that ensures both Israel's security and future as a Jewish and democratic state with equal rights for all its citizens, as well as Palestinian rights, including self-determination, security and freedom."
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J Street, a progressive US Jewish group endorsed the letter on its website saying that it was "important and timely" as it comes at a time when a new Israeli governing agreement has likely opened the door to illegal, unilateral annexation in the West Bank.
A similar move in the UK saw 130 British members of parliament urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose economic sanctions on Israel should the country's new coalition government carry out its plans to annex the Palestinian territories of the occupied West Bank.