Republicans draft platform more favorable to Israel

The Republican Party has reportedly reinstated language endorsing an “undivided” Jerusalem into the party’s platform ahead of its national convention in Cleveland later this month.

According to CNN, which cited a first draft of the party platform that it obtained, the Republicans would reinstate a reference to an “undivided” Jerusalem, while removing a reference to “Palestine.”

The Republicans’ move comes after a lobbying effort by an affiliate of Pastor John Hagee’s influential Christians United for Israel (CUFI) organization. The CUFI Action Fund lobby had called on the GOP to reiterate its historically strong support for Israel by declaring Jerusalem as the “undivided and eternal” capital of the Jewish state.

In a letter that was sent to Republican convention delegates on July 6, former Ronald Reagan administration official Gary Bauer, director of the CUFI Action Fund, called for the Republican Party platform to “strengthen its language in support for Israel with Jerusalem as Israel’s ‘undivided, eternal’ capital.”

In 2008, the GOP platform included the sentence, “We support Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and moving the American embassy to that undivided capital of Israel.” But in the 2012 platform, that sentence was missing, and the platform instead mentioned “Israel with Jerusalem as its capital”—without the word “undivided.”

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The Democratic platform has also undergone changes, with Hillary Clinton‘s backers pushing back against a proposal to add language on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calling for “an end to occupation and illegal settlements.”

The committee instead kept language that advocates working toward a “two-state solution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict” that guarantees Israel’s security with recognized borders “and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity.”

By: and AP