A push to move the GOP to the right on Israel scored a preliminary victory Monday in Cleveland.
Delegates drafting the Republican National Convention platform approved removing language encouraging a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians.
An earlier draft had included support for “two democratic states” – the policy of recent Republican and Democratic administrations – but had removed a reference to Palestine included in the GOP platform four years ago.
On Monday, the national security subcommittee of the Platform Committee approved an amendment dropping support of a two-state solution, according to four people who were in the room for the discussion.
Copies of the text are not distributed to the press, who are allowed to view proceedings. CNN obtained a copy of the earlier draft and received confirmation of the new language from multiple sources.
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“The U.S. seeks to assist in the establishment of comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, to be negotiated among those living in the region,” the approved amendment said. “We oppose any measures intended to impose an agreement or to dictate borders or other terms, and call for the immediate termination of all U.S. funding of any entity that attempts to do so.”
The move was a win for a group called the Iron Dome Alliance, which lobbied for the change.
In further moves to distinguish the GOP from Democrats on Israel as the latter party moves further to the left on the issue, the Republican amendment also included new language defending Israel.
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“We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier, and specifically recognize that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (“BDS”) is anti-Semitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel,” the new version read.
That seemed to be a direct shot at Democrats, who had to fight back a strong movement within their own party, represented by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, to call out “occupation” by Israel in the party platform.
The Monday language also went beyond the early draft, restoring the term “undivided” – dropped in 2012 – to refer to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The full Platform Committee will consider the subcommittee’s version of the national security text on Tuesday, where delegates may offer more changes.