Jeremy Ben-Ami, president and founder of J Street, issued the following statement in response to the draft language of the Middle East plank of 2016 Democratic Party Platform made public Friday evening in St. Louis:
"The Democratic Party Platform Committee’s decision to include draft language that recognizes the legitimate rights and national aspirations of the Palestinian people alongside its recognition of Israel’s right to exist in peace and security marks an important step forward for the party.
The new language breaks with the party’s practice of framing its aim of establishing a Palestinian state solely in terms of Israel’s interests. By including parallel acknowledgement of Israeli and Palestinian rights, the party underscores its belief that the only viable resolution to the conflict–a two-state solution–requires recognizing that the fates of the two peoples are intertwined.
This more balanced approach stands to bring the party’s doctrine in-line with where the overwhelming majority of its voters, including its Jewish constituents, stand when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians. Party leaders have clearly come to understand that pragmatic, solution-driven approaches to the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict make for sound politics, as well as sound policy.
The current draft demonstrates that consensus on the issue of Israel and the Palestinians is readily attainable within the party. We look forward to continuing to work with drafting committee and other key stakeholders through the convention to ensure that the new language is included in the final platform."