Former Democrat national security officials call for tougher stance on Israel

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The Israeli and the American flags are screened on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City, on December 6, 2017, ahead of the speech by US President Donald Trump, in which he is set to announce the USA's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital city. Photo by Yontan Sindel/Flash90

In a letter to the Democratic National Committee, more than 30 U.S. officials urge the party to place more emphasis on the Palestinians.

(May 5, 2020 / JNS) Ahead of U.S. elections in November, the Democratic Party platform should include language critical of Israel, express sympathy with the Palestinians and call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said more than 30 former national security officials in a letter to the Democratic National Committee.

The letter, first reported by HuffPost on Monday, stated that the party should oppose Israeli annexation of the West Bank and Israel building settlements in the area—a concern ahead of Israel expecting to annex parts of Judea and Samaria this summer.

“Past party platforms have rightly stated a commitment to Israel’s security and included condemnations of threats and actions against our ally,” stated their letter. “Those platforms have, however, also 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.”

“We ask that the platform … make clear what a comprehensive effort to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should look like under a future Democratic administration, which includes a commitment to security, democracy and human rights,” it continued.

Signees included former Obama administration staffers, such as former Deputy National Security Advisor and deputy director of the CIA Avril Haines, and former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes. Clinton staffers Martin Indyk, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, and Strobe Talbott, who was deputy secretary of state, also signed the letter.

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