As Conventions Approach, Both Parties Reaffirm Support for Israel

Lillian Pinkus


July 13, 2016


Next week, the Republican National Convention will be held in Cleveland, followed by the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. At both conventions, delegates will give final approval to platforms that unequivocally support the U.S.-Israel relationship, a signal of the continuing bipartisan consensus that is the foundation of our support for Israel.

For decades, we have consistently worked with leaders in both parties to ensure that their party platforms underscore the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship. As a result of those efforts, both 2016 party platforms include significant pro-Israel provisions, including reaffirmation of our shared values, support for Israelís security, and importantly, recognition that Jerusalem is and must remain Israelís undivided capital.

Recent media reports have questioned our approach, and some even alleged that we worked to undermine pro-Israel sentiment, particularly on the issue of Jerusalem. These accusations are completely false. In fact, we supported efforts to reinsert language supporting Jerusalemís status in the 2012 Republican platform, when it was not included in the original draft. We also supported an effort to add Jerusalem to the Democratic platform in 2012 when it was not initially included. This year, we urged both parties to include recognition of Jerusalem as Israelís legitimate, undivided capital, and it was included in both platforms. After all, this is consistent with AIPACís own position since 1967, a position on which we have never wavered.

Seeing both parties adopt pro-Israel platforms is something to celebrate. We continue to reject the ease of being partisan for the long-term importance of building a bipartisan consensus.

We encourage both parties to subscribe to a vision of the U.S.-Israel relationship that reflects the values our community holds dear: supporting security aid to Israel, enhancing the strategic partnership between the two nations, supporting direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, and ensuring that Jerusalem remains the undivided capital of Israel.

Our vital bridge-building work runs counter to much of politics today. As AIPAC members, we work to bring Democrats and Republicans together in common cause to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship, so that in a world that is increasingly volatile and dangerous, our relationship with Israel remains solid and secure. Thank you for your continued support of that vital work.