The other platform changes
By Ron Kampeas · September 6, 2012
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
We've covered extensively the removal and the return of Jerusalem to the Democratic Party platform.
We've also noted the Republicans' modification of their Jerusalem language -- the removal of "undivided" and of a call to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. (Democrats, in restoring the Jerusalem language from their 2008 platform, added a line about how Jerusalem should "remain an undivided city." I'm sure no one drafting this intended to rub in the GOP's removal of "undivided". Nyuk.)
And we've noted how Republicans have preserved a commitment two two-states in their platform.
There are other omissions in the Democratic Party platform that Republicans have noted in their attacks, although the focus has been on Jerusalem. And Democrats have noted enhancements in their newer platform.
The Republican Jewish Coalition, in an ad, has noted the removal of language calling for the return of Palestinian refugees only to a Palestinian state, and not to Israel; a call to keep Hamas isolated; and a reference to "Israel, our strongest ally in the region."
My understanding from pro-Israel folks: The omission of the last reference, to "strongest ally," is troubling. Interesting, that the Democrats did not address this.
Otherwise, the Republican platform does not mention refugees either; and Hamas is alluded to in the newer Democratic platform, which says that "any Palestinian partner must recognize Israel’s right to exist, reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements."
Democrats also note enhanced language in their 2012 platform. The most significant of these has to do with Iran:
At the same time, [Obama] has also made clear that the window for diplomacy will not remain open indefinitely and that all options – including military force – remain on the table.
Specifying military force explicitly is new -- the Republicans fall back on the coy "all options" language, which is interesting because that elision has frustrated pro-Israel groups and Republicans and Democrats in Congress no end in the last year, and helped bring about more explicit warnings from the White House, culminating in its explicit mention in the platform.
Here's the GOP 2012 language:
We must retain all options in dealing with a situation that gravely threatens our security, our interests, and the safety of our friends.
Here are the full platforms for full perusal (some are PDF): Democrats, this year, and in 2008; and Republicans, this year and in 2008.