Republican Party Distances Itself From Israel Resolution

The party stands by its two-state platform. But many in the grassroots like the idea of a single state.

A spokesman for the Republican National Committee downplayed the significance of a resolution passed by committee members that could be read as endorsing Israeli annexation of the Palestinian territories.

The resolution, noticed yesterday with some alarm by a liberal analyst of the region and then by ThinkProgress, cites Israel's Biblican ties to the region and calls for its land to be governed by "one law" -- language that appears to be a call for a single, greater Israel and an abandonment of the bipartisan consensus on the need for two states, Israel and Palestine.

Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer said the resolution -- passed, among other eclectic measures at its Winter Meeting last week in New Orleans -- does not bind the party or represent its position.

"The only thing that matters is what’s in our platform," he said, referring to the quadrennial document shaped at Republican National Conventions in presidential years, and negotiated with some care.

The 2008 Republican Party platform's national security section says:

We support the vision of two democratic states living in peace and security: Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital, and Palestine.

"The platform of the Republican party is the defining document. It lays out clearly where the party stands on key issues," Spicer said.

The resolution does, though, indicate the extent to which the party's grassroots will back Israel in basically any event, and would support a far more maximal Israel position than that held by any but the most hawkish Israeli parties.

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