RNC calls for ‘united Israel governed under one law for all people’

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Republican National Committee adopted a resolution calling for "a united Israel governed under one law for all people."

The resolution passed last week at an RNC conference in New Orleans. Some liberal bloggers suggested that the resolution effectively called for a single state in Israel and the West Bank, with citizenship rights extended to all.

With a preamble that describes the land of Israel as God-given to the Jews, the resolution resolves "that the members of this body support Israel in their natural and God-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon their own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others; and that peace can be afforded the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people."

For some, the reference to the biblical mandate in the preamble and the resolution’s rejection of the term "occupier" flagged an endorsement of claims by some right-wing Israelis to the entire biblical land of Israel.

"There is no interpretation possible other than that the RNC is also advocating complete Israeli annexation of the West Bank, including granting citizenship to the Palestinians living there," wrote Mitchell Plitnick, the blogger who first reported on the resolution on Thursday. 

The dovish group J Street tweeted that the resolution "confirms the decades-long bipartisan consensus on a two-state solution is shattered."

However, the preamble’s language also suggests that the lands it refers to are those that Israel held before 1967. "The Nation of Israel declared its independent control and governance of said lands on May 14, 1948, with the goal of re-establishing their God-given lands as a homeland for the Jewish people."

"I’m not sure it takes a position on borders beyond allowing the state of Israel to have secure ones," Ralph Reed, a top Republican strategist and the chairman of the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition, told JTA in an e-mail on Friday.

The resolution also called for member lawmakers to institute similar legislation in their legislatures.

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