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Carter, Kennedy Supporters Reach Compromise on Jerusalem Plank

June 25, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A package deal between the Carter and Kennedy forces affecting the planks on the status of Jerusalem, United States arms deliveries to Arab states and U.S. voting in the United Nations overfed a floor fight today over the Middle East section of the Democratic Party’s platform being homebred out here by the party’s platform committee.

On the Jerusalem plank, the supporters of President Carter backed down and agreed to allow the plank of the 1972 and 1976 platforms to stand without qualification. This states that the Democratic Party recognizes and supports “the established status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with free access to all its holy places provided to all faiths. As a symbol of this stand, the U.S. Embassy should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

The qualifying sentence to this plank that was insisted upon by the Carter forces last week and approved in the platform committee’s foreign policy subcommittee and the task force that had reviewed it was modified today and moved to another part of the long Middle East section. This now readies “It is recognized that the Democratic Administration has to proceed with special care and sensitivity resulting from its deep engagement in the delicate process of promoting a wider peace for Israel.”


Aides of Sen. Eaward Kennedy of Massa chusetts who had fought for this qualifying sentence considered the shift as a victory. They said that it now does not directly affect Jerusalem but is tied to the Camp David peace process as a whole.

The Carter supporters also accepted the language of Kennedy partisans that provides the U.S. should not deliver sophisticated weapons to Arab nations that might endanger Israel’s security. The Kennedy supporters offered this in the light of the Saudi Arabia request for enhancing the combat power of the 60 F-15 warplanes it has bought from the U.S. and President Carter’s promise to Jordan to supply it with 100 tanks.

The Kennedy forces dropped their amendment that would have had the U.S. pledging not to vote for resolutions in the United Nations condemning Israel. This was seen by Corter’s backers as a jibe at the President for the U.S. foul-up on the anti-Israel vote in the UN Security Council March 1.

The package deal began forming last night when the Carter people reviewed the Jerusalem plank. David Rubinstein, assistant to Stuart Eizenstat, the President’s chief domestic advisor, said that they felt the qualifying sentence “would be misinterpreted. “David Aaron, deputy National Security Council chairman, then approached Theodore Sorenson, chief of the Kennedy forces involved, and the compromising began.


“It was worked out between them, “Eizenstat later told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The long Mideast section says: “Our nation feels a profound moral obligation to sustain and protect the security of Israel. “it says “U.S. policy is — and should continue to be — guided also by the following principles: UN Security Council Resolution 242, unchanged, and the Camp David accords are the basis for peace in the Middle East, we support Israel’s security and will continue to provide generous military and economic aid to that end; Jerusalem should remain forever undivided with free access to the holy places for peoples of all faiths; we oppose creation of an independent Palestinian state; we will not negotiate with or recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization, unless and until it accepts Israel’s right to exist and UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

“It is also long past time for an end to terrorism or other acts of violence against Israel. We have not and will not use our aid to Israel as a tool for bargaining and we will never permit the policies of oil to influence our policies toward peace or our support for Israel.”

The platform which was understood here to be fully acceptable to all factions in the Democratic Party and is expected to be approved without change at the Democratic National Convention in August, also says: “Elsewhere in the Middle East we support the improvement of relations with modern Arab states. We support the independence, sovereignty and integrity of Lebanon. And we call upon all states in the region to support the historic efforts of Israel and Egypt to build a comprehensive peace.”

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