Posted by on February 03, 2012 in Blog

Iowan voters have a proud history of thoughtfulness and concern for the issues of each and every election. The Middle East peace process is no different. Iowans’ concern for the Middle East peace process had a profound effect on the 2008 election and the debate among candidates about foreign policy challenges. Barack Obama was questioned about the plight of the Palestinian people in Iowa by activists in 2007, which prompted Obama to lay out a more balanced stance on the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the road to peace than any other candidate in the ’08 race. With the 2012 elections drawing closer, Iowan Democrats are again demonstrating leadership on Middle East peace as counties prepare platforms for the state convention.

The platform committee of the Democratic Party in Johnson County, Iowa has passed a platform with courageous stances on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

“We support:

24. The establishment and recognition of a contiguous, viable Palestinian State along the 1967 borders.

25. Israel’s right to live within secure borders, with democracy to all of its citizens regardless of religion.

26. The health and welfare of the people of Gaza, and demand that Israel end its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

27. Delegating the UN as the sole authority to facilitate a final resolution.

We oppose:

28. Israel’s settlement activity on territory captured in the six-day war of 1967.

29. Moving the US embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem prior to final resolution.

30. The Separation Barrier for precluding Palestinians from their families, schools, and jobs.

31. Use of human shields, collective punishment and violations of international laws.”

This bold platform will be taken to the Democratic Party’s state convention, where it will become a part of the broader policy debate.

In previous election cycles, Iowa's Democrats have similarly passed resolutions at their state conventions supporting a more balanced US policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 1988 Iowans passed a platform position supporting "the right of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples to a homeland achieved through peaceful means, negotiated by representatives of their choosing." in 2004 Iowans passed a platform supporting: all peaceful efforts to achieve a secure Israel and a separate, secure Palestinian state, giving equal consideration to the needs and positions of both Palestine and Israel, while holding both sides accountable for their actions."

Iowans are demonstrating leadership and forward-thinking on US foreign policy outside of the party convention process as well. The Group Concerned Iowans for Middle East Peace (CIMEP) is hard at work once again, encouraging precinct caucuses to adopt thoughtful stances on the Israel-Palestinian conflict and to stand by those stances. Thus, the work of activist groups, party leadership, and average voters has Iowa leading the nation in advocating for a more compassionate, peace-focused foreign policy.

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