NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
For Immediate Release: May 23rd, 2011
Contact: Eric Jotkoff, (850) 222-3411
Chairman Smith: From President Truman to President Obama, The Democratic Party Has An Unwavering Commitment To Israel
Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith released the following statement:
“From President Truman’s bold step of immediately recognizing Israel on May 14, 1948, to President Barack Obama’s work to bring peace to the Middle East, Floridians know that the Democratic Party has a proud tradition of standing with, and an unwavering commitment to, Israel.
“Last week, President Obama reaffirmed his support and our nation’s commitment to the state of Israel. He recognized Israel’s vital role as a secure homeland for the Jewish people, reiterated the long-standing policy of peace negotiations using the 1967 lines with mutually agreed upon swaps as a starting point, and he categorically rejected the notion that the Palestinians can unilaterally declare a state or refuse to recognize the sovereign state of Israel.
“The President made clear that a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland of the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland of the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition and peace.
“The United States will not support an outcome that undermines Israel’s status as a Jewish state, and President Obama specifically made it clear that the United States will oppose all efforts to delegitimize Israel.
“While Republicans rushed to oppose the President, as they do on every issue, the fact remains that all previous negotiations have began with a baseline of the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed upon swaps. The question has been and continues to be where these adjustments, or swaps, would be. This principle is consistent with long-standing U.S. policy, including the letter President Bush wrote to Prime Minister Sharon in 2004.
“And President Obama made it clear that Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with a party that denies its right to exist, therefore given the recent deal between Fatah and Hamas, Hamas must recognize Israel and renounce violence before a lasting peace can be achieved.”