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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Side-by-side: Democratic and Republican platforms on Middle East

I made this as fair as I could, trying to find the best correspondence between respective statements and taking out some of the partisan rhetoric.

Democratic Platform
Republican Platform
Israel
President Obama and the Democratic Party maintain an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security. A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States not simply because we share strategic interests, but also because we share common values.
Israel and the United States are part of the great fellowship of democracies who speak the same language of freedom and justice, and the right of every person to live in peace. The security of Israel is in the vital national security interest of the United States; our alliance is based not only on shared interests, but also shared values.
Despite budgetary constraints, the President has worked with Congress to increase security assistance to Israel every single year since taking office, providing nearly $10 billion in the past three years. The administration has also worked to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region…. We have deepened defense cooperation – including funding the Iron Dome system – to help Israel address its most pressing threats, including the growing danger posed by rockets and missiles emanating from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran.
We affirm our unequivocal commitment to Israel’s security and will ensure that it maintains a qualitative edge in military technology over any potential adversaries.
President Obama and the Democratic Party seek peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
The U.S. seeks a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, negotiated between the parties themselves with the assistance of the U.S., without the imposition of an artificial timetable. Essential to that process will be a just, fair, and realistic framework for dealing with the issues that can be settled on the basis of mutually agreed changes reflecting today’s realities as well as tomorrow’s hopes.
A just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord, producing two states for two peoples, would contribute to regional stability and help sustain Israel’s identity as a Jewish and democratic state.
We support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with secure, defensible borders; and we envision two democratic states – Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine – living in peace and security,
There will be no lasting peace unless Israel’s security concerns are met….We will insist that any Palestinian partner must recognize Israel’s right to exist, reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements.
The Palestinian people must support leaders who reject terror, embrace the institutions and ethos of democracy, and respect the rule of law.  Israel should not be expected to negotiate with entities pledged to her destruction.
Iran
The President is committed to using all instruments of national power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability threatens America, Israel, and the world. … America must lead the effort to prevent Iran from building and possessing nuclear weapons capability. 
President Obama believes that a diplomatic outcome remains the best and most enduring solution [for Iran.]. At the same time, he has also made clear that the window for diplomacy will not remain open indefinitely and that all options – including military force – remain on the table. But we have an obligation to use the time and space that exists now to put increasing pressure on the Iranian regime to live up to its obligations and rejoin the community of nations, or face the consequences.
We express our respect for the people of Iran, who seek peace and aspire to freedom. Their current regime is unworthy of them. We urge the next Republican President to unequivocally assert his support for the Iranian people as they protest their despotic regime. We must retain all options in dealing with a situation that gravely threatens our security, our interests, and the safety of our friends.
Other Middle East topics
President Obama is committed to maintaining robust security cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council states and our other partners aimed at deterring aggression, checking Iran’s destabilizing activities, ensuring the free flow of commerce essential to the global economy, and building a regional security architecture to counter terrorism, proliferation, ballistic missiles, piracy, and other common threats.
We recognize the historic nature of the events of the past two years – the Arab Spring – that have unleashed democratic movements leading to the overthrow of dictators who have been menaces to global security for decades. In a season of upheaval, it is necessary to be prepared for anything. We welcome the aspirations of the Arab peoples and others for greater freedom, and we hope that greater liberty – and with it, a greater chance for peace – will result from the recent turmoil. 

Radical elements like Hamas and Hezbollah must be isolated because they do not meet the standards of peace and diplomacy of the international community. We call for the restoration of Lebanon’s independence, which those groups have virtually destroyed. We support the transition to a post-Assad Syrian government that is representative of its people, protects the rights of all minorities and religions, respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors, and contributes to peace and stability in the region. We offer a continuing partnership with the people of Iraq, who have endured extremist terror to now have a chance to build their own security and democracy. We urge special efforts to preserve and protect the ethnic and religious diversity of their nation.