TAMPA -- The Republican party platform will continue to endorse a two-state solution as the path to peace between Israel and itsPalestinian neighbors, at the urging of a top Mitt Romney adviser.
The 112-delegates gathering here to draft the party's platform defeated three separate amendments that would have removed language endorsing two democratic states, a Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state, existing side-by-side.
U.S. policy has endorsed a two-state solution for years, as did Republicans' 2008 platform. But several delegates sought to remove the language, arguing it undercut other platform language offering unambiguous support for Israel and would pressure Israel to negotiate. One delegate suggested the GOP's platform too closely resembles the position of Democrats and President Obama on the issue.
The amendments were defeated at the urging of former Sen. Jim Talent, who serves on the committee as a representative from Missouri and is an adviser to Romney. He noted that a two-state solution is Israel's own policy, endorsed repeatedly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"How do we express support for Israel if we offer an amendment that is pushing them in the direction of abandoning the policy they’ve chosen?" he argued.