Washington Democrats’ platform – Mideast issues

The following planks and resolutions were adopted by majority vote at the Washington State Democratic Convention in Spokane on June

Foreign Policy and Arms Control planks

5. The United States government should promote a comprehensive nego­tiated settlement of the Israeli-Arab and Israeli—Palestinian con­flicts based on (1) United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338; (2) mutual recognition of Israel’s right to live in peace within safe and internationally recognized borders, and the right of the Palestinian people to safety, self—determination, and an indepen­dent state; and (3) the signing of treaties of peace between Israel, the Palestinians and their neighbors. The implementation of these rights must be negotiated by the parties themselves, under an International Conference, which includes representatives elected by the Palestinian people and representatives of the Israeli government.

[Plank #5 is a restatement of the Washington Democrats’ 1988 Mideast platform. It enjoys very broad support and was uncontested at the 1990 convention itself, although the American—Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, starting in March, mounted an intense effort to promote a plank which would have deleted mention of Palestinian self—determination and statehood, UN resolutions 242 & 338, or an international conference.

12. We look with alarm at the denying of a visa to Chairman Arafat to come to the United States to speak, which is against the tradi­tion of the American people, and urge the State Department to issue him an invitation.

Resolutions – adopted and incorporated into the Platform

14. Therefore, be it resolved, that the Democratic Party recognizes that all human beings are. born free and equal in dignity and rights, and that any violation or compromise of human rights is without ex­ception intolerable. To reflect our concern for the present and future human generations, the Democratic Party obligates our elected officials to do all that is in their power to protect human rights, and to support and invoke the Harkin Amendment, Section 116(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act and Aid (PD-12) without prejudice.

15. Be it resolved that the U.S. must contribute the promised $61.4 million to the U.N. FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization]. We de­plore the action of any country that purposely causes death by hun­ger and charge that country to be guilty of a crime against humanity. Food and water must not be used as political weapons.

[This resolution concerns a withholding of U.S. contributions to the FAO in response to the FAO decision to allow the PLO to administer FAO relief to Palestinians under occupation.]

Resolutions, continued:

16. Therefore, be it resolved that the Democratic Party deplores these violations [of Palestinian human rights in the occupied ter­ritories] and calls for the impartial enforcement of American laws pertaining to human rights. Future military and economic aid to Israel shall be made subject to:

Demonstrated respect for Palestinian human rights by immedi­ately halting all of the above cited repressive measures and taking steps to dismantle their effects and allowing United Nations Observers to monitor the situation;

Cooperation in the peace process by unequivocal acceptance of U.N. Resolution 242 and others aimed at resolving the conflict and by agreeing to internationally supervised free elections for the Palestinian people to elect their delegates to the peace conference.

[Resolution #16 is thought to be the first ever adopted by a state Democratic Party calling for making US aid to Israel conditional on Israeli respect for Palestinian human rights and participation in the peace process.]

17. Be it resolved that the Democratic Party of the State of Washington expresses its concern regarding the proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons in the Middle East and calls upon the U.S. government to promote a ban on nuclear and chemical weapons in the region, and to prohibit military aid and the sale and export of technology that serves to increase the spread of weapons of mass destruction to any country which refuses to cooperate in the ban, or refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.