Then-Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands while giving joint statements at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, March 9, 2016. (Photo/JTA-Debbie Hill-AFP via Getty Images)
Then-Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands while giving joint statements at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, March 9, 2016. (Photo/JTA-Debbie Hill-AFP via Getty Images)

Biden intervened to keep ‘occupation’ out of Democratic platform

Joe Biden personally intervened to keep the word “occupation” out of the official Democratic platform, according to a new report.

Foreign Policy reported Thursday that Biden intervened after pro-Israel groups appealed to him, citing three sources, including Jason Isaacson, the chief policy and political affairs officer at the American Jewish Committee.

“The question of whether to allow the text to refer to ‘occupation’ or use the phrase ‘end the occupation’ was taken to the vice president and he said ‘no,’” Isaacson told Foreign Policy.

Prior to Biden’s intervention, progressives in the party had secured agreement to include the word for the first time in the Democratic platform.

Ultimately, the section on Israel included more robust language defending the rights of the Palestinians to a state. It also condemned the boycott Israel movement.

The platform included a number of victories for progressives on domestic issues, including closing the wage gap and climate change. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom Biden, the former vice president, defeated in the primaries, is working closely with Biden to shape party policies.

Ron Kampeas

JTA D.C. bureau chief

JTA

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