Republican Party Platform of 1996


The Middle East

Peace through strength continues to be central in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein reminded us just five years ago of the potential for aggression by radical states in this region. Republicans understand the importance of maintaining a robust U.S. military capability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf, cooperating with our allies to ensure regional stability. Republicans also understand the need to be willing to use force to deter aggression and, where deterrence fails, to defeat it. That is why Republicans were the bedrock of support for the congressional vote to authorize the use of force against Iraq’s aggression in 1991, while most Democrats voted against Operation Desert Storm.

The Middle East remains a region vital to American security. Our enduring goals there are to promote freedom and stability, secure access to oil resources, and maintain the security of Israel, our one democratic ally in the region with whom we share moral bonds and common strategic interests. Most of the world’s oil exports flow from the Middle East, and thus its strategic significance remains. But it is still the most volatile region in the world. Islamic radicalism, increasing terrorism, and rogue states like Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Libya threaten regional and international stability.

In this environment, Israel’s demonstrated strategic importance to the U.S. as our most reliable and capable ally in this part of the world is more critical than ever. That is why Israel’s security is central to U.S. interests in the region. That is why Republican Administrations initiated efforts with Israel to pre-position military equipment, to conduct joint contingency planning and joint military exercises. That is why we advocate continuing cooperation on the Arrow Missile, boost phase intercept, and the Nautilus programs. That is why we look toward the greater integration of Israel into our regional defense planning and wish to explore ways to enhance our strategic cooperation. That is why we have continued to support full funding for aid to Israel despite cuts in the foreign assistance budget, and why we applaud the country’s commitment toward economic self-sufficiency.

We reaffirm that Republican commitment to maintain Israel’s qualitative military advantage over any adversary or group of adversaries. While we fully support Israel’s efforts to find peace and security with its neighbors, we will judge the peace process by the security it generates both for Israel and for the United States. In that context, we support Israel’s right to make its own decisions regarding security and boundaries. We strongly oppose the Clinton Administration’s attempts to interfere in Israel’s democratic process.

We applaud the Republican Congress for enacting legislation to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. A Republican administration will ensure that the U.S. Embassy is moved to Jerusalem by May 1999.

We honor the memory of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and express our support for the new government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We applaud those leaders in the Arab world, President Mubarak and King Hussein, who have spoken courageously and acted boldly for the cause of peace. We endorse continued assistance and support for countries which have made peace with Israel - led by Egypt and later joined by Jordan. Republican leadership will support others who follow their example, while isolating terrorist states until they are fit to rejoin the community of nations.


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Chicago: "The Middle East," Republican Party Platform of 1996 in Republican National Committee, Republican Party Platform, 1996 Original Sources, accessed August 21, 2019,

MLA: . "The Middle East." Republican Party Platform of 1996, in Republican National Committee, Republican Party Platform, 1996, Original Sources. 21 Aug. 2019.

Harvard: , 'The Middle East' in Republican Party Platform of 1996. cited in , Republican National Committee, Republican Party Platform, 1996. Original Sources, retrieved 21 August 2019, from