Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) – The Democrats' official platform, released late Monday, omits a clause from the party's 2008 document proclaiming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a subject of intense diplomatic scrutiny that Obama's Republican challenger Mitt Romney has put at the center of his position on the Jewish state.
In 2008, Democrats wrote in their platform, "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."
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The 2012 platform contains no reference to Jerusalem, and maintains support for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestinians.
But the platform does read, "The President's consistent support for Israel's right to defend itself and his steadfast opposition to any attempt to delegitimize Israel on the world stage are further evidence of our enduring commitment to Israel's security."
The 2012 platform also omits a reference to Israel as America's "strongest ally in the region," language present in the platform four years ago.
A Democratic National Committee spokesman said that Obama's stance on Jerusalem was consistent with previous presidents.
"The Obama Administration has followed the same policy towards Jerusalem that previous U.S. administrations of both parties have done since 1967," the spokesman wrote. "As the White House said several months ago, the status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians – which we also said in the 2008 platform. We will continue to work with the parties to resolve this issue as part of a two state solution that secures the future of Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland of the Jewish people."
Later, the DNC added to their response by calling the attention to the issue "just another attempt by the Romney campaign to turn our support for Israel – which has always been bipartisan – into a partisan wedge issue by playing politics. This is both cynical and counter-productive to Israel’s security.”
The National Jewish Democratic Council president released a statement Tuesday saying, "Jewish Democrats know full well that Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.
"We - like President George W. Bush before and leaders of both parties for decades - also know that the final status of Jerusalem will have to be formally decided by the parties. This should come as a surprise to nobody," NJDC president David A. Harris wrote. "This Administration has the most pro-Israel record of any on record; the facts speak for themselves. "
The Republicans' platform, released ahead of their convention last week, reads "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." The platform does not make the statement that Jerusalem is currently the capital of Israel.
Romney, in a statement Tuesday, wrote it was "unfortunate that the entire Democratic Party has embraced President Obama's shameful refusal to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel's capital."
"Four years of President Obama's repeated attempts to create distance between the United States and our cherished ally have led the Democratic Party to remove from their platform an unequivocal acknowledgment of a simple reality," the Republican nominee continued. "As president, I will restore our relationship with Israel and stand shoulder to shoulder with our close ally."
In July, Romney said firmly that Jerusalem was Israel's capital in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, saying "A nation has the capacity to choose its own capital city, and Jerusalem is Israel's capital."
American policy has long been intentionally vague on the status of Jerusalem. A U.S. law passed in 1995 designates Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and stipulates the American embassy should move to the city from Tel Aviv. The past three presidents, however, have signed waivers suspending the law, citing security and diplomatic concerns.
Israelis consider Jerusalem the capital of their country, but Palestinians also claim rights to the city as the capital of a future independent state. The status of the city is designated for final negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama waded into the issue of Jerusalem's status, pledging before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."
He later walked back the comment on CNN, telling Fareed Zakaria the remark was a result of "poor phrasing."
"The point we were simply making was, is that we don't want barbed wire running through Jerusalem, similar to the way it was prior to the '67 war, that it is possible for us to create a Jerusalem that is cohesive and coherent," Obama said. "I was not trying to predetermine what are essentially final status issues."
The subject of Israel's capital arose at the White House press briefing earlier this summer.
"What city does this administration consider to be the capital of Israel – Jerusalem or Tel Aviv?" a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
"I haven't had that question in a while. Our position has not changed," Carney answered.
Pressed further for the White House's position on Israel, Carney responded "you know our position" before moving on to other questions.
In a transcript of the briefing emailed later that afternoon, the White House included a paragraph explaining their position.
"The status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians," the statement read. "We continue to work with the parties to resolve this issue and others in a way that is just and fair, and respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians."
CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report.