September 5th, 2012
04:53 PM ET
2 years ago

Just in: Democrats update platform with Jerusalem, God reference

(CNN) - Democrats voted to update their party's platform Wednesday evening at their convention to include a reference to Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, as well as the insertion of the word "God," neither of which was included in their platform this year but was in previous platforms.

President Barack Obama himself intervened regarding the Jerusalem language, a senior Democratic source told CNN, adding, that he thought the original draft was "a strong statement and he didn't want there to be any confusion about his unshakeable commitment to the security of state israel. The issue of the day is Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah."

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The change, proposed by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland immediately after the convention was gaveled into order on Wednesday, required a two-thirds voice vote, but was declared as adopted after three voice votes which brought delegates to their feet, shouting their yeas and nays. Democratic sources told CNN prior to the vote that it was to take place by acclamation.

"I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the values we've expressed in our party's platform," Strickland, who chaired the party's platform committee, read. "In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party's platform should as well. "

Read more: How the chaos went down

The 2008 platform read, "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."

That language was reinserted on Wednesday but was not included in the 2012 platform, which was released earlier this week and adopted by the party at the convention on Tuesday. The language which was added to this year's platform is slightly different from the 2008 version.

The word God, which appeared in the 2008 and 2004 platform, was not originally included in the 2012 version.

When he learned of the absence of the word God from the platform, Obama reacted by saying, "Why on earth would that have been taken out?" three Democratic sources told CNN.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement after that vote that "the platform is being amended to maintain consistency with the personal views expressed by the President and in the Democratic Party platform in 2008.

"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," she said. "It has been the policy of both Republican and Democratic administrations for decades that Jerusalem is a final status issue to be negotiated directly between the two parties, as part of discussions to achieve a two-state solution that secures the Jewish state and homeland.

"Our party platform already expresses strong support for the peace process and makes clear the steps that any Palestinian partner must take to be a part of such a process - recognizing Israel's right to exist, rejecting violence, and adhering to existing agreements," she continued.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said in a statement that they "welcome reinstatement to the Democratic platform of the language affirming Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"Together, these party platforms reflect strong bipartisan support for the US – Israel relationship," the statement read.

Rep. Steve Israel, who as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee takes the lead on electing Democrats to the House of Representatives, told CNN's John Berman that "several colleagues in Congress expressed concern" about the omission.

"It has been repaired and and resolved and now we need to get on to other issues," he said.

Former Sen. Robert Wexler, a Florida Democrat, said that "the president's record on Israel is an a plus and there is no reason to have any confusion about his commitment to the profound issues israel is confronting in terms of security."

In his convention speech Tuesday evening, Wexler said that "President Obama has bravely stood up for Israel In the international community."

Republicans had criticized Democrats over the changes, and after the vote, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea saul said that the GOP presidential candidate "has consistently stated his belief that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

"Although today's voice vote at the Democratic National Convention was unclear, the Democratic Party has acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. President Obama has repeatedly refused to say the same himself," she charged. "Now is the time for President Obama to state in unequivocal terms whether or not he believes Jerusalem is Israel's capital."

Earlier on Wednesday, Romney's running mate Paul Ryan said that the Democratic platform "undermines our nation's support for our ally, Israel."

– CNN's Dana Bash and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Democratic National Convention • Israel
soundoff (707 Responses)
  1. Jerbal

    Wait, wait... first I find out the liberal left supports education, and now they have a God too? Who the heck am I gonna vote for now?

    September 5, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. Hindu

    that voice vote was a joke! precious look on villaraigosa's face after two calls and then that lady shows up behind him. I am still laughing! What a sham! LOL!

    September 5, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. CNN

    The Nays had it, no doubt. Apparently that wasn't in the best interest of the party though.

    September 5, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Hannah

    That does sound pretty chaotic... those crazy politicians.

    September 5, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. ObamaUntil2016

    No to worry. This won't last on the public radar for more than 20 minutes. It's a non-issue. Wait till we hear more about how much better off we are, the ACA, DOMA and DADT being repealled, and no one will even remember this.

    September 5, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. one11one

    Oops ! And everything was going so well.

    September 5, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. CNN

    interesting how every one can post but me.

    September 5, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. t3chn0ph0b3

    Why even bother putting God in the platform at all? Establishment clause! Hello!

    September 5, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  9. Heavyarms

    the whole "shouting match" idea is stupid.... it'd take just about an hour to count ballots

    September 5, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  10. CNN

    CNN continues to block me from posting. Maybe due to the fact I have pointed out their distortion in facts with their so called news.

    September 5, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. Mark D

    And I almost thought they escaped it. Only in America

    September 5, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. David

    Ashamed at the Dems for formally acknowledging that their values come from a fairy tale

    September 5, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. ecivres

    Our national leaders and government hypocrisy often involve the deception of others and thus can be considered lies. Their hypocrisy is the state of promoting or administering virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that they are actually guilty of violating.

    September 5, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. homebrewed

    Finally, a real convention. No script.

    September 5, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Nate Higgers

    It's high time we got a human being back into the White House! 3/5ths of a human being just won't cut it anymore!
    Don't re-nig 2012!

    September 5, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. DefendComSen

    Chicago Mike is right! This was pandering at its worst. That DNC chair was trying to ramrod Obama's flip-floppity stance on God and Israel down the throats of the delegates and was shocked to hear dissent. There is no way in the world that Obama, the detail minded analytic, wasn't aware that "God" and "Israel" were stricken from the platform.

    So Ryan fibs about his marathon time and Obama "What to you mean it wasn't in there?" lies about his own party platform. Which is a scarier lie? Worst to lie about your weight or your intentions as the world leader? Hmmm...

    September 5, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. Pamela

    last night while I was watching the Democratic convention, I was shocked and wondered in what planet are the Democrats living, because as far as I am concerned there is no jobs , our President is the worse president ever.
    As a Democratic , voter myself, this election my vote goes to the other party , the Republicans. Enough, is enough, no more lies to us.

    September 5, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. RightWinger

    Clearly a 50/50 vote. It should not have passed and the Media should know the country has common sense to know the difference. 2/3 is not equal to 50%

    September 5, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  19. Richard

    First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
    2 Peter 3:3

    September 5, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. Ryan

    I gotta say...best opening comment ever!

    September 5, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. Tony T

    A disgrace to very Democrat who ever fought and died for this country and are buried under a Star of David or a Cross. Every Democratic on the strength of this policy decision and the phony vote to change it back after they were found out and exposed for the progressive radicals they have turned into. Where it the Democratic Party of my mom and pop?

    September 5, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  22. ert

    ....Just in case you weren't entirely sure who REALLY runs the United States, who the TRUE puppetmaster is, read the above article again....now do you get it?

    September 5, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. southernsugar

    Support Israel? No

    September 5, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  24. Jenn

    Who freakin cares???? isreal is more than capable of standing on its own two feet, why do we have to put in the platform. i dont know one person republican or democrat who said they are switching sides because of this non issue.

    September 5, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  25. DefendComSen

    LCSWquilter – Well the left sure seemed to think the platform mattered when the GOP put wording in there about banning abortion in all cases. Why is it all of a sudden not so important?

    September 5, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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