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. meemee

    God is going to be the downfall of the West, one way or another.

    September 5, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  2. TeaParty people are smart

    What's a platform?

    September 5, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  3. Anna

    Never mind that Jesus said his Government is NOT of this world and his followers completely seperated themselves from politics. In the USA the voter is very ignorant. The Republicans "Claim" Jesus to get votes and the ignorant are easily fooled. JESUS IS NOT LIKE ANY OF THESE CLOWNS WAKE UP IGNORANT VOTERS ! MENTIONING GOD DOES NOT MAKE YOU A FOLLOWER OF GOD!

    September 5, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  4. DavidW0909

    Good grief. How embarassing, They flip-flopped a flip-flop. Doesn't that cancel each other out?

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

    Oh, Jesus-what did I forget???

    September 5, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. ItSoNlYmE

    Oh for cryin' out loud. Gee, why don't we just hire some GOP strategists to help us out. For the love of Pete...

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

    Democrats are a bunch of idiots, how about being real and concentrate how can president Obama create jobs ,if elected, big IF. So far, the democrats are either on drugs or leaving in another planet. Wake up , people.

    September 5, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. rhombid1125

    I love it, I hope people in this country realize that Israel should not have any say on who we elect. The h-ll with them.

    September 5, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. tom

    "David
    Democts are emotionally driven immuture people. No surprize here.."

    David, your comment speaks volumes about your own low level of maturity, not to mention your lack of basic spelling skills.

    September 5, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. Joe

    AIPAC must have threatened them!

    September 5, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. Sadie

    that vote was not a 2/3rds.

    Bunch of cowards – take it out of platform, have it brought out to the public's attention and then they in-fight about putting it back in.

    Flip Flop Flip Flop Flip Flop Flip Flop Flip Flop Flip Flop Flip Flop Flip Flop Flip Flop Flip Flop

    September 5, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. Demorat

    what a freak show – but what do you expect from the anti-american party of lowlifes? Hear them crying about no murdering unborn babies? Everything is them – me me me me me me -' convenience for me' should be the platform, and they look you in the eye and pretend there's some virtue in it. They are stooping to unprecedented levels- and everyone plays nicey nice with these skunks. Where is Jermeiah Wright when we need him – you know Obama's mentor and (the word liberals love to hear - roooooooooole model). Bring on the Reverend – the man of the clothe display his 'civility'.

    September 5, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. Hopey Changey

    The democrat party is making themselves look like a bunch of buffoons. The truth is playing out live on national television- PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BILL CLINTON, HELP US!! YOU'RE OUR ONLY HOPE!! LOL at the gang that couldn't shoot straight

    September 5, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  14. JGANUKEAPELSD

    Obama and Romney eat Baloney and you are what you eat! JGA Phillip Anthony Biondo for President 2012 of the Fraternity Party! Free College like k-12. Free Healthcare. All safe drugs over the counter. Evolution, big bang, god of Universe. Fraternity party: Lets all move to california and secede from the union. I'm suing the supreme court Apes for freedom of Religion, I suffer from severe depression because drugs, primarily thc, psilocybin, mescaline, lsd, and dmt are illegal, in fact I commited suicide. I work for God so don't tell me it's not freedom of religion.

    September 5, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  15. seamus27

    He also should be referred to as 'former Governor Romney'

    September 5, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. Jackie Treehorn

    For once, can't these politicos pander to the special interest group of people who hate pandering?

    September 5, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. thekid

    "Democrats voted to update their party's platform"

    That's absolutely false. The Democrats thrice voted not to amend the Platform, but Villaragosa denied their vote three times.

    This voter fraud is the biggest story of the Convention so far.

    September 5, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. Randy

    That vote was one of the funniest things I have seen in years! It explains why the economy is in such bad shape, Democratic leadership can't count!

    September 5, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Alyssa

    I just had to switch off CNN. All they could blab on about is "the platform, the platform, the platform." SO WHAT? CNN.. find something new to discuss. 3 days of "platform, platform, platform" is going to wear thin on viewers' nerves. Show and discuss some speeches. Sounds like 50% of the people there didn't want Jerusalem mentioned in the platform (I don't care either way). So, that was hardly a big deal. They didn't include God... I am religious and I was not offended. The Democrats represent us all and that includes atheists, agnostics, polytheist and those who support secularism. Why does the media continue to rake the democrats over the coals for being inclusive?

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

    Obama support same Marraige??? Not Under God way!! Babylon America???? Don't Vote for Obama!!!

    September 5, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. zoyster1

    Bumbling Dems can't get anything right.

    September 5, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. Candy

    adding GOD OR JERUSALEN, is not the big problem, the real problem is jobs, umemployment, foreclosure, to name a few.

    September 5, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. reldra

    It was really hard to hear, but sounded like half and half more than 2/3 yay?

    September 5, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. wes

    Don't just read the story. Please watch the video to see just how much of a debacle this was. Why any Jew votes Democrat is beyond me. The irony is that they had a bishop pray right after that ant-God demonstration. I'm sure God was honored.

    September 5, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. Bribarian

    Both parties of course must bow to the zi0nist beast.

    September 5, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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