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. KeninTexas

    Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is undoubtedly one of the most ob.nox.ious individuals you can ever find. What a putz!

    September 5, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. OhioGOP

    FORMER Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. FORMER!

    September 5, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Blondie

    excuse me while I throw up all over the iving room floor.

    September 5, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. Steve

    LOL. Typical democrats.

    September 5, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. Blondie

    Well thank Christ that Jerusalem was and is the capital of Israel. Jesus.

    September 5, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. Schapkj

    Do they really mean it, or are they just including in to get votes?
    I go with the latter.

    September 5, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. coyotesayswhat

    thats why I am not voting this year people.

    September 5, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. UnSub

    Keep God out of politics and politics out of God.

    September 5, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. KeninTexas

    Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is undoubtedly one of the most devious and divisive individuals you can ever find. Spews some of the most vile utterances you'll ever hear. What a putz!

    September 5, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. ProperVillain

    Infusing religion...a quick way to garner more votes. Ugh, both parties are disgusting...

    September 5, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. KeninTexas

    Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is undoubtedly one of the most devious and divisive individuals you can ever find. Spews some of the most vile utterances you'll ever hear. What a worthless indiviual!

    September 5, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. Retired Army Officer

    They shouldn't have taken those references out in the first place.

    Still......won't stop me from voting STRAIGHT Democratic ;-) !

    September 5, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. JDavis

    Must not be any real news from this reporter.

    September 5, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. Sue

    Just an update to all you people who claim "We Built It"...you may have gotten the loans or money needed to start your company and had the know How to start your business but that's where it ends and where the others that helped get your company started begins....their called your employees....if it weren't for your employees you wouldn't have a business...it's your employees that do all the work and you take all the credit....yes you pay them a wage but they are the ones who really created and made your business profittabale.....so don't use the slogan anymore that YOU BUILT IT, there were a lot of people that supported your efforts.....that's what Obama meant but Romney and his GOP Goons twist and turn it to make it seem that Obama doesn't give business owners any credit......give credit to your employees,in most cases it's the employees that know more about the business than the owners themselves.

    September 5, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. tuscany590

    What a bunch of fools..Where are the delegates??Could have had this in a phone booth..

    September 5, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. boba

    so much for the separation of church and state.

    September 5, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. JC

    This seems like a particularly embarrassing moment for the Democrats. Let's see if the media runs with this story. This seems to big much bigger deal than say ... a misstated marathon time ... my bet is that we don't see any mention of this on NBC, CBS or ABC, or the morning shows.

    September 5, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. alain

    East Jerusalem does not belong to Israel, point blank. It is occupied territory.

    September 5, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  19. Lofter

    Yes, because the U.S.A exists primarily to serve the interests of Israel.

    September 5, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  20. rbonilla

    dem's don't know if they are coming or going.....

    September 5, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. Susan

    I new there was a good reason to mail in my 'no longer wants to be a registered voter' request! What fools!

    September 5, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  22. KeninTexas

    Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is undoubtedly one of the most devious and divisive individuals you can ever find. Spews some of the most vile utterances you'll ever hear.

    September 5, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. Bob Hope's Ghost

    HA HA HA HA HA HA they can't even agree with themselves and yet say the republicans are the cause of this country's mess.

    September 5, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  24. Brandon

    This is just sad.

    September 5, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  25. LokiDeCat

    Keep Religion Out Of Politics.
    Jerusalem, God, etc... STOP TALKING ABOUT IT! I don't want religion in my politics.
    I already only vote Democrat because they have less religious zealotry than the Republicans.
    For logic's sake, let's drop this crap.
    Separation of Church and State!!!
    Separation of Church and State!!!
    Separation of Church and State!!!

    September 5, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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