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. Cobra1

    They need to insert the words ZEUS!!!! God of Thurnder!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. mikle

    Democrat real flip-flop, flip- flop, flip–flop.

    September 5, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    In this critical election campaign time I would like to share my opinion. I believe that The Big Bang Theory is quite possibly the best show ever to be on TV!

    September 5, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Hysan

    And of course, any mention of Israel brings out the racists like a bell to Pavlov's dog.

    September 5, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. SDFrankie

    So they removed the leprechaun language too? And no mention of unicorns at all?

    September 5, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. Jo

    DNC the most diverse party in America - All race, ethnicity, color and nationality represented in U.S.A. Unlike RNC that only consists of Condoleezza Rice, Condoleezza, and Condoleezza.

    September 5, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Leon

    Disturbing! Is this the democrats idea of democracy in action???

    September 5, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  8. larry5

    If the polls come out with new information then the Democrats might have to change their platform. The Democrats don't need a plan, they need to get re-elected.

    September 5, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. NOBAMA2012

    No surprise. Dems lying again. Obama is done. This convention is already a mess.

    September 5, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. Russell's Teapot

    @True Colors,
    Dont be daft, while the words 'In god we trust' has been on coin currency since the 1860's, it wasn't until 1957 that the motto was added to paper currency. Another addition made during this time period was the addition of the phrase 'under god' to the pledge. Now I'm going to assume that you have at least a basic education, so would you care to tell me what was going on w/ regards to the US during this time frame? Could it be tensions spawning from the cold war, and a means to differentiate ourselves from the atheistic communists of the fmr. Soviet Republic?

    September 5, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. LaunchThePolaris

    Remember, long ago when America didn't have to bow down to Israel? I don't.

    September 5, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  12. Cobra1

    No wait!.........insert ODIN!....the All Father!................Arrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  13. Indigloknight

    I've heard this before in an election. That's right, it's the same platform that they used in Tehran. They're not a secular society either. Makes you proud to have a political debate that has many of the same points as the Iranians?

    September 5, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  14. overby

    This explains why can't the Dems agree on something like...duh...a budget?

    September 5, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  15. Reddog9500

    This is exactly why the Republican Party turned their back on Ron Paul. He thinks for himself and has his own beliefs. And that is not allowed among the "King Makers".

    September 5, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. Al

    Relax folks. They are just kidding about all that God stuff.

    September 5, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  17. ARA

    This proves that Obama can't get reelected without jews and illegal immigrants. LAME!

    September 5, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. Reasonable

    As long as humans keep believing in imaginary supernatural beings, theres gonna be a fight.

    YOU MEAN LIKE "President" Obama

    September 5, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. shadows3

    That was Hilarious!! That wasn't even close to a 2/3 yay vote! Not even after the third try... Typical Democrats though.. If they don't like the vote, they don't have to respect it.. UGLY

    September 5, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. Pat

    Haha, the dems don't know what to do!!

    September 5, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  21. Veritas

    I am starting to lose faith in the American system. The religious and the jews must be pandered to like this? Disappointing.

    September 5, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Reality99

    Why did CNN lie to its readers and cover up the fact that a large part of the Democrats in the convention hall booed when their leaders were forced to do what the American people demanded and put the references to God and Jerusalem back into the party's platform.

    September 5, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. Jason Lebovitch

    The booing shows the Democratic Party hate the Jews & other religions.

    Do you believe in God?

    Don't vote for the party that boos him.

    September 5, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  24. shadows3

    That was a JOKE!! Typical democrats though.. Let's vote! Wait.. I don't like how that workd.. RE-VOTE! wait wait wait.. RE-RE-VOTE!! wait wait wait wait.. oh forget it, Nevermind we voted I'm just passing it.. SMH

    September 5, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  25. Scott

    Very unfortunate. You cant fool the American people by scrambling after the fact to put God and Jerusalem back in the Democratic platform. This is some serious stuff folks. Do you reallly think Obama cares about Israel? NO!

    September 5, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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