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. Bob

    Who cares what Obama and the dems recognize Jerusalem as??? Im sympathetic to dems over reps, but this is just goofy

    September 5, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. Lucifer

    Once again, fanatical christians focus on the irrelevant while the country goes down the sewer/

    September 5, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. WDinDallas

    What a joke....just implode and go away.

    September 5, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. Susan

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

    September 5, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. KeninTexas

    DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is undoubtedly one of the most devious and divisive individuals you can ever find. She spews some of the most vile utterances you'll ever hear.

    September 5, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. JJ

    What the hell does religion have to do with politics? Anyone remember the founding fathers?

    September 5, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Pebkac

    Obama just lost the presidency. WOW.

    September 5, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. tm1946

    I would say the Democratic Party just told anyone with a faith which included the concept of a diety has no place in their group. Notice the one guy wavin "no" and the female beside him indicating "no" was the right vote.

    Say all you want Demo just donot go to church next weekend. No place there for you.

    September 5, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    ROFL too funny!!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. jon

    You people do realize that these politicians just use religion to manipulate you out of your vote right? It's very obvious. These people are rats.

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

    could have lived without the tribute to fairy tales.

    September 5, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. IslandAtheist

    God fixation won't fix this nation..

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

    You people do realize that these politicians just use religion to manipulate you out of your vote right?

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

    Wow, between this and the 4.5 million jobs article is cnn finally growing some balls?

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

    CNN:
    Republican John Kasich has been Ohio's Governor since 2010, taking the seat from Democrat Ted Strickland. Please correct your story.

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

    I really prefer my church and state to be SEPARATE.

    September 5, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. Fish with a pickle from Oregon

    Its my understanding that anything goes at a convention!!!!!

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

    Typical liberals. They're so afraid of the 4% of the country who are atheists, they almost destroyed their own mandate.

    September 5, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  19. Smokey

    Good, faith is important in America and the Democratic Party ought to acknowledge that.

    September 5, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  20. KeninTexas

    DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is undoubtedly one of the most de_vious and divi_sive individuals you can ever find. She spe ws some of the most vi le utterances you'll ever hear.

    September 5, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  21. Anchorite

    Translation: Israel has our approval to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem of Muslims. Can we have more of that AIPAC money now?

    September 5, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. TomGi

    Ted Strickland does not speak for me, does not represent me and therefore his platform modifications are an embarrassment to me. I don't care about Israel or Jerusalem and God is irrelevant in the DNC Convention.

    September 5, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  23. John

    Israeli leaders have roundly praised Obama for his leadership, support and consistency......for the GOP to try to fabricate a rift between Obama and Israel does not have any basis............but does basis even matter any more?

    September 5, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. Unknown

    May it be Republican or Democrat, they can all agree to support Israel, a country that basically depends on the US for it's survival. The sooner that country realizes that country is hijacking our politics more than all the Muslim countries combined the better.

    September 5, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Is that Casey Anthony?

    September 5, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
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