September 5th, 2012
04:53 PM ET
9 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. riabm60

    Jerusalem belongs to Israel and it was given by God.
    Jerusalem shall not be divided and should be accessible to people of all faiths.

    ( Although East Jerusalem is occupied territory and all Jewish settlements are illegal according to international law )

    September 5, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. Sammy Reid

    Shocking! America is a secular nation. Do *your* God in your own time. I'm religion free and a 100% patriot.

    September 5, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. O.T.

    Democrats are aggressively anti-Christian and anti-Mormon. It is the party of bigotry.

    September 5, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. Surfdog

    Fakes, flip floppers, and flamers. Great party.

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

    On top of how much money we give Israel in both money and defense they have a fit that wording was removed from a political convention? Oye Vey!

    September 5, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    "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 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    chameleons, hypocrites...shameless lies for political gain.

    September 5, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Cobra1

    It's OK for us to grow up as a species.....Really it is!!!

    September 5, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. RudyG

    God is mentioned by the Founding Fathers. But, what did they know, right?
    I voted for Obama. But, this train wreck of a party, and president, have nothing good coming in November!

    September 5, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  10. deptirado

    @True Colors funny how we aren't a theocracy. We have to eliminate religion out of the government. You want religion in government go in live in IRAN and tell me what you think!

    September 5, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Who were the traitors who took Jerusalem, and GOD out of the Democratic Platform? Those infidels must be rooted out of the party!

    September 5, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Ted need to keep his unsupported beliefs out of any party's platform. Just because you life revolves around a 3000 year old fantasy, we’d all appreciate it if you stopped trying to involve us in your delusions. And whether Jerusalem is Israel's capital or not, that is for negotiation between the Israelis and the Palestinians and is really none of our business.

    September 5, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Patrick

    Which God? Romney Jesus who lives on planet Kolob or?

    September 5, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Santa

    You are all being very naughty children and will NOT be getting what you want for, excuse me – the holiday season.

    September 5, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. Concerned

    This makes me feel sick. American politicians have to bend over backwards to please Israel or risk losing elections. Now tell me, who's the most powerful nation on earth? America is just Israel's puppet. Grow some balls.

    September 5, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. Farmguy

    It would be nice if "David" could write one sentence without three spelling errors.

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

    I like all the obvious conservatives calling Democrats immature and typos.

    September 5, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  18. Captain D

    You can put in any words you want but, your actions speak volumes more than what words you include in your platform.

    September 5, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  19. Rick

    How much longer must we endure this incompetent junior senator from Illinois?

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

    Too funny. The godless and anti-semetic democrats got thrown under the bus. Thats 80% of their base. Now they have late term, on demand, tax payer paid for abortion and god in their platform.

    Are the "fact checkers" gonna confirm that 2/3rds voted yes? Hypocrites

    September 5, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. John Wilson

    Willard has NOT been GOVERNOR of MA since 2007 and you have every political pundit, newscasters, and even Presidebt Obama, calling this robot, "Governor Romney..."

    The idiot's name is WILLARD!

    September 5, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  22. Anon

    Israel is a terrorist right wing radical religious police state and GOD HAS NO PLACE IN GOVERNMENT!!!! Separation of church and state! I won't be voting for either party this election since I'm having trouble telling them apart now. US politics and the two party system SUCKS A$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. FormerChristian

    > To all you Dems who have a problem with God, next time you take out a dollar bill read what it says in the back "IN GOD
    > WE TRUST" If its good enough to put on the money its good enough for your platform. You as a part of people should be
    > utterly ashamed of yourselves and your candidate. Gos is part of America, get over it!

    Gos only became inserted into the pledge and the dollar in the 50's during the Communist scare. The founding fathers wanted to protect religious freedom, but keep religious out of politics.

    September 5, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. mark

    The one thing that the Dems HAD going for them was religion NOT being at the forefront of their party. This country is SOOOOO screwed.

    September 5, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. westcoast conservative

    Hey! Socialist progressives....I suggest you leave this country you hate so much, and try to have a go of it in China or Russia (where you really want to be). And please, please, please take B Hussein O and his entire czar clan with you.

    September 5, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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