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. stonesrule

    Various News Sources are reporting: "The Democratic National Committee banned dozens of Charlotte churches from distributing gift baskets to delegates because the congregations hold values that are contrary to the party platform, according to local religious leaders."

    September 5, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. shut ur face

    @ reason-if you feel no God will stop fighting then u are supid. or maybe you are just hanging on to the hope that no god will cause peace even though there is no proof it will happen. thats funny reminds me of something. At least you got faith in that buddy lol

    September 5, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. JohnC

    How many corporate mission statements mention God including those run by very religion people. Even Chick-fil-A doesn't mention God in their mission statement. Why, because these companies were formed for other purposes such as producing products to sell. The government is no different in this respect.

    September 5, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. xfiler93

    LOL wow that was funny to see. only the liberals would be BOOING adding GOD to the platform. LOL pathetic.

    September 5, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  5. dmadam

    Why does this whole god crap has to be so contentious? Just leave religion out of politics and there would be no problems.

    September 5, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  6. Iamnotfooled

    President Obama was unaware of the change and the minute he found out he spoke out about it and had it corrected. END of STORY.

    September 5, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. julnor

    Hmmm, the dems are changing their platform at the last minute to be more like the Republicans. Who's the flip-flopper?

    September 5, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. JeffinIL

    Fine. Then Obama can run for president of Israel.
    Mitt wins by default. Whee.

    September 5, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. mary

    The people who want to insist there is no god.. Are believing so thanks to your grade school education. For years creationism was taught alongside of evolution.. But atheists insisted it be taken out of schools. As it broke the rules about "no religion" in schools..
    So you grew up hearing only the one scientific teaching on life.
    which it shot with holes. And relying on flimsy evidence, in reality..
    But you were taught this only..None the less.
    Now you have only one view.. AS wrong as it is..
    YOu think you are of superior intellect .. When in reality you are just simply uneducated.

    September 5, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. stonesrule

    Apparently the censors at CNN won't let me report that various news sources are reporting that the DNC refused gift baskets from hundreds of local christian churches, citing that Christian values are not those of the DNC. Hey Christians out there! Are you paying attention??!!

    September 5, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  11. chilipepper

    Sure alot of Atheists these days. I read alot of posts the last fews years about imaginary beings in the sky. You know you're being brainwashed by people who want to control you here are earth. Also people who are against Israel aren't being smart. Just look at the human rights they have compared to those surrounding them. GOD is real. I know it's hard to believe for some because of how Academia and the progressives have tricked you. Believe me they're some supernatural things out there that might be beyond your comprehension. Humans are special and there is more to us than just dying and nothing more.

    September 5, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. OldSchool

    I need to find a party that doesn't subscribe to adult fairy tales...

    September 5, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  13. godisnotgreat

    Jerusalem is the capital of Israel? Really? The country founded on murder and bloodshed? Just like America? And to all you christians who support Israel, just look at how they defaced that 'holy' site and wrote 'Jesus is a pig.' Democratic or Conservative jews, it doesn't matter, they all reject your idol. You are in for a rude awakening by blindly supporting and following these people and believing in fairy tales like god.

    September 5, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  14. Bob

    How is this news? The real news is that the GOP DIDN'T change a platform that says abortion should be made illegal even in the case of pedophile, incest, and rape and Mitt Romney is okay with that. Instead of changing the platform, they just tried to get rid of the senator who let slip out what their policy is.

    September 5, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. Gator29

    You call that chaos? The Republicans don't have the corner on christianity!

    September 5, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  16. wdgmartin1

    @ Reason: So, if everyone became atheist there would be no fights, right? Wrong. Read history. Atheism does not produce peace.

    September 5, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Anna

    First the outdoor speech is cancelled, now chaos... can you say implode! lol!

    September 5, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. jschmidt

    It's CYA time. But of course there s no value to this since, it proves it was all political not from firm belief. Obama will turn on the Israels first chance he gets if he's re-elected. And the Dems show they have no value for GOd.

    September 5, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. MaherSucksDick

    Ha Ha. That was hilarious as hell. Nice job demoncats.

    September 5, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. pditty

    So the dnc crowd cheers at the mention of abortion and Gay marriage and boo in support of God and Jews. I recommend if you support Israel and or believe in God then you switch parties.

    September 5, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. Marshall

    Big mistake! Should have had the sense to stay off of the Israel and God thing.

    September 5, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    who cares ....

    September 5, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. lantenec

    Tony "ah...ah...ah...ah" Villar is such an unbelievable moron, a haircut posing as a man. Goes to show you that nothing succeeds like utter failure in the Democratic party....

    September 5, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. JGG

    And the Dems are playing politics......

    September 5, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. Sirned

    I bet Isreal doesn't make the location of our Capital part of their party platform process.... Why the heck are we ?. When did this country lose its sovergnty to Isreal?

    September 5, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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