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. Enlightened One in Oregon

    Anytime religion gets mixed with politics you have a MESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  2. From Texas

    Obama is a muslim, if not a puppet of muslim brotherhood.

    He is also a liar who'd do or say anything to remain in power and accomplish his mission which is?.

    How many Americans knew his middle name's Hussein before the oath?

    Who can trace a huge number of small internet donations which contributed to his campaign and election in 2008? Who really made those donations? Isn't this the way terrorist cells in the US are being sponsored from overseas?

    He pledged to address the world from a muslim capital within first 100 days of his presidency. And he did. From Cairo Egypt. And then stripped Mubarak of power and replaced with muslim brotherhood.

    If you want sharia law for your children in America – vote for obama.

    September 5, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  3. I hate rich people

    Hey Hey Ho Ho Israel must go... I'm mean stay.... at least gratuitously for now... until the election. God is likely a swing voter so he gets a shout out too. Anyone for adding restaurants and liquor to the SNAP program? Now there's some hope and change we can believe in.

    September 5, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  4. Tom

    Oh please, large democratic bodies that vote this way often have disagreements and sometimes role call votes.

    This is news?

    Holy crap already, CNN.

    September 5, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  5. Mel

    All those that think Obama has done a good job say, "Ay"


    All those opposed?


    The Ays have it King Obam,er President Obama is has done a GREAT JOB!!!

    What A pathetic excus for an idealogy.

    September 5, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  6. SL

    The separation of church and state – did i miss something?

    September 5, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. Truth will Prevail

    How SAD our nation has become a PUPPET of other nations...when will we put AMERICA FIRST!

    September 5, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. mary

    So.. the posts pro-God get taken off??
    Way to go. That should give a clear indication of what people "really" believe..~!! ( eye roll inserted here)..

    September 5, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  9. John

    So sad that we still have to pander to people who believe in fairy tales.

    September 5, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  10. godisnotgreat

    To be president of the US, you need to be christian and support Israel. You can be dumb as rocks, but that does not matter. Only in America.

    September 5, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. truth1111

    This reflects the sickness of the dems party. They cant even stop racist muslims from messing with our allies and our values...

    September 5, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  12. Hindu

    America is Israel's state. American people exist to work for businesses owned by wall-street controlled by them and American military exists to fight for their cause.

    September 5, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. militarymike

    "practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both..."
    -James Madison

    September 5, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Celisti

    what God has to do with your convention? hey, how about change everything and nominate someone else?

    September 5, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  15. BrandonR

    And once again, politicians fail to understand "separation of church and state." Why the hell can't they just govern the land without resorting to silly, outdated fairy tales? I mean, I know they only do it to attract votes from the evangelical morons, but seriously... Those of us rational people with brains wouldn't mind being pandered to once in a while.

    September 5, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  16. Sirned

    It's disrespectful to God to put him in the slimy corrupt politics today. We know the politicians just use God for their own selfish promotion....Seperation of Church and State...Yes

    September 5, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  17. julnor

    A voice vote, how democratic.

    September 5, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  18. Dissident

    Americans collectively have a short memory. We are STILL looking at a recession that could last two decades or more. When mistakes were being made by the Bush administration, the GOP did not step in no matter how red the warning flags. The rich were getting richer off bad policy made by republicans; i.e.., subprime mortgages. The self fulfilling prophecy that could ONLY cause the rich to get richer, because those with a SP mortgage were getting deeper into debt and paying even more. Elsewhere, republicans were ending programs like electrical co-ops, deregulating power and selling it to the highest bidder. Consumers were paying a power bill that tripled in one year because republicans thought it would be better to get government out of the power business.

    We cannot cut government spending, then sit idle while corporations take advantage of the middle class and the poor.

    The recessions is not going away anytime soon so get used to it. We need some consistency as we come together and solve this problem. Our infrastructure is our strength and without it we cease to be Americans.

    September 5, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. GMC123

    Your point is......

    September 5, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. James

    Hey you CNN liberals out there – can you spell flip flop. And how classy of the Dems on the floor to BOO God.
    So which platform are we to believe is the correct one. Oh I understand. You keep writing a new one based on your interpretation of the polls and what you think voters want. Be careful you don't get wet ink on your fingers.

    September 5, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. krehator

    See how much trouble comes from religion?

    September 5, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. Surfers for Obama

    O = Outlook for next 4 years looks great under his presidency!
    B = Blasting terrorists and notorious dictators in the most efficient and smartest ways
    A = Averting financial meltdown while job growth, education, innovations and infrastructures.
    M = Monumental accomplishments in JUST 3-1/2 years such as Obamacare (PPACA), Wall Street Reform, end of the War in Iraq, death of Osama bin laden, turnaround of US Auto Industry, repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, Fuel Efficiency Standards, increased support to veterans (w/ supports from Michele Obama and Dr. Biden), New START Treaty and others; one of the Most productive Prez in the US history
    A = Average Americans will certainly have their chances to be rewarded for their hard works under his policies representing the 99% !

    Romeny to send US back to another Bush era in no time:
    R = Ranking Massachusetts 47th (50 states in the US) in job creation by using his life-long Business experiences including Bain Capital and Winter Olympics and Ran away after one term
    O = Overly favoring the 1%
    M = Maximizing recession-causing deregulations and Maintaining tax loopholes,
    N = Nobody knows when he will change his positions (yet again) but what’s certain is that he
    will Negate all repairs being done with global partners in no time w/ extreme aggressiveness
    and potential wars, Negating any credibility, if there is any as all, with his dishonesties and
    insincerities in many areas!
    E = Eroding the middle class while increasing the gap between the haves and have-nots and
    deficits which will be increased according to non-partisan analysis.
    Y = Year to MOVE FORWARD and give Prez. Obama 4 more years

    September 5, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  23. harrisonhits2

    Sigh so now they want to mimic the worst idealogues in the GOP.

    September 5, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. Believer

    SAD that God had to be voted as part of any party platform. This nation was founded on God, Godly principles and that should NEVER change! If you don't have God in your life, I'm praying for you. I don't know how anyone survives this world without Him.

    September 5, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. adlibruj

    What a joke. Two thirds voted yes??? What aipac wants they get. It just shows who the real boss is, of both parties

    September 5, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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