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Democrats' platform change to mention God, Jerusalem creates a bit of convention chaos

By Julie Pace & Josh Lederman


CHARLOTTE, N.C. >> Needled by Mitt Romney and other Republicans, Democrats hurriedly rewrote their convention platform today to add a mention of God and declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel after President Barack Obama intervened to order the changes.

The embarrassing reversal was compounded by chaos and uncertainty on the convention floor, requiring three votes before a ruling that the amendments had been approved. Many in the audience booed the decision. 

The episode exposed tensions on Israel within the party, put Democrats on the defensive and created a public relations spectacle as Obama arrived in the convention city to claim his party’s nomination for a second term.

The language in the party platform — a political document — does not affect actual U.S. policy toward Israel. The administration has long said that determining Jerusalem’s status is an issue that should be decided in peace talks by Israelis and Palestinians.

Obama intervened directly to get the language changed both on Jerusalem and to reinstate God in the platform, according to campaign officials who insisted on anonymity to describe behind-the-scenes party negotiations. They said Obama’s reaction to the omission of God from the platform was to wonder why it was removed in the first place.

The revisions came as Obama struggles to win support from white working-class voters, many of whom have strong religious beliefs, and as Republicans try to woo Jewish voters and contributors away from the Democratic Party. Republicans claimed the platform omissions suggested Obama was weak in his defense of Israel and out of touch with mainstream Americans.

GOP officials argued that not taking a position on Jerusalem’s status in the party platform raised questions about Obama’s support for the Mideast ally. Romney said omitting God “suggests a party that is increasingly out of touch with the mainstream of the American people.”

“I think this party is veering further and further away into an extreme wing that Americans don’t recognize,” Romney said.

Added to the platform was a declaration that 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 included in the platform four years ago when Obama ran for his first term, but was left out when Democrats on Tuesday approved their 2012 platform, which referred only to the nation’s “unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.”

Some delegates were angered by the change.

“There was no discussion. We didn’t even see it coming. We were blindsided by it,” said Noor Ul-Hasan, a Muslim delegate from Salt Lake City, who questioned whether the convention had enough of a quorum to even amend the platform.

Also restored from the 2008 platform was language calling for a government that “gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”

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HD36 wrote:
Why is it we spend billions on supporting Israel again? The bible tells me so?
on September 5,2012 | 03:14PM
hawaiikone wrote:
It's a real shame when mentioning God becomes an embarrassment and draws boos.
on September 5,2012 | 03:16PM
tobyclairmont wrote:
I don't think the real story is whether Obama put 'God' back into the platform, it's the fact that the Democrats took it out in the first place. Thank you Mr. President for standing up for the root of American values.
on September 5,2012 | 03:28PM
blackmurano wrote:
Barack Obama standing up for American Values? That's the joke of the day. He is a pure socialist activist and never cared for Christians and yet Christians in the Democratic party will still support him. His an evil man, period!
on September 5,2012 | 04:49PM
Paulh808 wrote:
He approved of it from the beginning, they have been defending it for the last few days. Then they find out it is a PR disater politically and all of a sudden change the platform and half the people boo religion. Thanks for being a two bit politian, maybe.
on September 5,2012 | 06:21PM
hawaiikone wrote:
What about the half who boo'd? Classy democrats, and they're supposed to be the leaders.
on September 5,2012 | 07:31PM
blackmurano wrote:
The Democratic party that fully supports the killing of the unborn (Abortion) and redefining marriage to read same-sex marriage is not a surprise that they removed God and Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, than they reverse that decision and placed God and Jerusalem back into the platform. You can tell the boos and opposition to the change. This is a party that do not want God in their lives because they want to run this country on a platform that has God in it. I would presume the boos and oppostion is coming from the homosexuals and lesbians that predominately are Democrats and other non-Christians. As for Jersusalem, God has blessed our country because we have supported the Jewish nation that God calls in the Holy Bible my people and the apple of His eye. He also said I will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who is against Israel. President Obama is no friend to the Jewish Nation. His a true Muslim and has given passes to the Muslims over Christians. I can here Bishop Jackson (on mainland) when he called all Christians to leave the Democratic party on National television. This is a Godless party and is appropriate for every Christian to leave this evil party.
on September 5,2012 | 03:38PM
312guy wrote:
peace be with you
on September 5,2012 | 05:37PM
IAmSane wrote:
^ Don't bother reading that. Some crazy guy ranting.
on September 5,2012 | 09:46PM
HD36 wrote:
Do we still have Freedom of Religion in America? What about seperation of Church and State? Asalama laykum brother.
on September 5,2012 | 10:37PM
AniMatsuri wrote:
Would anyone here be surprised if the Hawai'i delegation booed the loudest?
on September 5,2012 | 04:41PM
blackmurano wrote:
Tulsi Gabbard, Mazie Hirono, Colleen Hanabusa and Dan Inouye all booed. I believe Tulsi was the loudest because of her youth. Tulsi want to mess with God's Sanctity of Marriage. I hope she gets defeated in November so with Hanabusa and Hirono
on September 5,2012 | 04:47PM
312guy wrote:
ASSuming is not speaking the truth
on September 5,2012 | 05:38PM
Jsato wrote:
That's for sure - "blackmurano" needs a major fact check. Tulsi wasn't even at the vote and Mazie and Colleen were back in Hawaii!
on September 6,2012 | 02:53AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Actually, if Tulsi senses she's on the wrong side of this, she'll just flip again.
on September 5,2012 | 07:33PM
kumasachi wrote:
Tulsi Gabbard only ambition is to climb the political ladder to benefit herself. She won the Council seat in my district and will not complete her term. She is a loser like Lazy Mazie and Colleen the Hanabuser!
on September 5,2012 | 07:37PM
LanaAloha wrote:
Tulsi's a sincere servant of the people. We are fortunate to have her representing Hawaii.
on September 6,2012 | 02:06AM
IAmSane wrote:
You do realize that the alternative to Tulsi is a crazy homeless guy, right?
on September 5,2012 | 09:50PM
LanaAloha wrote:
We don't need the government acting as the moral authority in people's lives. That's why people go to churches, mosques, temples, etc. If consenting adults want to get married, let them. It doesn't stop you from adhering to your own moral and religious beliefs and they can adhere to their own moral and religious beliefs.
on September 6,2012 | 02:10AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Great example of "democracy" in action by Democrats. It was clear that the majority of delegates voted nay three times against the amendment to add God and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel back into the Democrat Party platform, yet the joker at the podium declared that the yeas had it, obviously yielding to pressure from President Obama. God and Jerusalem will be re-inserted into the platform, but make no mistake about it – Democrats want God stricken from everything and they are not as friendly to Israel as they claim to be.
on September 5,2012 | 05:50PM
niimi wrote:
This was freaking embarrassing. It was outright embarrassing. The No vote was clearly strong enough to vote it down yet the convention chair pushed it through.
on September 5,2012 | 07:40PM
kumasachi wrote:
Well said Ronin006 as I was also watching the voice vote and I say they pulled a fast one one the delegates who surelyn won when they voted no to the amendment. I guess that is the Democratic way of doing Business! Only agree to the needs that suits the Party Platform!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
on September 5,2012 | 07:46PM
niimi wrote:
Did you watch it? It went to vote 3 times. Each time the "No" side was louder and at least as loud as the, "Yes" votes. If that wasn't embarrassing enough for our Democratic Party, convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said after the third voice vote, "In the opinion of the chair two thirds have voted in the affirmative, the motion is adopted..." Was the bugger deaf or what? The motion clearly was voted down. Why lie about it and push it through? It just embarrasses the Democratic Party further.
on September 5,2012 | 07:38PM
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