CHARLOTTE - Democrats voted to change their convention platform to add a mention of God and declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
The move came after criticism from Republicans, the pro-Israel lobby, and several prominent democrats.
Many in the audience booed after the convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, ruled that the amendments was approved despite the fact that many delegates objected.
The announcement came at the beginning of the second day of the Democratic National Convention - since major speeches begin after 7 P.M., the hall was half-empty.
The party reinstated language from the 2008 platform that said "we need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."
The Democrats even outdid their Republican opponents - the GOP platform refers to Jerusalem's status only in passing: "Two democratic states: Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital, and Palestine, living in peace and security."
The platform now included what advisers said was Obama's personal views on Jerusalem.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement: "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.
“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.”
The Anti-Defamation League commended the Democratic Party on the amendment on Wednesday: “We welcome the amendment referencing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and we applaud the DNC for listening and for being responsive to the concerns raised by supporters of Israel,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “But we are still troubled that it was removed, and it should never have happened in the first place. This has been a longstanding policy statement on the DNC platform going back decades.”
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