DNC 2012: Platform Amendments Over God, Jerusalem Draw Delegates’ Boos [Video]

Embarrassed by Republicans, Democrats amended their convention platform Wednesday to add a mention of God and declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

The Democratic National Committee suspended the rules of the convention and inserted language regarding God and the State of Israel back to its platform.

After they took heat for omitting any reference to “God” in their platform, and for eliminating language from the 2008 platform that identified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Democrats tried to add the language back into their party platform with a voice vote, reports The Huff Post.

Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio made the motion to change the platform: “As an ordained United Methodist Minister, I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the value we have expressed in our party’s platform.”

“In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party’s platform should as well. Mr. Chairman, I have submitted my amendment in writing and I believe it is being projected on the screen for the delegates to see. I move adoption of the amendment as submitted and shown to the delegates.”

However, when Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the convention chairman, came to the podium to ask for the approval of the delegates, those who shouted opposition to the language change were as loud, if not louder, than those who voiced their support.

Villaraigosa got up and asked for a two-thirds vote on the amendments to the platform. He took a voice vote, with people stating aloud “aye” and “nay,” writes Breitbart.

The first time, Villaraigosa couldn’t determine if two-thirds of the voters had said “aye”; a loud “no” vote was heard and asked for a second vote. The second time, he couldn’t determine whether the voice vote had passed.

Finally, on the third attempt, Villaraigosa took a voice vote and simply declared, in the “opinion of the chair,” that it had been passed.

The decision was met with widespread boos in the convention hall.

The switch on Jerusalem puts it in line with what advisers said was the president’s personal view, if not the policy of his administration, says WCNC.

The administration has long said determining Jerusalem’s status was an issue that should be decided by Israelis and Palestinians in peace talks, but has been careful not to state that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan questioned Democrats’ initial move to omit the word “God” from the party’s official platform.

Romney said that “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 American’s don’t recognize.”

Noor Ul-Hasan, a Muslim delegate from Salt Lake City, Utah, said she felt it went against the principle of the separation of church and state.

 “There are people who don’t believe in God and you have to respect that as well,” Ul-Hasan said. She also questioned whether the convention had enough of a quorum to even amend the platform. “There was no discussion. We didn’t even see it coming. We were blindsided by it.”

President Obama personally intervened to strengthen the language.

The source told The Huff Post that the latest change to reinsert the Jerusalem language was made in order to calm the controversy, not to change the intent of the passage.

“Democratic party officials were and continue to be exceedingly comfortable with the original language,” the source said. “The original language was stridently pro-Israel, and they felt that this controversy over the Jerusalem wording was distracting from their overall message.”

The language on Jerusalem now states “it 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.”

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