US President puts Jerusalem as capital of Israel in party program
Former US President Clinton (R) stands with President Obama on stage during day two of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Supporters hoist signs (inset) during the former president’s address at the Time Warner Cable Arena. AFP photosObama ordered Democrats to reinsert references to God and Jerusalem in their party platform, quickly moving to snuff out a damaging political row.
Many in the audience booed after the convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, ruled that the amendments had been approved despite the fact that a large group of delegates objected. He called for a vote three times before ruling, according to the Associated Press.
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 language on Jerusalem 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.”
A campaign official told Agence France-Presse that the president, who has been hammered by Republicans who see him as too tough on Israel, personally intervened to have language on Jerusalem, a feature of past party platforms, restored. The official said Obama had also questioned why the party ever dispensed with language in the 2008 platform.Republican presidential nominee 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 Americans.”