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Democrats Vote To Restore 2008 Platform Language On Jerusalem

Filed by KOSU News in Politics.
September 5, 2012

What’s usually a formality, turned a bit dramatic today at the opening of the second day of the Democratic National Convention.

When Democrats released their platform last night, they were immediately criticized for a shift in language on the issue of Israel. As CNN explained, the 2012 platform (pdf) did not declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In 2008, the language was clear. It 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.”

Democrats introduced a change in the 2012 platform, as today’s session got started. The change would restore the 2008 language.

NPR’s Liz Halloran, reporting from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, told us there was confusion on the floor. They couldn’t tell whether the ayes had it, but on the third vote the motion passed and there were boos along with cheers.

Update at 6:37 p.m. ET. Same Position Bush Had:

Politico adds a bit of background on the story:

“More substantively, the Democratic platform now puts the DNC in direct opposition to longstanding U.S. policy on Jerusalem.

“The United States has long declined to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel, declaring that all “final status issues” should be left to final negotiations between the parties. President Obama promised in 2008 to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, but hasn’t acted on that promise. President Bush made the same promise and it was met with the same lack of action.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney pointed out much the same thing, defending the administration against Republican criticism.

“As President of the United States, the position on Jerusalem held by this administration, this President, is exactly the same position that Presidents and administrations have held since 1967 — Presidents of both parties, administrations of both parties,” Carney said. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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