In a stunning reversal Wednesday, the Democratic Party reinserted the words God and Jerusalem into their 2012 platform over the audible objections of at least half the crowd inside the Time Warner Cable Arena.
"It is good to see the platform language restored," an official with a Jewish organization told the Washington Free Beacon. "It's the right position for America to take, important for the U.S.-Israel realtionship, and good for the Democratic Party. It's also a historic rebuke to those who sought to erase these important words, and worked to alter the platform in a secretive and exclusionary process."
The changes restore the 2008 language to the Democratic Party platform, including the sentence, "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel."
"The platform is being amended to maintain consistency with the personal views expressed by the president and in the Democratic Party platform in 2008," Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "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."
"We welcome reinstatement to the Democratic platform of the language affirming Jerusalem as Israel's capital," the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said in a statement Wednesday evening.
The Romney campaign acted quickly. "Mitt Romney has consistently stated his belief that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel," Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said in a statement. "Although today’s voice vote at the Democratic National Convention was unclear, the Democratic Party has acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. President Obama has repeatedly refused to say the same himself. Now is the time for President Obama to state in unequivocal terms whether or not he believes Jerusalem is Israel’s capital."
NBC News reported on the change to the platform language shortly before it was announced.
Democrats in the Time Warner Cable Arena reacted strongly to the amendment process and forced three votes, as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appeared unsure what to do. Boos could be heard after Villaraigosa declared that the motions had passed with a two-thirds vote.