Amid boos, Democrats restore mentions of God, Jerusalem - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Amid boos, Democrats restore mentions of God, Jerusalem to platform

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(Source: CNN) (Source: CNN)
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CHARLOTTE, NC (RNN) - In a contentious voice vote at the Democratic National Convention, delegates restored mentions of God and a declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to their party platform on Wednesday.

With a large and vocal number of delegates objecting, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for a vote three times before ruling in favor of the changes.

"In the opinion of the chair, two-thirds have voted in the affirmative. The motion is adopted and the platform has been amended," Villaraigosa said, as many delegates booed.

Tom Elliott, a delegate from Austin, TX, says he welcomes recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but says "we should question any religion in our platform."

"I think there should be a discussion overall and it's probably not a good time because of the political climate in this country," he said.

The vote came after nearly two days of criticism by Republicans, pro-Israel groups and people of faith for the 2012 platform omissions.

A section of the platform, released Monday, extolled the virtues of religious organization and people of faith, but omitted mentions of God entirely.

Instead, the document addressed faith in general, which "has always been a central part of the American story, and it has been a driving force of progress and justice throughout our history."

The wording drew instant fire from Republicans.

"I think it's rather peculiar. It's not in keeping with our founding documents, our founding vision," vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said of the omission during a Wednesday interview with Fox.

When pressed on whether the omission was deliberate, former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs dodged, simply telling CNN on Tuesday, "I think all the language about religion and faith, I think that lets people understand and know what this party is all about."

Another section, originally removed, but restored by the vote, stated that Jerusalem "is and will remain" the capital of Israel.

After the omission, President Barack Obama's opponent pounced, accusing the president of being a weak ally to Israel.

"Four years of President Obama's repeated attempts to create distance between the United States and our cherished ally have led the Democratic Party to remove from their platform an unequivocal acknowledgment of a simple reality," said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in a statement on Tuesday. "As president, I will restore our relationship with Israel and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our close ally."

Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

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