Democrats recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Following criticism from Republican party, the Democratic National Convention amended its platform to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Updated: Sep 06, 2012, 09:30 AM IST

Charlotte: Following criticism from pro-Israeli group and the opposition Republican party, the Democratic National Convention amended its platform to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Through voice vote, the party delegates assembled at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday also amended the language that added "God" back into the party`s decree.

Motions for both the amendments were moved by the former Ohio governor Ted Strickland.

"President Obama recognises Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, and our party`s platform should as well," the motion said which was adopted by the party by voice vote.

Reacting to the amendments made, the Romney campaign demanded that it is time for US President Barack Obama to state if he believes Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel.

"Now is the time for President Obama to state in unequivocal terms whether or not he believes Jerusalem is Israel`s capital," Andrea Saul, a spokesperson of the Romney campaign said.

"Mitt Romney has consistently stated his belief that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.”

"Although today`s (Wednesday) 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," she said.

Moving the motion to add language God in the platform, Strickland said: "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 values we`ve expressed in our party`s platform."

The move came following scathing criticism from the Republicans.

Congressman Paul Ryan, the party`s vice-presidential candidate, in an interview to the Fox news criticised Democrats for eliminating all mentions of "God" from their platform.

"I think it`s rather peculiar. It`s not in keeping with our founding documents, our founding vision. I`d guess you`d have to ask the Obama administration why they purged all this language from their platform.”

"There sure is a lot of mention of government. I guess I would just put the onus and the burden on them to explain why they did all this, these purges of god," Ryan alleged. Omission of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, Ryan alleged, is tragic.

"This is tragic. First of all, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Mitt Romney and I are very clear on this -- and the right of return," he said.

"What is so tragic about this is this one of the few issues where the Republican Party and the Democratic Party agreed. Our two party platforms were emphatic about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, the issues surrounding the right of return and Hamas.”

"And for the Obama administration to remove this language from the Democratic Party platform drives a wedge into one of the few issues that our two parties actually agreed on," Ryan alleged.

However, both the Obama Campaign and the White House asserted that there has been no change in the view of the President on this issue.

"The President`s position has been completely consistent since 2008. He spoke about this in 2008, beyond what was in the platform in 2008. This is being addressed," the Obama Campaign spokesperson, Jen Psaki, told reporters.

"But this is one example of a time when a position on an issue where there`s been bipartisan agreement on, Republicans are trying to make it into a wedge issue, and that`s very disappointing," she said.

"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," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney said.

"You certainly didn`t hear leaders of the Republican Party during the George W Bush administration saying that his position of his government that Jerusalem needed to be resolved in final status negotiations between the two parties -- Israelis and Palestinians -- was shameful. I didn`t hear Mitt Romney say that. I certainly didn`t hear Paul Ryan say that," Carney said.