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DNC Amends Platform By Voice Vote Amid Controversy

via Daniel Newhauser, Roll Call

Caving under pressure from critics, the Democratic Party decided to restore to its platform the word “God” and language recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

But on the floor of the Time Warner Cable Arena, where the Democratic National Convention is being held, the vote to do so seemed anything but decisive.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gaveled the roll call vote to amend the platform and tried multiple times to secure the voice vote needed to approve the reinstated language.

“Let me try that again,” the confused Democratic National Convention co-chairman said after the first vote, during which it seemed an equal number of voices called out “Aye,” as they did, “Nay.”

He tried again, but to equally ambiguous results. After a third try, Villaraigosa decided to settle the issue, announcing that the vote had passed. The decision was met with boos from the crowd.

Not everybody believed the issue was settled.

“From NY delegation it sounded more than 2/3 opposed,” tweeted New York delegate Alex Yudelson, who identifies himself as an “Atheist-Jew” on his Twitter account.

A spokeswoman for the DNC declined to answer whether the party is 100 percent certain that the vote had passed with a two-thirds majority vote.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz released a statement soon after the proceedings saying the status of Jerusalem should be debated by Israel and Palestine, not U.S. political parties.

“Our Party platform already expresses strong support for the peace process and makes clear the steps that any Palestinian partner must take to be a part of such a process  — recognizing Israel’s right to exist, rejecting violence, and adhering to existing agreements,” the Florida Congresswoman said.

Despite the confusion, the move drew immediate praise from some Members. Rep. Howard Berman released a statement saying the U.S. should stand with Israel.

“I’m happy to see the platform was revised. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, the heart and soul of the Jewish people,” the California Democrat said. “Israel serves as a beacon of democracy in a sea of uncertainty, and the light of that freedom shines forward from Jerusalem.”

The other change restores the phrase, “God-given” to the platform. The amended paragraph now reads, “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.”

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