Democrats to return Jerusalem-as-capital language to party platform
By RON KAMPEAS
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (JTA) — Democrats are returning language affirming Jerusalem as Israel’s capital to their party platform at President Obama’s behest, a Jewish campaign surrogate told JTA. Two sources confirmed to JTA that the party’s platform committee was meeting in Charlotte, the site of this year’s Democratic National Convention, on Wednesday evening to return language in the 2008 platform to this year’s platform.
“They are returning the language to the 2008 situation,” Robert Wexler, a top Jewish surrogate for President Obama’s reelection campaign and a drafter of this year’s platform, told JTA. “The president directly intervened to make sure this amendment happened.”
“Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel” appeared in the 2008 document, along with the caveat that the matter should be left to final-status negotiations.
A Democratic National Committee official also confirmed the reinsertion.
The removal of the language caused a firestorm of criticism from pro-Israel groups, Republicans and Democratic lawmakers in Congress, who said the removal of the language blindsided them.
Campaign officials had said that the language was removed because the overall platform focused on Obama’s achievements — in Israel’s case, the enhancement of security cooperation and the isolation of Iran.