Tonight, the Democratic National Committee suspended the rules of the convention and inserted language regarding God and the State of Israel back to its platform. They had to vote three times to do it – and they had to lie to deem it passed, even though it was clear that the measure did not pass a voice vote in the chamber. The original 2012 Democratic Party platform had excised all mention of God and Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.
Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio made the motion to change the platform:
This summer, I was proud to serve this party as the platform drafting committee chair. I came before you today to discuss the two important matters related to our party's national platform. 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 value we have expressed in our party's platform. In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party's platform should as well. Mr. Chairman, I have submitted my amendment in writing and I believe it is being projected on the screen for the delegates to see. I move adoption of the amendment as submitted and shown to the delegates.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, the head of the Democratic National Convention, got up and asked for a two-thirds vote on the amendments to the platform. He took a voice vote, with people stating aloud “aye” and “nay.”
The first time, he couldn’t determine if two-thirds of the voters had said “aye”; a loud “no” vote was heard. He asked for a second vote.
The second time, he couldn’t determine whether the voice vote had passed. Again. Villaraigosa looked around in confusion.
Finally, on the third attempt, Villaraigosa took a voice vote and simply declared, in the “opinion of the chair,” that it had been passed. There were widespread boos in the convention hall to the renewed inclusion of God and language about Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And Villaraigosa was lying, in any case – there is no way that the voice vote had passed. Opponents stood up and protested, waving and shouting. The fix was in. The Democratic leadership had to ram a mention of God and a mention of Jerusalem through, violating their own rules, to avoid the fallout within their own ranks.
Watch the vote here:
UPDATE: Multiple sources are reporting that this means that the Democrats will reinstate their 2008 language, which reads:
The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient efforts and the personal commitment of the President of the United States. The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. 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.
Sources also report that the language was changed "to reflect the president's personal view." This is bull. President Obama has never recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and neither has his spokesperson or State Department. He has never taken a public position against the so-called "right of return," which would destroy Israel as a Jewish state. And he has publicly stated that Israel should use the 1949 armistice lines as the baseline of any future negotiations. This was obviously a political move designed to prevent disillusioned Jewish voters from leaving the Democratic voters in droves. If Jews are smart -- and if they watch this tape -- they'll realize that the base of the Democratic Party simply does not support Israel, even if the DNC quashes their votes.