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Democrats Restore Plank on Jerusalem to Platform

Democrats restored language in the party platform recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Stung by attacks by Republicans and Jewish lawmakers, the party approved the change in a floor vote late Wednesday afternoon at their convention in Charlotte.

It reinstated language from the 2008 platform.

The change was first reported by NBC News.

The Jerusalem issue had become a noisy distraction from an otherwise smooth-running Democratic National Convention.

“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.

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