(Newsroom America) -- Organizers of the Democratic National Convention hastily rewrote their party's platform to add a mention of God and Jerusalem as Israel's capital after being heavily criticized by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the GOP for omitting it.
Getting the verbiage added was not easy. Three times Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa held voice votes on the convention floor, and each time the yes and no votes seemed to balance each other out. Finally, to a chorus of boos from the convention hall, Villaraigosa declared the inclusion approved and the language was inserted into the platform.
The incident further exposed Democrats' internal divisions over Israel and Christianity in general as President Obama, who reportedly ordered the verbiage changes, arrived in advance of accepting his party's presidential nomination for the second time.
"There was no discussion. We didn't even see it coming. We were blindsided by it," Noor Ul-Hasan, a Muslim delegate from Salt Lake City who questioned if there was even a quorum to approve or disapprove the language, told The Associated Press.
The administration has often said that Israelis and Palestinians should decide on the status of the Jewish capital, not the U.S., though Obama's is the first White House in recent times to not do so.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., her party's chairman, defended the omission as "essentially a technical oversight." In an interview with CNN, she insisted there was no disagreement on the floor and that there was a two-thirds majority in support of the changes.
In criticizing the incident, Romney said the omission "suggests a party that is increasingly out of touch with the mainstream of the American people."
"I think this party is veering further and further away into an extreme wing that Americans don't recognize," he said.
The addition to the party platform noted that 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."
Similar supportive language was included in the party's 2008 platform but was left out this year, saying only that the United States' "unshakable commitment to Israel's security."
In addition, verbiage was added from the 2008 platform calling for a government that "gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."
© 2012 Newsroom America.