Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have had a strained relationship since Obama took office and criticized Israels building of settlements in the West Bank.
Wexler argued Wednesday that the Democratic platform as written addresses Israels chief security concerns, particularly the threat of a nuclear Iran. It has been the policy of every administration since 1967 that Jerusalems status should be determined in final negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, Wexler said. He also said that Republicans, too, had changed their platform on Israel.
"Its a totally false issue," Wexler said. "The language that is in the Democratic platform this year is 100 percent pro-Israel language."
Yet the issue dogged top Democrats, who dont want to see their lead narrow among Jewish voters.
Jewish voters traditionally vote heavily for Democratic presidential candidates, but Republicans have been pushing hard for their support, particularly in Florida. Obama received about 74 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008, and polls suggest support is just as strong this year.
One reason for the strong support: Most Jewish voters dont see Israel as their top concern and tend to be among the most-socially liberal constituencies.
However, in swing-state Michigan, Arab-American voters are influential. And Democrats like Tlaib feel let down. She said its tough for Arabs just to visit Jerusalem, which contains the Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa Mosque.
It took three voice votes for the delegates to pass the changes proposed by the chairman of the committee that drafted the platform, including the change that restored "God" to the platform.
"As an ordained United Methodist minister, I am here to attest that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story, and informs the values weve expressed in our partys platform," said former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. "In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and our partys platform should as well."
Marc Caputo can be reached at mcaputo@MiamiHerald.com. Erika Bolstad can be reached at email@example.com
Lesley Clark and David Lightman of the McClatchy Washington Bureau contributed to this report.