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President Obama orders Democrats to change convention platform on Israel

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In an extraordinary move to diffuse what had become a potentially explosive distraction, President Obama ordered Democrats to change their convention platform Wednesday over the topic of Israel. It wasn't an order accepted easily. Our Josh Robin has the story.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Politics in the U.S. are again clashing with politics in the Middle East.

"Mr. Chairman, I move that we suspend the rules," former Ohio governor Ted Strickland said.

The Democrats are reversing themselves on a controversial section of their platform. It now states Democrats believe Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. Democrats Wednesday passed a platform that omitted that line. It reflected the city's ambiguous status in American politics.

Leaders of both parties see Jerusalem as Israel's capital. But no American president has moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv. They believe the city's borders will be figured out through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Still, Wednesday's platform had Republicans pouncing.

Jewish groups did too, even former New York City mayor Ed Koch weighed in from his hospital bed, where he is being treated for anemia.

Already targeted as no friend of Israel, President Obama told Democrats to change the line.

"President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party's platform should as well," Strickland said.

But it wasn't over. It took Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa three times before he decided enough delegates supported the move, a move greeted with a chorus of boos.

"In the opinion of the chair, two-thirds have voted in the affirmative. The motion is adopted and the platform has been amended as shown on the screen," Villaraigosa said.

That platform had one more change. Democrats brought back the term God-given to describe people's potential. The initial plank took it out, ushering Republican charges Democrats were out of touch.

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