“The 2008 platform reference is ‘God-given’ and is about growing the middle class and making America fair, not actually about faith. The platform includes an entire plank on the importance of faith based organizations and the tremendous work that they do. Further, the language we use to talk about faith and religion is exactly the same vocabulary as 2008. I would also note that the platform mentions: ‘faith’ 11 times; ‘religion’ or ‘religious’ 9 times; ‘church’ 2 times (one is a quote); and, ‘clergy’ 1 time.”
The word God was actually used in the 2008 platform as more of an adjective, and the word God appeared only once. It would seem to me the reference was on its way out long ago.
My view, and perhaps this is the spirit behind which the change was made, is that God as a term of deity in the US typically is associated with the Christian "God." Its replacement with terms such as "faith" "religion" "religious" etc is more in keeping with a spirit of inclusiveness and recognizes that there are many terms for deity, not just "God." I know every religion wants to believe that their deity is the "right" one, and Christians have tried to corner the market on that in the US, but being the US we should not be choosing one term over another when it comes to an official platform. Individuals can use the term that fits their beliefs to make the reference but its really no longer appropriate when speaking on behalf of the American people.
Regarding the Israel topic - don't have enough background to speak to it, but on the surface it looks like a pretty pointed snub. Can't say whether I support the snub or not. I will leave that to others.