Last month during the GOP presidential candidate foreign policy debate, Newt Gingrich suggested that he would order a military attack on Iran over its nuclear program. “You have to take whatever steps are necessary to break its capacity to have a nuclear weapon,” he said. Keeping with this militaristic tone — and perpetuating the GOP race for which presidential candidate loves Israel the most — the former speaker told Wolf Blitzer yesterday on CNN that as president, he would help the Jewish state should it decide to attack Iran.
“I think if I were president, the Israelis would have told us,” Gingrich said when asked what he would do if his national security adviser informed him of an Israeli attack. “I would rather plan a joint operation conventionally than push the Israelis to a point where they [the Iranians] go nuclear,” he added.
Mitt Romney and Rick Perry have recently stepped up their pro-Israel game, saying they would move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Romney said he would pretty much do whatever Israel tells him to do.) And in his interview with Blitzer, Gingrich followed suit but upped the ante, saying he’d order the move “on the first day” he becomes president:
BLITZER: Would you move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?
GINGRICH: The first day. It will be an executive order the day I’m inaugurated.
BLITZER: And what would happen if the Arab countries sever relations with the United States, Muslim countries, as a result of that?
GINGRICH: The Saudis aren’t going to sever relations with the United States. The Emirates are not going to sever relations. They’re too afraid —
BLITZER: They have threatened over the years if the U.S. were to do that, that’s what they would do.
GINGRICH: They are too afraid of Iran right now. And I would also say to them, fine, you want to prove to us how much you hate Israel? Prove it. This is nonsense.
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No American administration since 1967 has recognized Israeli rule over Jerusalem. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and now Obama have all invoked national security waivers preventing moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, probably because, as Jerusalem expert Daniel Seidemann told ThinkProgress recently, the move would mean “following Israel into abject isolation, and the United States into an weakened and marginal regional and global role.”