Gingrich calls for U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem

(JTA) — Newt Gingrich, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2012, called on the next U.S. leader to move the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives and congressman from Georgia, proposed a series of Executive Orders that he believes the next president should sign on his first day in office.

Among the four orders the conservative Republican presented Monday to the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition is to "Respect Each Sovereign Nation’s Choice of its Capital."

Gingrich’s description of the order reads: "Israel is the only country the United States discriminates against in this regard. The people of Israel have designated Jerusalem as their capital. Yet the United States retains its embassy in Tel Aviv. A more peaceful Middle East will not come through confused signals, mixed messages, and extravagant but unrealizable hopes. Making it clear that we respect the rights of the people of the only long-term democracy in the Middle East and making clear that it is their right to negotiate the future of their Capital will strengthen the framework within which peace could be negotiated."

Congress passed a law in 1995 requiring the United States to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

During the 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton said that "I believe in the principle of moving our embassy to Jerusalem." During the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush said that as president he would “begin the process of moving the United States ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital.” Both men used the presidential waiver to prevent the embassy from being moved.  

Earlier this month, Gingrich created the Newt Exploratory 2012 website, bypassing the formation of a formal exploratory committee for a possible presidential run. 

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