Gingrich:
'There'll be an American embassy in Jerusalem, it's inevitable'

Father of Embassy Transfer Law in special interview: 'Jerusalem is capital of Israel, any time we recognize this there will be Arab anger.'

Mordechai Sones,

Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich
Reuters

"There will be an American embassy in Jerusalem, it's unstoppable. I've always believed that Israel has the right to determine for itself what its capital is, and to the best of my knowledge it is the only country we do not allow to do so. No matter when we recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, there will always be rage in the Arab world."

These words were spoken yesterday by Newt Gingrich, senior Republican official in the United States and former Speaker of the 58th House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999, in an interview with the Yisrael Hayom paper.

In the 1994 elections, Gingrich and the Republican Party swept both Houses of Congress by storm, causing the downfall of the Democratic Party and President Clinton. Gingrich, who became Speaker of the House of Representatives and the undisputed leader of the party's ideological stream, decided to change the United States from the ground up.

The Republican revolution provided new impetus to the pro-Israel currents in Congress, and one of the first laws Gingrich formulated was the "Embassy Transfer to Jerusalem Law," which passed with a large majority and tacit support from Bill Clinton in 1995. It can be said that Gingrich was the father of the law.

"The law would not have passed without my support," Gingrich says, "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, regardless of the peace process, and recognition of this is unavoidable - and therefore we must decide whether we are determined to do it because we believe in it. I believe it's worth risking the anger, especially if you put the embassy in West Jerusalem, the part that everyone agrees is Israeli. There are no negotiations on West Jerusalem, so the move will not change anything irreversibly regarding the final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians."

Gingrich sheds light on the legislative process that passed the two houses of Congress by a huge majority, saying that "we consulted with a wide range of people and held hearings at the Foreign Affairs Committee, which received tremendous support from both parties in both houses, and we didn't think it would be controversial. Including the presidential option to delay the transfer was not a mistake, because if it were up to Clinton, he would have vetoed the law. This was part of the balance, and I was quite surprised that the law has not been implemented so far. What the President needs to do is actually nothing, as the law was phrased, but under the constitution the President always has a significant and strong advantage in his formulation of foreign policy and national security."

Gingrich reveals that he has spoken with people in the administration and with Jewish leaders about the issue over the past year. "My feeling was that if Trump intended to move the embassy or recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would be better if he did it as soon as possible, because in any case there would be anger, and the more he waited, the more resistance there would be. I am sure that he was influenced by conversations with the Israelis and those who supported him in the Jewish community during the campaign."

Regarding Trump's combined move to recognize Jerusalem and sign the delay order, Gingrich says, "All he has to do is open an office at the consulate in West Jerusalem, call it the ambassador's office, and that immediately turns the building into an embassy. I don't think it'll score him points with the Arabs if he tries to be sophisticated."

Gingrich stresses that "Trump's decision is courageous both in terms of foreign policy and the State Department, just like President Harry Truman recognizing the State of Israel immediately upon its establishment. Truman had to deal with a revolt among his advisers, who threatened to resign. This is not the case with Trump's advisers, although the State Department has always objected to recognizing Jerusalem and transferring the embassy, but they also objected to recognizing Israel in 1948 and there is a long history to the matter."




top