Ron Paul’s dovish position on support for Israel has earned him much scorn from mainstream conservatives. Yet now, in a turn that will bewilder many of those people, Paul has announced support for a position that previously only Newt Gingrich had held on the Israeli state. That is, Paul believes the United States ought to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And does it for completely consistent reasons, too. Here’s Paul:
“The real issue here is not what America wants, but what does Israel want,” Paul told evangelical leaders, according to a transcript of the meeting obtained by Business Insider. “If Israel wants their capital to be Jerusalem, then the United States should honor that.”
“How would we like it if some other nation said ‘We decided to recognize New York City as your capital instead, so we will build our embassy there?'” he added.
Even Paul’s senior campaign aides were surprised by his response.
“We were floored,” senior advisor Doug Wead told Business Insider. “It sounds like pure Ron Paul, but it still caught us off guard…If someone would have asked him that in a national debate, I suppose it would have popped right out, but nobody did!”
Paul’s position places him closer to the pro-Israel and further away from the pro-Palestinian camp than other observers had previously imagined. It certainly puts him at odds with President Obama’s own State department, which has previously refused to acknowledge that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.