Israel considers Jerusalem to be its capital and houses its parliament there, but the international community — with almost no exceptions — recognizes Tel Aviv as the capital in deference to Palestinians, who also lay claim to Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.


Gingrich also said if he could muster enough support, he would make former John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under former President George W. Bush, his secretary of state. A controversial figure despised by many on the left, Bolton embodied an interventionist, hardline approach to U.S. foreign policy, and also flirted with his own 2012 presidential campaign.

"I will ask Congress to liberate the intelligence community so we can once again go back to effective covert activity and effective intelligence gathering," Gingrich said in another dig at Obama.

All the presidential candidates to address Jewish Republican voters at the forum Wednesday talked up the threat that Iran's nuclear program poses to Israel and floated various approaches to thwarting any nuclear ambitions, including economic sanctions and the threat of military action.

But Gingrich took it one step further.

"I will fund every dissident group in the country," he said, despite evidence that some opposition groups in Iran hold anti-American views and the risk that visible U.S. support could bolster the Iranian government's claims that foreign governments are instigating the opposition movement.