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by
Rick Moran

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March 30, 2014 - 9:14 am

Speaking before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas on Saturday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie uttered a faux pas that raised a few eyebrows among attendees — including billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is searching for the right candidate to back in 2016.

Christie was talking about a trip to Israel he took with his family in 2012:

I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across and just felt personally how extraordinary that was to understand, the military risk that Israel faces every day.”

The reference to “occupied territories” sent a murmur through the crowd. Most conservative Jews reject the Palestinian designation of Gaza and the West Bank being “occupied,” so the gaffe was not insignificant.

But neither is it a campaign killer. Christie met later with Adelson and apologized:

Not long after his speech, Christie met with Adelson privately in the casino mogul’s office in the Venetian hotel and casino, which hosted the RJC meeting.

The source told POLITICO that Christie “clarified in the strongest terms possible that his remarks today were not meant to be a statement of policy.”

(Also on POLITICO: Kasich bonds with Adelson in Vegas)

Instead, the source said, Christie made clear “that he misspoke when he referred to the ‘occupied territories.’ And he conveyed that he is an unwavering friend and committed supporter of Israel, and was sorry for any confusion that came across as a result of the misstatement.”

Adelson accepted Christie’s explanation, the source said.

The mini-controversy and quick apology highlight both the importance of Adelson as the reigning mega-donor in GOP politics, as well as the tricky terrain that Middle East politics can pose for American politicians courting Jewish donors and voters.

Before the meeting, Adelson ally Morton Klein, president of the hawkish Zionist Organization of America, had confronted Christie about his use of the term, telling POLITICO he explained to the New Jersey governor that “at minimum you should call it disputed territories.”

Christie was non-committal, said Klein, who concluded afterwards that the governor “either doesn’t understand the issue at all, or he’s hostile to Israel.”

Besides the comment, Christie largely impressed the crowd Saturday night with tales of his own trips to Israel.

He also criticized the Obama administration’s approach to foreign policy, which the crowd distrusts deeply.

“We cannot have a world where our friends are unsure of whether we’ll be with them, and our enemies are unsure of whether we’ll be against them,” Christie said to loud applause.

Christie recounted meeting the hawkish Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an RJC favorite, and being “extraordinarily taken by his strength and resolve.”

Christie was one of three Republican governors to speak to the crowd Saturday night. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio also spoke to the crowd, offering a strong defense of Israel, too.

Sheldon Adelson is emerging as the Whale of Whales for the Republican Party. He supported Newt Gingrich in the 2012 primaries, and donated heavily to Mitt Romney’s campaign. That election cycle, he spent $92 million in supporting GOP candidates at every level.

For good or ill, Adelson will be a kingmaker in 2016. There are other bundlers who will give valuable assistance to other candidates, but it appears that when Adelson goes in, he goes all in — something that will give whomever he supports a leg up heading into the primaries.

As for Christie, it’s not a good sign that he didn’t realize beforehand that “occupied territories” was a loaded phrase. It’s doubly disturbing that he appeared to be unaware of the significance of his mistake. Is he tone deaf? Or simply stubborn? I can’t believe Morton Klein’s suggestion that Christie is “hostile” to Israel, so perhaps the governor should educate himself on the peace process so he doesn’t make any more “misstatements” that get him into hot water with an important party group.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
He caught my interest for a short time a few years ago, but the more I learned about him, the less I liked him. He'll never get my vote for national office. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if those idiots at the RNC try to foist either him or Jeb Bush on the party in 2016.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
He isn't tone deaf, he is simply marinated in liberalism.

If he was content to stay in liberal New Jersey, he would be a valuable ally.

But he want to impose his "moderation" on the country.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm afraid I've come to dislike and distrust Christie, I suspect him of Muslim sympathies I don't want in elected officials, I completely support Israel's settlements and policies in the West Bank, and I might have blurted out or even put in a thinly-prepared speech, "occupied territories".

But NOT in a heavily prepared speech in front of a Jewish audience.

Maybe Chistie needs to tighten that bypass device another couple of notches.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (31)
All Comments   (31)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"It’s doubly disturbing that he appeared to be unaware of the significance of his mistake. Is he tone deaf? Or simply stubborn?"

Or it could just be he's reflecting the political sentiments of a politico with a growing Arab and Muslim electorate. Back in 2011 when some questioned his selection of a Muslim lawyer to a judgeship, Christie characterized folks concerned about Islam and sharia as "crazies".
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Christie follows the money...and will do and say whatever is convenient at the time. Curse Jews and talk about Occupied Territories to one group, and offer up some lickspittle to Adelson for a dip into the coffers.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
"And he conveyed that he is an unwavering friend and committed supporter of Israel, and was sorry for any confusion that came across as a result of the misstatement.”"

Meaning, he was sorry he got caught expressing his real views. This wasn't a minor error. This is fundamental.


Christie is a Muslim sympathizer. That makes him an enemy of America.

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nah,

Just more ignorant than evil.

This is the least of his troubles.

Funny though. When liberal Democrats win elections a big part of the blame around here goes to those maladapted liberal Jews. Then when it comes to who are the secret Republican kingmakers, Jews again.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
You need to look into his track record a bit. He's a full on Muslim sympathizer.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=chris+christie+muslims

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Christie is a friend until he hugs the next Israeli traitor. It's how he operates.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's interesting is the switch in terminology between the US and Israel.

In Israel, if you support the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, you call them "settlers"(*). If not, you refer to the territories as "captured".

In America, if you support the Jews, you call the territories "captured". If you prefer they be thrown out of their homes, you call them "settlers".

I never understood why people want to boycott the territories, myself. We do a lot of business with Guam and CNMI (Saipan), and are starting to work with American Samoa. I wouldn't worry about Christie, though. He could always work for the Israeli MSM.

(*) On Israeli forms, you write "settlement" (yishuv) where you would write "city" in the US.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the US we also use terms like "towns" and "communities", which is what most of those places are. (Is Ariel, with some 20,000 residents and a university a town or a small city?)

Worse, the US (government at least) likes to call certain locales in Jerusalem "settlements" what anyone else would call a "neighborhood".
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
On the other hand, Mitt Romney gave a speech that showed he knew exactly what was going on between Israel and the Arabs. The media called that a "gaffe", because it didn't fit in with their left-wing suppositions.

Basically, you can agree with Thomas Friedman or agree with - well - reality. Romney agrees with reality. Christie? Well, if he isn't on Freidman's side now, the State department will "assimilate" him.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
What this really shows is "NewsSpeak": Lefty media bias. Lefty thought has so invaded our mindset that just repeating what one considers to be 'conventional wisdom' is really just ignorance and unquestioning bigotry.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
And, speaking of unquestioning bigotry, what's all this 'hawkish' crap about
Netanyahu and ZOA? There is no 'tricky terrain' of Middle East politics. It's simply whether you're ready for prime time or not. This is what early campaigning is all about: Learning the terrain, in general.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's hawkish about Netanyahu? Heck, what's hawkish about anyone here in Israel? You think the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria want war on their doorstep?

For that matter, in what way is Netanyahu even right-wing?

(Comment directed at Politico.)
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The real question is why are Republican candidates legitimizing racist organizations like the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the NAACP.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
That comment is beneath contempt.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the GOP is gonna pander to Minority Identity Political Groups, then it's time for Males and White Europeans to get organized so as to be represented in the New Political Zeitgeist, how politics is played in Washington via special interest groups.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bow to your Jewish masters Christie.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Like Thomas Freidman?

PS - I'm still waiting for you to fulfill the promise of your handle. Let us know when you reach it. Don't let the gravity well pull you in on your way out.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think that Christie's comments are indicative of his general Leftist sensibilities, excepting on a few issues. He simply spoke what he has heard all his life and believes. A viewpoint that I dont agree with.

Clearly, Christie realized his mistake afterwords....which is when he went and bowed before his Jewish paymasters.

It's ugly, but it's what happened.

I cant stand Christie. And I can't stand Adelson (for his support of Amnesty). But for some reason Adelson isnt all in on mass third world immigration to Israel.

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Aren't you the guy who praised something called the "Constitution Party" below? The last time I checked, the Constitution’s 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of association, for example, for folks to form a Republican Jewish Committee.

I think you missed your meds.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't give him excuses. Unlike the madman Mohammed, I'm sure he is responsible for his actions.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Im a staunch supporter of Israel. But I dont visit racist identity politics groups to pander to them.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Que?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most conservative Jews reject the Palestinian designation of Gaza and the West Bank being “occupied,” so the gaffe was not insignificant.

Most people who are not Leftist ideologues, Mr. Moran, recognize that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and that therefore for the last nine years Gaza could not be described as "occupied" by Israel in any way, shape or form.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
He caught my interest for a short time a few years ago, but the more I learned about him, the less I liked him. He'll never get my vote for national office. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if those idiots at the RNC try to foist either him or Jeb Bush on the party in 2016.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was right there with you on Christie, I was pretty big on him early but like you, the more I learned the less I liked.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ill be voting Constitution Party or writing in Ted Cruz at that point.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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