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Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey

At a Republican Jewish Coalition event held over the weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, many of the party’s potential contenders for the top of the ticket in 2016 were on display.

Florida’s Governor Jeb Bush paid a visit, Ohio Governor John Kasich was there, as was Wisconsin’s Scott Walker. But there was plenty of buzz around someone who, just a few months ago, would have certainly been considered one of the leading contenders for political and financial backing from the high rollers in the crowd.

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Chris Christie came in to this year’s RJC spring leadership meeting with a bit of tarnish on his previously teflon siding. The scandal known as “Bridgegate,” in which members of his inner circle were discovered to have inflicted serious damage on Fort Lee, New Jersey’s (Democratic) mayor for not backing Christie in the election. The revelation that traffic onto the George Washington Bridge was purposefully jammed with unnecessary lane closures just to spite the mayor, led to weeks of humiliation and a shadow over Christie’s hopes for a bigger political future.

Nonetheless, Christie’s gregariousness seemed to smooth over lingering concerns. Until the Big Gaffe.

Christie was describing a 2012 trip he took to Israel, an obvious topic of interest to the Jewish crowd.

“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,” Christie said.

That’s right. In just about any other setting, no one would have blinked, but Christie was speaking at a Republican Jewish Coalition event. And one of America’s biggest donors to Zionist causes, the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, was present.

Of course, the territories to which Christie was referring are not “occupied,” no matter how often and how many people insist they are. The area properly known as Judea and Samaria may legitimately be referred to as “disputed territories,” but there can be no occupation, under international law, for several reasons, the most prominent of which is that there was no sovereign nation in control of the land when Israel conquered it in a defensive war against Jordan during the 1967 War.

According to several reports there was a serious intake of breath when Christie uttered the words “occupied territories.”

An aide to Adelson told CNN that Christie explained that he “misspoke,” when he used the term, and that he “didn’t believe” the land is “occupied by Israel.”

CNN reported that a senior member of Adelson’s company said his boss was “satisfied” with Christie’s explanation.

 

 

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Samaria, Judea, and Gaza are occupied territories. They were conquered in a war that Israel didn't start, but that Israel finished (for a while, anyway). They were not annexed into Israel proper. This makes them occupied territories, whether or not Smelly Shelly Adelson agrees.

    Chris Christie shouldn't have apologized to Adelson. As a man who got his infamy for speaking his mind, his apology is out of character for him, or at least what he perceives himself to be. Rather, it appears Christie is more an Eddie Haskell type of bully, the boy on "Leave it to Beaver" who terrorized the little kids but always sucked up to the grownups.

    Chris Christie needs to apologize to the people of NJ for blocking 3 lanes of traffic on the GW Bridge with his ample rear end.

  2. Christie is a politician period. I agree with the Eddie Haskell appellation. His apology means zipola, and everyone knows it. He is merely positioning himself for (not much of) a chance at the repo nod. Perhaps Sybil and Charybdis will squash some of that fat out of him, but won't do much for his mouth.

  3. Uzi Kattan Yes, "Uzi," I'm a Democrat who voted for Obama. Got a problem with that, boychik? You, on the other hand, seem to have serious anger management issues. Better deal with them before you mess with the wrong guy, capisci?

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