Christie Takes Hawkish Line on Occupation

By JTA

Published April 17, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie cautioned against Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday following his first trip to Israel earlier this month, Christie, who has been mentioned by Republicans as a possible vice presidential pick, said the most “eye-opening” part of his trip was a helicopter tour over part of the West Bank with Israeli military officials. Then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush expressed a similar sentiment after taking a similar helicopter tour in 1998 with then-Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon.

“Everyone who thinks they have an opinion that’s worth something on the Palestinian issue should take that tour,” Christie said. The helicopter ride took “three minutes from West Bank settlements to the Mediterranean. A missle goes much faster than a helicopter.”

Christie billed the trip, called “Jersey to Jerusalem,” as an “economic growth, diplomacy [and] observance” mission. Christie met with leaders of several Israeli companies, including Teva Pharmaceuticals and Project Better Place – the electric car startup – but the trip also focused on Israeli defense and policy.

The first-term governor added that he hoped to “expand my portfolio” as an up-and-coming national voice of the Republican Party. Last year, several Republican leaders urged Christie to run for president, but Christie demurred, and he has said he does not intend to seek national office during this gubernatorial term.

During the April 1-5 trip, Christie met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed Israel’s security concerns and Iran’s suspected pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

“The prime minister is an articulate spokesman and advocate for how peace negotiations should be conducted,” Christie said.

Christie called his meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, 89, like “walking into a history book.”

The N.J. governor did not meet with any leaders of the Palestinian Authority during the trip. After Israel, the Christie family spent a weekend with King Abdullah of Jordan. Christie also met Abdullah at a conference in Iowa in 2010.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.