Christie Apologizes To Billionaire Republican Donor
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie apologized to GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson for using the term “occupied territories in a speech.
Invoking a 2012 trip he and his family took to Israel, Christie recalled in the speech: “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.”
While the story was intended to forge common cause with Adelson and the several hundred donors to the Republican Jewish Coalition to which Christie was speaking, his use of the term “occupied territories” set off murmurs in the crowd. The term refers to lands in which Palestinians live where Israel maintains a military presence, including the West Bank.
But the term is rejected by some conservative Zionists like Adelson who see it as validating Palestinian challenges over Israel’s presence. Other supporters of Israel oppose the use of the term as well.
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.”