Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Fat Man Screws Up at the "Sheldon Adelson Primary"

Politico reports:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won hearty applause with major Jewish donors after a speech Saturday heavy on appeals for GOP unity and strong support for Israel.
Christie mostly avoided foreign policy specifics, but he enraptured the crowd gathered for the Republican Jewish Coalition spring meeting with tales of his own trips to Israel, and criticism of the Obama administration’s foreign policy...

Adelson entered the hall midway through Christie’s, sitting in a reserved seat in the front row...

Christie stepped on a fault line in highly fraught Middle East politics, when he referred to the “occupied territories,” a term some Zionists eschew...

Morton Klein, president of the hawkish Zionist Organization of America...confronted Christie after his speech 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.”
Christie later apologized to Adelson of the one man, one vote, one multimillion dollar wallet primary. Politico again:

Sheldon Adelson
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in a Saturday afternoon meeting with Sheldon Adelson apologized for stepping on a fault line in fraught Middle East politics during a speech he gave earlier in the day, according to a source familiar with the conversation.

Invoking a 2012 trip he and his family took to Israel, Christie recalled “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 is rejected by some conservative Zionists like Adelson who see it as validating Palestinian challenges over Israel’s presence.

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 [Republican Jewish Coalition] 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.”

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.”

Politico also reports that Ohio  Gov. John Kasich bonded with Adelson:
Kasich sat next to Adelson at lunch, and mentioned him repeatedly – and sometimes in a non-sequiturial fashion – in his speech, occasionally making it seem as if he were talking to an audience of one, while the hundreds of other RJC donors looked on.
“Sheldon and I were kind of talking about his background. I come from a little town outside of Pittsburgh called McKees Rocks – it was very blue collar,” Kasich said, as he launched into his biography. When he discussed the prescription of pain killers, he said Adelson – who once testified that he took as many as 25 medications in a day to manage pain from a neurological condition in 2001 – “is someone who knows about this.”
While Kasich’s speech didn’t touch on foreign policy – the primary political focus of Adelson and many RJC donors – he delved deeply into the subject in a question-and-answer session that followed the speech. Pointing out that he served for years on the Armed Services Committee in the House, Kasich said the United States should maintain a military presence in Afghanistan and that both Russia and Iran should face more sanctions. His assertion that the U.S. should not pressure Israel into a peace process was the biggest applause line of his speech.
He concluded his speech by saying, “Hey, listen, Sheldon, thanks for inviting me, and I want to thank all of you for giving me a chance to come here and speak. I don’t travel to these things much, but this is one that I thought was really, really important. And God bless you for what you do.”


  1. Why don't these people just move to Israel? As an American, I'm just tired of hearing about it, along with being parasitized via our state to fund these gazillionaires' pet state.

  2. Because I am a sensitive kind of guy I want to know what are we supposed to call the "occupied territories" so as not to offend any Zionist out there ?
    Israel ?

  3. Comments such as the two above are reasons why middle class voters are attracted to the Republican party.