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Sheldon Adelson Confidant Says He Won’t be Endorsing Christie After Governor Belittled ‘Occupied Territories’ Remark Concerns

April 6, 2014 11:45 pm 8 comments

Chris Christie in Israel. Photo: Anav Silverman/Tazpit News Agency.

The President of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein, a confidant of influential Republican donor Sheldon Adelson told The Algemeiner recently that he won’t be endorsing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the 2016 presidential election.

Klein’s comments came in response to a speech Christie gave at last week’s Republican Jewish Coalition annual spring gathering in which Christie referred to Israel’s Judea and Samaria region as “occupied territories.”

Klein approached Christie after the speech to ask him about the comments and inform Christie that the term “occupied territories” is inaccurate and misleading.

“The term occupied territories is a false term used by the enemies of Israel to make it sound like Israel has stolen Arab land,” Klein said he told Christie. “To be occupied you have to have taken over someone’s legal sovereign area … the only two countries that the world recognizes in this area are Jordan and Israel.”

Klein said “the Jewish people have a greater religious, cultural, and historical claim to [that] land than any Arabs and that the term used to refer to the West Bank should be disputed territories.”

When Klein asked Christie if he would instead use the term “disputed territory” in the future, Klein says that Christie dismissed his remarks saying condescendingly “I saw you shaking your head when I used that term.”

The irony of the interaction according to Klein, is that Christie made a point in his speech of claiming that Republicans need to do a better job of listening and respecting those that disagree with them.

Later, Klein said that Christie apologized to Adelson in a private meeting saying that he merely misspoke, but Klein said he doesn’t buy Christie’s apology.

“He is worried about Sheldon supporting him financially, so we can’t trust [what he said to Sheldon] on Israel or what his real beliefs are. You got the real answer with me because there was no ulterior motive there. I don’t believe his apology for one second.”

When asked by The Algemeiner if he would specifically advise Adelson not to support Christie, Klein said that he didn’t see it as appropriate to do so, but said that as ZOA president he would make his views on Christie’s positions known. “Governor Christie either has no understanding of the truth of the issues effecting Israel, or he is hostile to Israel, either way I am very uncomfortable,” Klein, who has led the ZOA for 20 years went on to say, “when I gave him the opportunity to respond to me after I explained to him the truth about Judea and Sumaria, the fact the he was dismissive and even caustic toward me tells me that he has no interest in understanding the truth of what is beneficial for Israel.”

After spending more than $40 million on Republican candidates in the 2012 Adelson is widely considered to be the most sought after Republican donor.


  • What a strange web site. I never realized how radical Israeli’s were. Especially the Russians amongst them. This web site sees it only one way much like the radical Arabs next door. No wonder they don’t get along.

  • timmy tight

    Yep, Christie just wants that Adelson money. When he was dismissive to Klein, he didn’t know Klein has Adelson’s ear; that those two are close.

  • Christie…went to kiss the ring…and missed!

  • What really infuriates me is my governor, Chris Christie (whom I once enthusiastically supported), heretofore a man well-known for saying exactly what was on his mind, bowing and scraping before this Herman Munster lookalike. Christie needs to apologize to nobody for speaking the truth. (He needs to apologize for causing a traffic jam last fall, though).

    The State Department calls Judea, Samaria, and Gaza “occupied territories” because that’s what they are, the same as when the U.S. occupied Germany in the early postwar years. Whether Israel is wrong to occupy these lands is another issue. One can make a strong case either way.

    As a Democrat who will vote for the next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton (assuming she runs), I should be welcoming this craven behavior on the part of Christie and other Republicans who lined up to kiss Adelson’s ring. Just as Tom Friedman pointed out that Adelson unwittingly supported Iran and the BDS-ers, the mere sight of these Republican pigs lining up at the trough can only be good for the Democratic party in 2016 (and 2014). But it totally disgusts me that my country is turning into an oligarchy — much like Russia, China — and apparently Israel.

    • I believe Dan is speaking wisdom…

    • Chris Christie is a blown in the wind person. he cannot be trusted to stand his ground or stand for what he “believes”? i saw the change in his attitude toward Obama after obama came to his state and gave them some attention. before he was dead set against him and then he was buddy buddy. no thank you to him as far as i am concerned.

    • i can tell you don’t know anything about Israel or Biblical prophsey. Israel does not own the land, God owns it. to move against Israel is to move against God, and there are consequences to doing anything that touches Israel adversly. and as far as the democrats are concerned, anyone can see where this country has been headed with them at the helm. i have never seen anything like it. but no democrat can see how we have gone downhill not to mention they all sound like clones of each other. i think that very few of them think for themselves or think original thoughts.

      • john collins

        Yup, nothing makes people want to take your opinions seriously like mentioning an invisible sky wizard. It just sounds so…plausible. Can you imagine how history will remember people who ran around fighting over whose imaginary friend was more powerful?

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