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April 2, 2012

NJDC to Christie in Israel: Apologize to Senior Jewish Officials You’ve Slammed

Listed in: Other Domestic Policy, NJDC News, Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie arrives this morning in Israel for a visit to burnish his foreign policy credentials. In light of his trip to the Jewish state, and the offensive remarks he’s made of late to the most senior Jewish elected officials representing his home state, National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) President & CEO David A. Harris issued the following challenge:

“Welcome to Israel, Governor Christie. While you’re visiting the Jewish state, I can think of no better time to apologize to the senior Jewish public servants from your home state whom you’ve hurled such offensive invective at during the past two years,” said Harris.

“Just on Thursday, you called Senator Frank Lautenberg - New Jersey’s senior federal representative, and a deeply respected pillar of the American Jewish community, and the former head of United Jewish Appeal (UJA)  - ‘a partisan hack.’ You also cited his age, and suggested that he not seek reelection, apparently because of it. When you meet with Israel’s widely esteemed President Shimon Peres - who is the same age - will you similarly suggest to him that he leave public life soon?

“Just one year ago, you went after New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg using even more inappropriate terms - indecently suggesting that the press ‘take the bat’ to her, completely disregarding the violence of the remark. Will you dare to make such offensive remarks to strong Jewish women leaders that you meet in Israel?

“Political and policy differences are understandable and to be expected, but the vitriol and the mean-spirited nature of the rhetoric you’ve aimed at too many in your state - including your most senior Jewish elected leaders - is simply unacceptable. Your time in Israel would be the perfect occasion to apologize to these senior Jewish elected leaders for the tremendously inappropriate things you’ve said to them.”