ZOA head on Chris Christie event: I’ll attend, but won’t applaud

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at a town hall meeting in Union City, New Jersey, on February 9, 2011. Credit: Luigi Novi via Wikimedia Commons.

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein, who was reportedly considering boycotting a major Jewish event over a planned appearance by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, says in a newly published JNS.org story that he will attend—but won't applaud for the governor.

Christie’s May 18 appearance at the annual Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala in New York City—hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's organization, This World: The Values Network—comes less than two months after the governor's remark before the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) retreat describing his "helicopter ride from the occupied territories" to "understand the military risk that Israel faces every day."

Later that weekend, Christie reportedly told political donor, philanthropist, and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson—who hosted the RJC event in Las Vegas—that he "misspoke" by saying "occupied territories." 

But ZOA's Klein, who was in attendance for the controversial remark, said, "Everyone I spoke to—and I spoke to maybe a dozen people in the next day or so after this—were all horrified that he would use such a term [and] that his only response was, 'I misspoke.'"

Klein said he will attend the May 18 New York gala out of deference to Boteach as well as Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, whom he described as "close friends," but won't applaud for Christie.

Read the full JNS.org story on Christie's upcoming appearance in New York here.

Posted on May 13, 2014 .