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 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.
Christie almost immediately abased himself before Adelson for the horrid crime of using the correct term — and the term favored by the US news media for decades. But the damage was done, and cannot be undone. You can almost hear the wallets slamming shut.