Much has been said in American media about Russia's annexation of Crimea....most of it misleading. Naturally, western leaders are outraged, outraged I tell ya', over Vlad Putin's bold moves in responding to "regime change" efforts by those same western leaders' in Ukraine. Go here to find out just how far afield U.S. media has led American audiences on this alleged Russian act of aggression.
As Juan Cole points out here, there's one genuine act of aggression, complete with a hostile annexation, which U.S. media and American politicians are never permitted to call an illegal, international act of aggression......
These territories (the West Bank and Gaza) were not awarded to Israel in the 1947 UN General Assembly partition plan. Israel had no legal claim on them. They were taken in a war (1967) in which Israel fired the first shot and so could be seen as the aggressor. Israel did not offer the inhabitants of these territories citizenship in Israel.
Forty-seven years after that act of aggressive, hostile annexation......after almost five decades of Israel occupying territories they took illegally by force.....for U.S. presidential hopefuls, THAT hostile annexation must never be mentioned.
In Las Vegas on Saturday, GOP Governors Kasich of Ohio, Walker of Wisconsin and Christie of New Jersey were speakers at a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Mr. Christie, a no-apologies kind of authoritarian governor, made a tragic gaffe when he accidentally spoke a few words of truth about Israel's forty+ year occupation of an annexed territory.....
“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.”
The context demonstrates sympathy toward the nation of Israel.....but those two words..."occupied territories".....are not permitted to be said out loud without the fear of being reprimanded. Christie is used to saying just about anything he wants to say because, you know, he's a strong, uncompromising leader who simply tells it like it is.
After his speech, but before Gov. Christie met privately with Sheldon Adelson.....
...Morton Klein, president of the hawkish Zionist Organization of America, had confronted Christie 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.”
See? Saying out loud what is undeniably true.....Israel maintains "occupied territories" in Gaza and the West Bank, territories that Israel illegally and aggressively annexed almost 50 years ago....means that Christie is either ignorant or an enemy of Israel. No in between.
Later, Christie met privately with Jewish casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Adelson plans to spend huge amounts of his money....check that, huge amounts of speech....hoping to elect a non-crazy GOP presidential candidate for 2016. According to Politico sources, here's what Christie told Adelson....
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.”
"misspoke", "misstatement".......that's what the truth is called today. And notice the tough-as-nails, suffer-no-fools, stick-to-his-guns.....timidity from the chastened New Jersey governor. Christie "was sorry" for any "confusion" he caused by....well....speaking truthfully.
Too many times I've heard the complaints from patriotic conservatives concerning political correctness....PC. Many conservatives argue that their free speech is being stifled by "liberals" and their PC police. In matters of marriage equality, women's rights and income inequality.....Republicans, and a few billionaires, say that progressives are demonizing them through the efforts of the PC police.
And yet, on Saturday, Chris Christie....who claims he's no one's huckleberry.....immediately apologized for speaking the truth in the way that he did about Israel's "occupied territories."
To say this is all a perversion is to state the obvious. But that is the state of our national politics today. GOP candidates with their hands out to freely-speaking Jewish billionaires must obediently comply with Jewish donor speech rules if those candidates have any expectation of winning great big bags of uninhibited free speech from those same donors.
Call it ironic hypocrisy....call it whatever you'd like. Just don't call it evidence of a healthy, functioning democracy.