Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor running for president, will visit Israel on Sunday, emphasizing what he sees as his foreign policy advantage in the race and challenging other Republicans seeking the nomination to the White House to join him.
This trip will be the second to a war zone since the opening of his presidential candidacy. In August, he made a surprise visit to Ukraine and met with that country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky. Details of his itinerary remain secret for security reasons, but his campaign said he would speak with Israeli officials, visit a hospital treating survivors of the Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas and visit the region around Gaza to meet families still in need. following last month’s attack that claimed the lives of around 1,400 people in Israel, most of them civilians.
“If I want to continue to be a strong advocate for doing whatever we need to do to defend Israel, I have to see it for myself,” he told New Hampshire voters Thursday. “And if you really want to lead, you have to go out there and show the people of Israel that a person running for president of the United States cares enough to get on a plane and go there and doing what needs to be done to figure out how we solve this problem.
Another person running has already done so: the incumbent, President Biden. But that’s not the case for the Republican front-runner, former President Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Trump has made his close alliance with right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a key part of his foreign policy. He moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, and withdrew all US pressure on Israel to end settlements in the occupied West Bank and resume statehood negotiations. autonomous Palestinian.
The Trump administration’s negotiation of peace accords between Israel and the Gulf Arab states, called the “Abraham Accord,” further isolated the Palestinians, and the Biden administration has worked to expand these agreements with Saudi Arabia. The Hamas attack was launched in part to thwart those peace talks.
Mr. Christie, alongside Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador, separated himself from Mr. Trump and other more isolationist voices in the race by wholeheartedly embracing the projection of American military and diplomatic force to abroad, in Ukraine. Israel and East Asia.