ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Visiting Israel, GOP presidential candidate Christie says truce calls ‘make no sense’

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Republican US presidential candidate Chris Christie, center, speaks with Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana (right) during a visit to the ravaged Kibbutz Kfar Aza on November 12, 2023. (Noam Moskowitz/Knesset Spokesperson)
Republican US presidential candidate Chris Christie, center, speaks with Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana (right) during a visit to the ravaged Kibbutz Kfar Aza on November 12, 2023. (Noam Moskowitz/Knesset Spokesperson)

Republican US presidential candidate Chris Christie eschews calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, saying on a visit to Israel that had Hamas not violated an existing ceasefire by carrying out its October 7 onslaught, there would currently be calm.

A ceasefire reached following a flareup in 2021 was shattered last month when Hamas launched its unprecedented assault into Israel, in which some 1,200 were killed, mostly civilians, and at least 239 were abducted to Gaza.

“We can’t ask Israel to stand down if they believe there is still a legitimate violent threat against them and their people. And I think there is no question that there is. And so they must continue to fight until they have degraded that capability to a point where they can say to their people, come back and live her safely and securely. Until that comes, I don’t think calls for a ceasefire make any sense,” Christie says while touring the ruins of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, devastated by Hamas.

With anti-Israel protests flaring up across the United States, Christie says that many Americans do support Israel’s right to defend itself.

“I want the people of Israel to know that there are hundreds of millions of Americans who stand with them, who understand the atrocities that were committed,” Christie says, speaking within the closed military zone to which Kfar Aza is relegated.

“In the future, we need to stand absolutely shoulder to shoulder with Israel, no daylight,” he adds, standing next to Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, who accompanied Christie to southern Israel.

“I intend to go back to the US and talk about this regularly so that the American people who are being asked to sacrifice and to help Israel financially and militarily will know that what they are doing is not only a noble effort on their part, but also what friends do for friends. America has no greater friend in the world than Israel,” Christie continues.

The former New Jersey governor is the first Republican presidential candidate to travel to Israel since war broke out last month.

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