Chris Christie traveled to war-torn Israel over the weekend, becoming the first GOP presidential candidate to do so following Hamas’ surprise and brutal attack on the country back on October 7.
As he was in Israel, Christie explained why he traveled there in a post he made to social media platform X. He wrote:
“I came here to see with my own eyes what took place on October 7 and there are few words that can capture the brutality of it – dozens of men, women, and children murdered in their homes by Hamas
“It’s one thing to talk about these atrocities from the comfort of thousands of miles away. It’s another to see them firsthand. To listen to people on the ground, and to see the destruction and despair.”
One of the stops on Christie’s tour was a kibbutz that Hamas targeted in their attack. While there, he talked with Isaac Herzog, the president of Israel, as well as some of the survivors of the attack.
The GOP candidate and former governor of New Jersey also was shown video footage that highlighted the brutality of Hamas. It’s not certain whether the footage he was shown was the same that has been shown to some lawmakers in Washington, D.C.
Appearing on CNN to talk about his trip, Christie said:
“It wasn’t just the inhumanity that they were doing – chopping off heads, burning people alive – but it was the joy they took in it.”
In one particular clip that stood out to Christie, he said he saw a Hamas terrorist calling his mother to boast that “your son killed 10 Jews with his own hands. Your son’s a hero.”
Christie also recounted meeting with a woman who’s 23 years old and who suffered gunshot wounds while being in a bomb shelter. He recounted:
“[She] survived only because she was covered by other dead bodies.”
He further commented that as long as there are “folks like that in Hamas, who are focused on wiping Israel off the map and killing the Jewish people,” any post-war plans for Gaza have “to take a backseat.”
One thing that Christie hasn’t agreed with some Israeli leadership on is how Gaza might be ruled once the war comes to a close. Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, said recently that he would be opposed to the Palestinian Authority ruling over the region.
Netanyahu said he’s concerned that the PLA hasn’t yet fully committed to demilitarizing and deradicalizing the people of Gaza.
Christie shared his opinions on the matter by saying:
“I think it’s too early to make that determination. I understand that the Prime Minister is focused exclusively now on the war … but look, I don’t see any long line of folks looking to volunteer to take over Gaza from Hamas.”
Now that his trip is over, Christie said his plans are to talk about the ongoing war “regularly” in the U.S. He said:
“To be able to walk through a neighborhood like this and see what was done to the people, to still be able to walk into one of these homes and smell the death still, a month later, is something that I think the American people need to know.”