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Christie insists antisemitism in US not a ‘rise’ but ‘unmasking’: ‘It’s been there’

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GOP presidential candidate and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie insisted on Sunday that antisemitism in the United States is not on the rise, arguing that it has been there all along.

Christie, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” responded to the controversy surrounding X owner Elon Musk and antisemitism espoused on TikTok and by American college professors since Hamas terrorists launched their October 7 attack against civilians, killing about 1,200 people and dragging some 240 more into Gaza as hostages. 

“I think that what we’re seeing in this country, Kristen, and with Iran, with the incredible unmasking of antisemitism, I don’t want to say it’s a rise. I think it’s been there,” Christie told host Kristen Welker. “And I think what we’re seeing now, due to what’s happening in Israel at the moment, is that unmasking of that, we’re seeing it all over college campuses.”

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Christie at DC event

Republican presidential candidate and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at the Hudson Institute Nov. 15, 2023 in Washington, DC.  (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“We’re seeing it on social media sites like X and TikTok and other social media sites. And it is horrific,” he said. “I think the president, United States needs to be much stronger than he’s been in speaking out against antisemitism in this country. This is an outrageous, outrageous type of hate that’s being expressed. And we need to be speaking out against it no matter who does it, whether it’s Elon Musk, whether it’s professors on our college campuses or students that they are misleading or whether it’s individuals who are speaking out in an antisemitic way on the streets of our cities. This is unacceptable. And the president has not been strong enough in this view and in this point.” 

Musk was accused of endorsing a post on X in which another user appeared to have espoused the antisemitic trope of claiming Jewish people hate White people. 

Christie in Israel

Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie led by IDF Spokesperson Maj. Liad Diamond and Amir Ohana, Speaker of the Knesset, is seen visiting Kibbutz Kfar Aza which was attacked by Hamas on Oct. 7 near the Gaza border.  (Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Musk later issued a clarification, claiming he was only addressing left-wing organizations, not Jews in general, and said that anyone advocating for the genocide of any group of people on X would be suspended from the platform.

Christie, the first Republican presidential candidate to visit Israel since the war began, called on the Israeli and United States governments to work on a deal to bring hostages home. 

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“I would support a deal that – that was fair and equitable and one that gets these people home now,” Christie said. 

“I absolutely do think Israel is following international law,” Christie added, rejecting allegations from the United Nations human rights chief who accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza. 

Christie tours area attacked by Hamas

Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie on Nov. 12, 2023 in Kfar Aza, Israel, seen visiting the country in the wake of the October 7 attacks by Hamas.  (Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

“Unlike a lot of other people who are expressing opinions about this, I was there and spoke to the leaders in Israel, spoke to the president of Israel. I spoke to members of the Israeli Defense Forces. I was 600 yards from the Gaza border. I went everywhere in Israel to see what’s going on. And they are doing everything they can to avoid civilian casualties,” Christie told Welker. 

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“The problem is that Hamas is forcing these civilians to stay in places where Israel is warning them out of dropping thousands of leaflets, sending hundreds of thousands of text messages to warn people away from areas before they’re attacked,” he said. “It is Hamas that’s doing this. And let us not forget, for those who are advocating for a ceasefire, there was a ceasefire on October 6 and it was Hamas that broke it on October 7.” 


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