New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz are expected to mingle with Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, in what seems to be another mega event in the Adleson primary, on May 28, at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.
Christie, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, and Cruz, a favorite presidential hopeful among Orthodox Jewish donors, join an incredible list of honorees and speakers at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala, including: Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
Israeli Ambassadors Ron Dermer, Ron Prosor and Ido Aharoni will honor their presence and present the awards.
“We’re honored to host Governor Christie as a speaker at This World Gala for the second year in a row,” Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, founder and co-host of the dinner, said in a statement. “While our organization’s focus is on advocacy of Jewish values, the existential threat presented by Iran has created an urgency for the defense of Israel. During this time of need, there are few leaders in the statehouses of America who can compare to Governor Christie’s dedication to the state of Israel. Governor Christie selected the Gala as the platform for a major foreign policy address last year – we look forward to what he has to share with our attendees and honored guests this year.”
This year, the gala will commemorate 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz and other death camps and recognize those who are dedicated to promoting Jewish values and defending the State of Israel. Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, and Michael and Judy Steinhardt are among those listed as co-hosts of the third annual gala.
The event will be an opportunity for Cruz to win over Adelson’s heart, as the casino mogul is said to be inching toward supporting Florida Senator Marco Rubio. It will also provide Christie with another opportunity to impress the king of GOP Jewish politics, as he is struggling to regain his place as a top-tier candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.
At last year’s event, Christie skipped an opportunity to make up for his “occupied territories” flop in a recent speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition, not even mentioning Israel once during his remarks. “America was never a place where we have to wonder that our friends have to wonder if we’ll stand next to them and fight with them,” the N.J. governor told the crowd. “But I fear that with each day of ambivalence and rationalization gets by, in the name of just getting through the next day, that we pull further and further away from an America that must lead the world. There should be no doubt in the minds of anyone here that this is the state we find our country in right now.”
But since then Christie has managed to gain more knowledge on foreign policy issues and has aligned himself with other Republican candidates echoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s concern over the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, agreeing that it gives the Iranians a pathway to nuclear weapons and to creating an even more dangerous Middle East. “That’s the biggest one: A nuclear Iran is bad for the world and bad for the United States,” he said during an April town hall meeting in New Hampshire. “This framework, in my view, is nothing more than a pathway to Iran getting a nuclear capability.”
Jacob Kornbluh is a political correspondent for www.jpupdates.com
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