Star Ledger Reports: On his second day in Israel, Gov. Chris Christie and a delegation of New Jersey business and religious leaders met with President Shimon Peres and then toured Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
“New Jersey stands with Israel in all of its endeavors and we wanted to show our friendship and fidelity with a visit here,” he told Peres. Small New Jersey and Israeli flags sat on a table separating the leaders.
In an interview later, Christie called the two-time former prime minster a “wise sage.” Peres said Israel has capitalized on a educated workforce to excel in areas of higher technology.
“There is no army in the world that can conquer science,” Peres said. “There is no police force that can check the power of science. There is no custom that can block what is happening in the brain of a scientist.”
Following the hour-long closed-door meeting, Christie visited Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. He walked the cavernous halls – packed with visitors in the days leading up to Passover – with one arm around the shoulders of his 16-year-old daughter Sarah.
As is the custom with visiting dignitaries, Christie and Mary Pat laid a wreath – this one bearing the words “From the people of New Jersey” – on a stone slab underneath which the ashes of Holocaust victims are buried.
Christie has said he saw first-hand the horrors that modern-day anti-Semitism can sew when he was U.S. Attorney and worked on the case of the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter ultimately beheaded by militants.
“You realize what hatred can lead people to do,” he said in an interview last week. “There’s no question in my mind that Danny Pearl was killed because he was a Jew.”
Steve Some, a Republican lobbyist and past chairman of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, accompanied former Gov. Tom Kean and later Gov. Christie Whitman on trips to Israel. In her first year in office she signed a law mandating Holocaust education in public schools.
“We have lot of Holocaust survivors in New Jersey,” Some said last week. “And of course Jewish Federations are very active in the state. Any New Jersey governor who comes to Israel is treated with the utmost respect.”
Also today, Christie visited the Israel Center for Excellence in Education, a Jerusalem high school lead by Robert Asher, a past president of the bipartisan pro-Israel lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee.