WASHINGTON D.C., September 11, 2014 – Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) received angry boos after voicing his support for Israel at a sold-out gala in D.C. Wednesday evening. The gala, at which Cruz was the keynote speaker, was for a newly founded non-profit In Defense of Christians, formed to “raise awareness of the ancient and often persecuted minority communities in the Middle East, particularly Christians.”
Cruz began his speech by stating, “Tonight, we are all united in defense of Christians. Tonight, we are all united in defense of Jews. Tonight, we are all united in defense of people of good faith, who are standing together against those who would persecute and murder those who dare disagree with their religious teachings.”
Cruz went on to state, “ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas, state sponsors like Syria and Iran, are all engaged in a vicious genocidal campaign to destroy religious minorities in the Middle East. Sometimes we are told not to loop these groups together, that we have to understand their so called nuances and differences. But we shouldn’t try to parse different manifestations of evil that are on a murderous rampage through the region. Hate is hate, and murder is murder. Our purpose here tonight is to highlight a terrible injustice, a humanitarian crisis.”
“Christians have no greater ally than Israel,” Cruz continued. This caused many in the audience to begin booing. The audience became so angry that the president of the organization, Toufic Baaklini, came out to calm the crowd down and asked that the audience show respect.
Cruz, seeming un-phased by his reception, calmly dressed down the audience by stating, “I am saddened to see that some here are so consumed with hate,” and that “those who hate Israel hate America.” He continued, “If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you.” He then walked off stage.
Cruz commented on the incident through his Facebook page later Wednesday evening stating, “Tonight in Washington should have been a night of unity as we came together for the inaugural event for a group that calls itself ‘In Defense of Christians.’ Instead, it unfortunately deteriorated into a shameful display of bigotry and hatred.”
You can watch more of Cruz’s response to the crowd here.