Reports surfaced Wednesday night that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was “booed off the stage” at an event hosted by a purportedly Christian organization.
Cruz, the keynote speaker at the new “In Defense Of Christians” organization’s dinner in Washington DC, had offered the crowd–a number of whom were Christians from the Middle East, including Palestinian Christians–public support for Israel. After doing so, some members of the crowd booed at Cruz, and they persisted until he left the stage, noting their hatred and saying he can’t stand with them if they don’t stand with Israel.
“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,” Cruz said in a statement provided to Breitbart News. “When I spoke in strong support of Israel and the Jewish people, who are being persecuted and murdered by the same vicious terrorists who are also slaughtering Christians, many Christians in the audience applauded. But, sadly, a vocal and angry minority of attendees at the conference tried to shout down my expression of solidarity with Israel.”
Cruz continued in his statement by noting that detractors “cannot shout down the truth,” and the American people “should not shy away from expressing the truth, even in the face of–especially in the face of–ignorance and bigotry.”
“I told the attendees that those who hate Israel also hate America,” Cruz said. “That those who hate Jews also hate Christians. And that anyone who hates Israel and the Jewish people is not following the teachings of Christ. These statements were met with angry boos. I went on to tell the crowd that Christians in the Middle East have no better friend than Israel. That Christians can practice their faith free of persecution in Israel. And that ISIS, al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah, along with their state sponsors in Syria and Iran, are all part of the same cancer, murdering Christians and Jews alike. Hate is hate, and murder is murder.”
Cruz said he wanted to speak at this event to highlight the threat of ISIS to Christians and Jews worldwide, and he is disappointed that the people there did not agree with him on that.
“I came to this event tonight to help shine a light on the tragic persecution and slaughter of Christians by ISIS and Islamic radicals throughout the Middle East. American leaders have been far too silent as to this horrific evil,” Cruz said. “But bigotry and hatred have no place in this discussion. Antisemitism is a corrosive evil, and it reared its ugly head tonight.”
Because of the “bigotry and hatred,” Cruz said he had to leave the event.
“After just a few minutes, I had no choice,” Cruz said. “I told them that if you will not stand with Israel, if you will not stand with the Jews, then I will not stand with you. And then I walked off the stage.”