Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was literally booed off stage after he praised Israel and condemned religious bigotry during his keynote speech at a conference for Middle Eastern Christians in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night. The sold out event was hosted by the non-profit group In Defense of Christians.
“Tonight, we are all united in defense of Christians,” Cruz said. “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.”
He labeled religious bigotry a “cancer with many manifestations,” citing the “genocidal campaign” being carried out by radical Islamic groups like the Islamic State, Hezbollah and Hamas.
The crowd seemingly started to turn on Cruz when he suggested that “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.” Individuals in the crowd reportedly started booing and shouting, “stop it.”
But Cruz continued even as the boos got louder: “Those who hate Israel hate America. Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason.”
Eventually, Toufic Baaklini, the president of In Defense of Christians, took to the stage and tried to calm down the crowd. When the crowd refused to be quiet and listen to what Cruz had to say, he left them with one final, stinging line before he walked off the stage.
“If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you,” Cruz said. “Good night, and God bless.”
As the Washington Free Beacon reported, “the roster of speakers includes some of the Assad regime’s most vocal Christian supporters, as well as religious leaders allied with the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah.”
A Cruz spokesperson said the Texas senator decided to headline the event despite some of the associated individuals “because he wants to take every opportunity to highlight this crisis, the unspeakable persecution of Christians.”
(H/T: Daily Caller)