Ted Cruz booed over support for Israel at controversial Mideast Christian conference

by JNS.org.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.
(JNS.org) U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was booed off the stage for voicing support for Israel at a controversial Mideast Christian conference in Washington, DC.

In his speech, Cruz, an Evangelical Christian and a Zionist, said that the minorities in the region all face a common threat from radical Islam.

“Religious bigotry is a cancer with many manifestations. ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, state sponsors like Syria and Iran, are all engaged in a vicious genocidal campaign to destroy religious minorities in the Middle East,” he said.

When Cruz said that Christians “have no greater ally than Israel” in their fight against Islamic radicals, the crowd began yelling at him to “stop it” and booed him.

“Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps,” Cruz said before leaving the stage.

After the speech, Cruz accused the audience of anti-Semitism, saying the crowd “showed a shameful display of bigotry and hatred,” Breitbart reported.

The summit was organized by a recently founded non-profit called “In Defense of Christians,” which brought together Mideast Christian leaders as well as U.S. politicians and Mideast experts.

Butaccording to the Washington Free Beacon, several of the conference participants, including Lebanese and Syrian Christians, have political ties with Hezbollah and seek to bolster support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s repressive regime.

“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,” the Free Beacon reported.

The ongoing Syrian civil war has created a complex situation for the region’s persecuted Christian minority, which has sought help from anyone willing to provide it. Many Lebanese and Syrian Christians have supported Assad, who is allied with Shi’a Iran and Hezbollah, out of fear of the growing threat of Sunni Muslim extremists like the Islamic State, which targets Shi’a Muslims and Christians alike.