Ted Cruz booed off stage over Israel comments

Somebody didn't get an important memo.

 

Eric Geller

Tech

Published Sep 11, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 2:48 pm CDT

Texas Senator Ted Cruz thought he could count on support from a conference of Christians from the Middle East, but a remark about Israel proved to be his undoing.

Featured Video Hide

While giving the keynote address at an event for In Defense of Christians (IDC), Cruz discussed “religious bigotry,” which he called “a cancer with many manifestations,” and promised to stand firm against intolerance of Judeo-Christian values.

Advertisement Hide

“Tonight, we are all united in defense of Christians. Tonight, we are all united in defense of Jews,” he said. “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.”

But this implicit critique of Islam was not what set off the audience. Instead, the boos began when Cruz said, “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.”

“Members of the crowd began to yell ‘stop it’ and booed him,” according to The Daily Caller. The website posted a video of what happened next.

As the boos continued, so too, initially, did Cruz. “Those who hate Jews hate Christians,” he said, vainly trying to regain his momentum. “If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps.”

Advertisement Hide

The Daily Caller talked to a “Middle East analyst” who explained the tension between Middle Eastern Christians and Israel’s policies. “Israel’s policies have led to demographic pressure that’s made the West Bank and Gaza far more Muslim than in 1948,” the analyst said.

At the IDC event, the audience’s response to Cruz reflected this tension. They continued to boo and shouted things like “Out, out, leave the stage!” and “Stop it, stop it, enough.” The president of IDC even emerged to try to calm them down.

At this point, Sen. Cruz—whose flair for the dramatic first came to national attention when he gave a 21-hour speech opposing Obamacare—decided to make a grand exit.

“If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews,” Cruz told the crowd, “then I will not stand with you. Good night, and God bless.”

Cruz then fled stage-right. His allies on the right were quick to defend his comments and attack the audience.

Advertisement Hide

Bad due diligence? What was Ted Cruz doing in that snake pit to begin with? Video of him getting booed off the stage. http://t.co/mpnEKqizF6

— Allen West (@AllenWest) September 11, 2014

Ted Cruz is unafraid to speak the truth. To anyone. http://t.co/e2IkIJGqXQ

— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) September 11, 2014

Ted Cruz spoke to a group tonight that booed him for expressing support for Jews in Israel. He’ll take that message anywhere, anytime

— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) September 11, 2014

Haha. Conference filled with terrorist sympathizers (http://t.co/b9jQT9bvo0) boos Cruz when he praises Israel: http://t.co/B7PyyacqJa

— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) September 11, 2014

Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Share this article
*First Published: Sep 11, 2014, 6:00 pm CDT