Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walked out of a dinner last night after his speech to the “In Defense of Christians” gala was unexpectedly booed as he defended 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,'” said Cruz in a statement. “Instead, it unfortunately deteriorated into a shameful display of bigotry and hatred.”
“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 concluded by saying that “After just a few minutes, I had no choice. 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.”
In Defense of Christians President Toufic Baaklini issued a statement supporting Cruz saying that “a few politically motivated opportunists chose to divide a room that for more than 48 hours sought unity in opposing the shared threat of genocide, faced not only by our Christian brothers and sisters, but our Jewish brothers and sisters and people of all other faiths and all people of good will.”
According to a tweet by Joyce Karam,Washington correspondent for Al-Hayat Newspaper, Lebanese ambassador Antoine Shedid and three members of the Lebanese parliament walked out on Cruz’s speech. The embassy did not return a call requesting comment.