This story doesn’t note the best thing that Cruz said: “If you will not stand with Israel, I will not stand with you.” Then he left the stage — he wasn’t booed off.
It is shameful that these Middle Eastern Christians heckled Cruz for standing with Israel. This is the result of their long historical identification with Muslims as fellow Arabs. The Arab nationalist imperative was largely an attempt by Christian Arabs to ease the pain of dhimmitude by creating a secular framework upon which Christians could enjoy equal, or almost equal, status with Muslims. Practically this meant the utter co-opting of Christian communities in Arab countries: they became politically, culturally, and socially indistinguishable from the larger Muslim population. This was because for Muslims Islam was always the heart of the Arab identity in any case — as was succinctly summed up by pioneering Arab nationalist Michel Aflaq: “Arab nationalism is Islam.”
Also, farther back than the advent of Arab nationalism, dhimmi communities were also kept apart and at odds with one another. They were communities of fear, living under an ever-ready threat of death if they got out of line. And so mostly, they didn’t.
But at this point, they should be able to throw off these old and outmoded cultural attitudes. They need to realize, as does Cruz, that all the communities threatened by jihad and Islamic supremacism need to hang together — or we will most assuredly hang separately.
“Ted Cruz Booed Off Stage At Middle East Christian Conference [VIDEO],” by Tristyn Bloom, Daily Caller, September 10, 2014:
Sen. Ted Cruz was booed offstage at a conference for Middle Eastern Christians Wednesday night after saying that “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.”
Cruz, the keynote speaker at the sold-out D.C. dinner gala for the recently-founded non-profit In Defense of Christians, began by saying that “tonight, we are all united in defense of Christians. 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.”
Cruz was not reading from a teleprompter, nor did he appear to be reading from notes.
“Religious bigotry is a cancer with many manifestations,” he continued. “ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas, state sponsors like Syria and Iran, are all engaged in a vicious genocidal campaign to destroy religious minorities in the Middle East. Sometimes we are told not to loop these groups together, that we have to understand their so called nuances and differences. But we shouldn’t try to parse different manifestations of evil that are on a murderous rampage through the region. Hate is hate, and murder is murder. Our purpose here tonight is to highlight a terrible injustice, a humanitarian crisis.”
“Christians have no greater ally than Israel,” he said, at which point members of the crowd began to yell “stop it” and booed him.
EWTN News Nightly’s Jason Calvi caught the moment on video.