POLITICS
09/11/2014 10:30 am ET Updated Sep 11, 2014

Ted Cruz Gets Booed Off Stage At Middle East Christian Event

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was booed off the stage at an event hosted by a Christian organization in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night.

The conservative firebrand delivered the keynote address at an event hosted by In Defense of Christians, an organization that raises awareness of persecuted Christian and minority communities in the Middle East. But the audience turned hostile when Cruz said, "Christians have no greater ally than Israel."

"I will say this: I'm saddened to see that some here, not everyone, are so consumed with hate," he said, as more members in attendance began to boo. "I will say this: If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you. Thank you, and God bless you," he said, before walking off the stage.

According to The Daily Caller, IDC Executive Director Andrew Doran then came on the stage and said, "For the love of God, we're here to talk about Christians and we're here to be united."

In a statement issued after the event, the IDC blamed a "few politically motivated opportunists" for the incident.

The Assyrian International News Agency interviewed several attendees, most of whom said they were present "to discuss the plight of the Christians in Iraq, not the Israel-Hamas conflict, and they resented the senator's attempt to 'hijack' the summit," the agency reports.

In a statement following the incident, Cruz said the event "unfortunately deteriorated into a shameful display of bigotry and hatred."

"I came to this event tonight to help shine a light on the tragic persecution and slaughter of Christians by ISIS and Islamic radicals throughout the Middle East. American leaders have been far too silent as to this horrific evil," he said. "But bigotry and hatred have no place in this discussion. Anti-Semitism is a corrosive evil, and it reared its ugly head tonight. 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."

Watch the video of the event above.

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