Cruz Stands with Israel and Walks off Stage; Bishop Who Led Prayer Says Texas Senator ‘Came Out Slugging’

After Sen. Ted Cruz was booed off the stage at a gathering of Middle Eastern Christians for making pro-Israel comments, a New York bishop stood before the frantic audience  to lead a prayer for him.

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Ted Cruz

In an interview with The Daily Signal today, Bishop Gregory Mansour of the Maronite Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn said he first rushed after Cruz as he departed the Omni Shoreham in Washington. Mansour said he hoped to reassure Cruz after some attending the summit, called In Defense of Christians, had booed and heckled the Texas Republican. Cruz chose to leave the stage.

“I wanted to explain the situation because I felt that he put his finger in a wound for us and it was very unfortunate some of the response people made toward him,” Mansour told The Daily Signal. “But it was also very unfortunate that it seems like he came out slugging. And it was a train wreck waiting to happen.”

Mansour, whose diocese serves Maronite Catholics in 16 states and the District of Columbia, said he then led the audience of about 900 in prayer for Cruz and the gathering as a way to calm the tension.

Cruz, a keynote speaker last night at the event billed as raising awareness for persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East, said:  “Those who hate Israel hate America, and those who hate Jews hate Christians.”

“After just a few minutes, I had no choice,” Cruz said. “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.”

“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,” Cruz said. “Instead, it unfortunately deteriorated into a shameful display of bigotry and hatred.”

As Cruz left the hotel, Mansour said, he told the senator that he would pray for him.

Josh Siegel is a news reporter for The Daily Signal.

Source material can be found at this site.

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