- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said he walked out of a speech Wednesday night to a Christian organization after some audience members booed his comments in support of Israel and the Jewish people.

At the “In Defense of Christians” gala dinner, the Texas senator said he told the gathering that those who hate Israel also hate the United States and those who hate the Jewish people also hate Christians. He said that hatred of Israel and Jews runs counter to the teachings of Christ.

That elicited boos from a small but vocal minority. Cruz insisted that Christians in the Middle East have no better friend than Israel.

“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.”

Cruz, mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, called anti-Semitism a “corrosive evil” that reared its ugly head at the event.

“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.”

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