The Bizarre World of Senator Ted Cruz
There is no other way to explain it. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is simply insane.
Earlier this month, Senator Cruz addressed a gathering of a group that labeled itself "In Defense of Christians," referring mainly to Christians of the Middle East.
Yet, the organization invited several of the very people who have been behind the suffering of Middle East Christians. Ted Cruz is one of them.
In a way, we have to thank Senator Cruz for his insanity. Had he not expressed his crazy views, no one in the mainstream American news media would have wasted their time covering the three-day conference in Washington, D.C.
The conference was about saving Christians in the Middle East, but Cruz was determined to make it about Israel. Yes, according to Cruz, Israel is the great protector of Middle East Christians.
Wow. What an insane assertion. The only Middle East Christians in Israel are Palestinian Christians, like me. And I can tell you firsthand, Israel is not doing us any favors.
Israel has systematically confiscated and annexed lands and property belonging to Christian Arabs without regard to beliefs in Jesus, the Virgin Mary or God. In my case, the Israelis went onto my family land after building the illegal settlement of Gilo, destroyed the home that was on the property, sealed the water well and redirected its resources to Gilo. And Israel and the mayor of Jerusalem have gone out of their way to prevent anyone who is Christian from developing the land.
Israel has not taken it yet, but they will.
Those Christians, like me, are not the Christians Ted Cruz was speaking about. In fact, Ted Cruz wasn't really concerned about Middle East Christians or any Christians at all. He was concerned only with Israel, whose American lobby has donated only $73,000 to him in the past five years. He ranks only 59 on the contribution list, but I am sure he hopes his comments will expedite his rise.
Here is what Cruz said in his opening remarks:
"Today we are gathered at a time of extraordinary challenge. Tonight we are all united in defense of Christians. Tonight, we are all united in defense of Jews."
Ok. I get that Jews are a persecuted minority. But this is a conference of Christians in the Middle East where Jews, through the government of Israel, are confiscating Christian lands.
Notice that Cruz said nothing about Muslims. Cruz is not out there pandering to the Muslim vote with his often-incendiary anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Not surprisingly, some in the audience — not all — booed Cruz and that riled his thin skin because Ted Cruz doesn't talk to audiences that boo him.
"Our purpose here tonight is to highlight a terrible injustice.
"Let me say this. Those who hate Israel, hate America. And those who hate Jews, hate Christians. And if this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps, that the men and women here will not stand in solidarity with Jews and Christians alike who are persecuted by radicals ... If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ."
As the boos continued, Cruz said finally, "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.
Actually, Senator Cruz, if you hate, you are not reflecting the teachings of Jesus, who I am sure would today be standing in solidarity with Palestinian Christians and Muslims as he stood against the tyranny of the Biblical Jewish State of Israel as a Rabbi in the Holy Land.
Many Christian Arabs are in fact Middle East Jews who converted to Christianity from Judaism, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes by force. And that was before the rise of Islam in the 7th century.
These are complex issues for Senator Cruz. His incendiary remarks raise other issues like the concept of separation of church and state.
The vast majority of Arabs do not hate Jews or even Israel, as the ignorant Senator Cruz asserts.
They are angry with Israel's government and they have a lot of reason to be angry. Israel's government policies have undermined the existence of Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land. There are certainly some Christian Arabs, a small minority, who side with Israel; the majority opposes Israel's policies.
That doesn't mean those Christians support the extremist Muslims who have radicalized and politicized their religion, like Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIL and al-Qaida.
But you would think that a man who claims to be a voice of Christians, Ted Cruz, might actually stand up and defend Christians who are being persecuted, some in Muslim and Arab countries, and many in Israel.
By siding with Israel, Cruz is demonstrating the issue really isn't about protecting Christians. It is about religious politics.
If Ted Cruz has to sacrifice Palestinian Christians to win office, he won't hesitate.
Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist managing editor of The Arab Daily News at www.TheArabDailyNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @RayHanania. To find out more about Ray Hanania and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM