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Ray Hanania
Ray Hanania
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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.

A humanitarian crisis. Christians are being systematically exterminated. In 1948, Jews throughout the Middle East faced murder and extermination and fled to the nation of Israel. And today, Christians have no greater ally than the Jewish state," Cruz said according to a video of his remarks on YouTube.

"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 Follow him on Twitter @RayHanania. To find out more about Ray Hanania and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit



3 Comments | Post Comment
Your column this week coincides w/column written by author Dennis Prager on this website re: Ted Cruz. My comment to author Dennis Prager is that he remove himself from his self imposed bubble of ignorance and read your column so he could, at the very least, put forth a more informed opinion to his readers. I also referred him to your online paper The Arab Daily News as I can think of none more qualified than you to speak on this subject to author Prager whose columns spill over with his own personal prejudices & biases which I have responded to for some weeks.
Comment: #1
Posted by: steveM
Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:11 AM
I suspect that Mr. Hanania's account of what occurred to his family (and likely other Palestinian Christians) is accurate. But I fail to read his condemnation of Palestinian leadership which has a stated anti-Jewish agenda. This agenda IS a reflection of an almost universal sentiment towards the Jewish State by Muslim Palestinians, a sentiment of which its origins pre-date Israeli settlements in Gaza, West Bank, or any other area populated by Palestinians in what is now sovereign Israel.

Further, he touts that the "vast majority of Arabs do not hate Jews or even Israel" but fails to condemn the fact that they do nothing to stop "the extremist Muslims who have radicalized and politicized their religion, like Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIL and al-Qaida." In fact, large swaths of voting Arabs officially politicized them at the polls. I guess these vast majorities didn't bother to vote?

For the sake of argument, I submit that the Israelis ARE occupiers, and have been since 1948. I even submit that recently they have become the aggressors in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But this is what the situation has BECOME because for nearly 60 years Palestinians and their sympathizers have not renounced their hatred of Jews. And by the way, this Muslim hatred of Jews has been CODIFIED for centuries.

Israel pressure is unrelenting because the hatred against them is unrelenting. Does nobody remember the deal Arafat walked out on? If Israel's wrongs are so pointed and obvious, how do you suppose it is that Sadat and Begin reached their accord, and only since the Arab Spring has that accord been threatened?

I can't continue to listen to pro-Arab or pro-Palestinian arguments regarding this conflict until the fundamental beliefs of those who are indisputably anti-Jewish are acknowledged. The Muslim Palestinian hatred of Jews is NOT retaliatory; it's a core belief. If you want to know why this issue has become complex, it's pretty easy. The left has let it become so.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Eric Wixom
Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:20 PM
ReEric Wixom : Author has many times addressed issues you bring up & no doubt will again. You may appreciate his unique perspective as Arab Christian Palestinian happily married to his wife who is Jewish.
Suggest you visit & read authors online paper, The Arab Daily News for the many articles re: Palestine/Israeli conflict he and other authors have written. Also suggest CNI the Council for the National Interest, Israel/Palestininian conflict. Ray has been writing on Israel/Palestine conflict for years. Always objective and always factual w/sources. I tell you this, you are very much mistaken on some of your suppositions and assumptions.
Comment: #3
Posted by: steveM
Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:35 PM
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