Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) spoke to AIPAC’s policy conference on Monday evening, March 21. He followed a raucous presentation by Donald Cruz, and one given earlier in the day by Hillary Clinton.
Cruz started his talk by correcting without naming Donald Trump. He said, “Let me say at the outset, perhaps to the surprise of the previous speaker, Palestine has not existed since 1948.” Point Cruz.
He continued by invoking the story of Purim, mentioning that Jews the world over will soon be reading the Megillah (Esther). He recounted that the evil Persian Haman described the Jews as “scattered and spread out.” The Talmud teaches us, Cruz explained, that when the forces for good are divided, evil can prevail. But when forces for good come together in unity, they can defeat tyrants. Do you see where this is going?
Cruz likened the time of Haman to the time in which we live. But he promised a near future in which Americans will come together, within the Republican party and across America.
Aware that he has a reputation as a divisive personality, Cruz hit hard on that issue of unity, unity within America and then, after November, between America and Israel. “America will stand with Israel and defeat radical Islamic terrorists,” Cruz told the crowd.
He also mentioned that his colleague, Senator Lindsey Graham, had hosted an event for him earlier in the day, “which should allay the doubts of anyone here that the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can still do miracles,” eliciting a big guffaw.
As did both Clinton and Trump, Cruz mentioned the brutal murder of American Christian Taylor Force who was recently stabbed to death in Jaffa by a Palestinian Arab terrorist. Force was from Lubbock, Texas, so it was no surprise that Cruz mentioned him.
He used the tragedy to remind the audience that America and Israel are in the fight together against radical Islam. Sadly, not one of the candidates mentioned another American recently murdered in Israel, Ezra Schwartz. Schwartz was a Jewish teenager from Boston.
In his four years in the Senate, Cruz has initiated efforts to support Israel in various ways, and he mentioned several of them during his speech on Monday. One, a critical effort, was when he stood up to the U.S. State Department when it shut down Ben Gurion Airport during Operation Cast Lead, after a rocket from Gaza landed – harmlessly – a mile away.
Cruz had immediately called on the U.S. government to explain why it had imposed what he called an economic boycott on Israel, pointing out that the U.S. had not shut down the airspace in other hot war zones such as Pakistan, Afghanistan or even in the Ukraine, where a passenger airline had just been shot down by Russia.
When Cruz demanded that the Obama administration answer the question, the response he got was that his suggestion was ridiculous. Cruz then informed them that he would shut down every nomination to the State Dept. until it answered his question.
The closure of Israeli airspace was lifted within 36 hours, thanks at least in part to the action taken by Cruz.
Cruz pointed out that on one of his three trips to Israel, he visited a hospital in the north, where “Israel has treated more than a thousand Syrians, free of charge.”
He quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Israelis use missile defense system to protect our citizens, while Hamas uses its citizens to protect its missiles to launch into his one mention of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Clinton had sought to justify Hamas keeping its missiles in schools and hospitals by explaining that Gaza is very small and crowded.Lori Lowenthal Marcus