“Palestine has not existed since 1948,” Texas Senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said at the beginning of his speech in front of the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC, on Monday evening.
He noted that Megillat Esther, the book of Esther, will be read at synagogues this Wednesday evening on the holiday of Purim. The book tells the story of the Persian King Ahasuerus who sought to kill all the Jews but failed to achieve his goal.
“Today we are reliving history, facing a similar challenge for America and Israel. But today I give you hope. In the next few months we will be reuniting America, which will lead to a commanding victory in November that unifies this country.”
“And standing together...America will stand with Israel and defeat radical Islamic terrorism,” he promised.
Cruz recalled the murder of American citizen Taylor Force in the recent stabbing attack in Jaffa, and noted that the terrorist who stabbed Force “didn't ask for his passport.”
“The brutal murder of Taylor Force is just another reminder that America and Israel are in the fight together against radical Islamic terrorism,” he added, noting that “we need a president who will be champion for America and a champion for Israel.”
As a senator, continued Cruz, he has been a champion for both countries, has visited Israel several times and saw how Israel treats – free of charge – Syrian refugees at the Ziv Hospital in Tzfat.
Palestinian terrorists “are using civilians to hide their missiles”, he added, and then took a shot at Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who in 2014 explained that Hamas hides missiles in schools “because Gaza is very small”.
“Madame Secretary, with all respect, the reason the missiles are in schools is not because Gaza is small. It's because Hamas terrorists are using children as human shields,” he declared.
Cruz touted some of the pro-Israel bills he has passed while in office, and noted his work to lift a ban on civil flights to Israel that was placed by the State Department when a rocket exploded near the Ben Gurion Airport.
He blasted President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other members of the Obama administration for boycotting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when he came to address Congress last year, and also attacked his rival Donald Trump for his previous statement that he would be “neutral” on Israel-Palestinian Authority peace talks.
“I will not be neutral. America will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel,” he declared to loud applause.
“On my first day in office, I will rip the catastrophic nuclear deal with Iran to shreds,” said Cruz. “If I am president, on the first day we will reimpose sanctions on Iran.”
He blasted Iran's continuous ballistic missile tests and said, “Hear my words, Ayatollah Khamenei: If I'm president and Iran launches a missile, we will shoot that missile down.”
Relating to the Holocaust, Cruz said that after the 2016 election, “Americans will say never again means never again.”
On his first day in office, he declared, he will work to move the American embassy to Jerusalem.
“I recognize that over the years many candidates – Republican and Democrat – said the same thing. Here's the difference: I will do it,” he added.
Cruz also spoke out against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and said he would cut funding to any body that boycotts Israel.
“All of us here understand that Israel is not the barrier to peace. It is the Palestinian Authority and its so-called 'unity government' with Hamas. If the Palestinians try to push through a UN resolution that unilaterally declares Palestinian statehood, I will fly to New York to personally veto it myself.”
There is one other nation besides America that serves as a “beacon of light and of hope” to the world, and that is Israel, said Cruz.
“All of us understand that peace is achievable only through strength. Weakness is provocative,” he continued, comparing the Iran nuclear deal to Munich in 1938 and saying the deal would provide “a homicidal maniac” with tools to kill millions of people.
Cruz concluded his speech with “Am Yisrael Chai” (the people of Israel live) to the sound of loud applause.