On Wednesday night, Sen. Ted Cruz walked off the stage mid-speech after being booed for praising Israel at an event hosted by a Christian organization, Politico reports.

The Texas senator was a keynote speaker at a Washington summit hosted by In Defense of Christians, a group that focuses on persecuted Christian and minority communities in the Middle East.

Cruz angered many in the crowd when he said, “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.”

“I will say this: I’m saddened to see that some here, not everyone, are so consumed with hate,” he said, prompting booing and yelling from some members of the crowd.

“If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you. Thank you, and God bless you,” he said, walking off stage to scattered applause and boos.

“I told the attendees that those who hate Israel also hate America,” he said in an interview after the incident. “That those who hate Jews also hate Christians. And that anyone who hates Israel and the Jewish people is not following the teachings of Christ. These statements were met with angry boos.”

“Anti-Semitism is a corrosive evil, and it reared its ugly head tonight,” he added.

In an interview with the Washington Free Beacon, Cruz said that the “hatred and bigotry” he encountered was like nothing he'd experienced before in his political career.

“I’ve certainly encountered audiences that disagreed with a particular point of view. But this virulent display of hatred and bigotry was remarkable, and considerably different from anything I’ve previously encountered,” Cruz said, hours after his pro-Israel speech.

editor@jewishweek.org