Midday Roundup: Cruz walks out on gala to protest anti-Israel hecklers
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 9/11/14, 12:20 pm
Walkout. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walked off the stage at a gala dinner for Middle Eastern Christians after some in the crowd booed his pro-Israel remarks. “I told the attendees that those who hate Israel also hate America, 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,” Cruz said in a statement after the speech. He was speaking at a dinner hosted by the recently founded group In Defense of Christians (IDC), which seeks to call attention to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. When the hecklers would not quiet down, Cruz reportedly said, “If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you” and walked off the stage. IDC has denounced the disruption, saying a small group of political opportunists caused it.
Dramatic pause. Former Olympian Oscar Pistorius did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, a judge ruled today. South African Judge Thokosile Masipa released the first part of a long-awaited verdict, saying she would not convict the athlete of murder. Then she adjourned for the day, leaving South Africans waiting in suspense to find out whether she will declare Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide. The judge is poised to do just that, having said she felt Pistorius acted negligently when he fired a gun four times through the bathroom door of his home. Pistorius claims he thought there was a burglar in the bathroom. The South African superstar was the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics. He was known as the Blade Runner because of the shape of his prosthetic legs.
Back to work. A Charlotte megachurch has reinstated Pastor John Munro following an investigation into his conduct. Calvary Church placed Munro on administrative leave in August after he was fired from his position as teacher on the radio program Back to the Bible. Leaders of the radio show said they received a “serious complaint” from an employee about Munro, which led to the termination of his contract. According to the Charlotte Observer, an elder at Calvary Church told worshipers Sunday that an investigation by the church found Munro used poor judgment but did not violate church policy.
Face-to-face. A Hamas leader said the group was ready to break its long-standing silent treatment of Israel and talk directly to the country’s leaders. The terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, where a bloody conflict ended just two weeks ago, wants to negotiate over issues such as border crossings between Gaza and Israel and prisoner releases. “Up till now our policy was no negotiation with (Israel), but others should be aware that this issue is not taboo,” said Hamas’s second-in-command, Musa Abu Marzouk, in an interview with Al Quds TV.
Traffic stop. Police yesterday thwarted demonstrators who planned to blockade Interstate 70 in St. Louis to protest the police shooting of Michael Brown. Officers were able to keep about 150 people from walking onto the highway by blocking entrance and exit ramps just before 3 p.m. About 35 people were arrested during the demonstration. Though protesters did not block the highway, they did disrupt traffic on some side roads. “We accomplished our aim of bringing attention to this issue,” protest organizer Eric Vickers told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.