(JNS.org) Speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on Monday, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) said he “will not be neutral” on Israel as president, taking a swipe at GOP opponent Donald Trump’s past statements about being a neutral broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“America will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel,” said Cruz, who also mocked Trump’s use of the term “Palestine” in the preceding speech at the same AIPAC session. “Palestine” has not existed since 1948, Cruz said upon arriving on stage.
Cruz said America needs a president “who will be a champion for Israel,” noting his actions in the Senate such as staunchly opposing the Federal Aviation Administration’s 36-hour ban on flights to Israel during the 2014 Gaza war. Cruz recalled that at the time, he raised the question, “Did this [Obama] administration just launch an economic boycott against the state of Israel?” Ukraine, noted Cruz, had just seen a passenger airline shot down by a Russian missile but experienced no flight ban, yet Israel received such a ban when one rocket fell a mile from “one of the safest airports in the world.”
Offering specific on how he would stand with Israel as president, Cruz said he would rip the “catastrophic” Iran nuclear deal to shreds.
“Here are my words, [Iranian Supreme Leader] Ayatollah Khamenei: ‘If I am president, and Iran launches a missile test, we will shoot that missile down,” said Cruz, referring to the recent Iranian missile test included a missile inscribed with a threat to wipe Israel off the map.
“Either you will shut down your nuclear program, or we will shut it down for you,” said Cruz, further addressing Iran.
Cruz promised to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and to veto any U.N. resolution that imposes an Israeli-Palestinian conflict settlement on Israel.
“Indeed, I tell you today, I will fly to New York to personally veto it myself,” Cruz said, referencing the city that is home to U.N. headquarters.
“The way you avoid conflict is to stand up to bullies,” he said.