Ted Cruz and the difficulty of defending Islam-endangered Christians

It likely is the case that not a few Middle-Eastern Christian leaders and spokesmen have turned their communities’ self-protecting need to seem opposed to Israel on most issues into an actual creed, and/or have become, Al Sharpton-like, exploitative leaders who thrive in a situation in which certain obvious truths are made taboo. Middle-East Christians must know, as they cast about for what support they choose to, that there is a limit to how far their potentially most-effective defenders, that is, American conservatives, can tolerate auto-pilot anti-Israelism, regardless of the rationale for it. It seems to me that for the past two decades, since the demise of Arab nationalism before the tide of resurgent Islamism, the gloves have pretty much been off anyhow with respect to the remaining Christians in Middle-Eastern nations, and in “Palestine” in particular. No-one’s fooling anyone with rote anti-Israel talk, nor is Israel at the center anymore of the key M.E. issues. The Islamists know that every Christian wants to live in a state that forbids Islamist governance. Who can care so much about the West Bank and such anymore when it’s the war for public opinion in places like Cairo that will really decide the fate of Middle-East Christians and of the Islamist parties?…

But back to what is easier to judge, the case of Ted Cruz. Now my bottom line, again, is that he was not really sullied by this. But despite that, despite, you might say, the fact that this episode gives us just about equal reasons to admire and to be disappointed in him, I think he should apologize to the conference organizers. It should not be an apology that at all suggests that the content of his message was false, or that there weren’t some at that conference who need to hear it, and be called out on it by someone. Rather, it should be one that says he was inadequately aware of how his remarks might put certain attendees into a tight spot, ultimately in terms of their own or their communities safety. He should confess that that ignorance was of his own making, as was his too-quick instinct to go for the dramatic moral moment, while denying the low motives that his critics have ascribed to his action.

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