Senator Cruz in Colleyville: ‘I will continue to push for answers’ in wake of terror attack at Congregation Beth Israel
COLLEYVILLE, Texas — U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) held a press conference after meeting with Jewish leaders in Colleyville following the hostage crisis at Congregation Beth Israel. During his remarks, Senator Cruz said:
“When this attack [at Congregation Beth Israel] was underway, the eyes of Texas, the eyes of the entire country, the eyes of the world were on North Texas – were on this horrible act of terror being perpetrated in our backyard. And I will say it’s an incredible blessing that the four people held hostage were able to survive and walk away unscathed. It was truly a blessing from God. As the hostage attack unfolded, Heidi and I lifted those in danger, lifting them up in prayer. At the same time, while the incident was unfolding, I was in communication – I spoke with a special agent in charge of the FBI who was leading the investigation here. I wanted to make sure they had all the federal resources they needed, they had all the assets necessary to end the hostage-taking. At the time, the hostage rescue team was in the air from Quantico. I was informed that they had between the federal, the State and the local, all the resources necessary to mobilize and put an end to the situation. I will say that law enforcement showed great heroism in eliminating the terrorist and saving lives. That said, the Jewish community is still in shock, in mourning. The following week, Friday evening, I went to Shabbat services at Congregation Beth Israel in Houston simply to show my support for the community, that we stand together. And I have to say in there – it’s something we were all talking about upstairs. Texas is a big state. We’ve seen tragedies, whether it’s terror tragedies, crime tragedies, natural disaster tragedies, whether it’s a hurricane or a tornado. And every time tragedy strikes the state of Texas, we constantly see Texans coming together, we see Texans helping each other, supporting each other. And that’s what we’ve seen in this community as well.
He continued, condemning the rise of anti-Semitism:
“As far as anti-Semitism is concerned, anti-Semitism is a unique and horrible evil. And it is an evil that we see growing across the country and around the world. It is an evil that dates back millennia, thousands of years. The virulent hatred of the Jewish people is wrong. It’s bad. It’s horrible. It’s dangerous. And it has been used to justify some of the most horrific atrocities this planet has ever seen. During my time in the Senate, I have been the leading advocate for the State of Israel in the United States Senate for the past decade. And it’s a labor of love from the heart when it comes to advocating for and fighting anti-Semitism. It’s something I’ve been proud to lead.
“The House of Representatives tried to pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. Nancy Pelosi introduced the resolution condemning anti-Semitism and unfortunately the Democratic conference couldn’t agree on it because of the Squad, because of the strong anti-Israel sentiment. They could not pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. When this happened, I thought it was important that we saw strong bipartisan condemnation of anti-Semitism. So I went to the Senate to see Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, [who] obviously was Hillary Clinton’s running mate. And I went to Tim and said, ‘Tim, can we do better on the Senate side? Can we unite clearly and unequivocally and condemn anti-Semitism? We drafted a resolution. The resolution was the Cruz-Kaine resolution which clearly and explicitly condemns anti-Semitism as a unique evil, as an evil that dates back thousands of years. It condemns BDS – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which unfairly targets the State of Israel and is a manifestation of anti-Semitism. He condemns the anti-Semitic tropes that have come from The Squad as anti-Semitism. And I have to say that I was proud, very proud that the United States Senate passed this resolution 100 to nothing, unanimously. We brought together all the Republicans and all the Democrats condemning anti-Semitism. This is the kind of unity we need to fight anti-Semitism.
On what is being done to protect synagogues and other places of worship following the attack, Senator Cruz said:
“There are currently federal programs that provide funds to help synagogues, churches and mosques, places of worship, [to] strengthen their physical security and infrastructure, [to] to be able to resist an act of terror, an act of violence. Much of the discussion upstairs was about how we could improve this program. I work number one, to get clear accountability. One of the things I’ve heard is that many synagogues that have applied for this grant program have been turned down. And they were refused [and] they have no clear visibility on why they were refused. My team and I will be working to try to get answers from the Biden administration, the Department of Justice, FEMA, as to how many places of worship have applied for these programs, how many have received funding, how many were refused, what were the criteria and what were the results. Which places of worship were subsequently subjected to acts of violence? And I intend to work to significantly increase the funding available so that more places of worship can receive grants to build and strengthen their facilities.
On how the terrorist who attacked Congregation Beth Israel was able to enter the United States, Senator Cruz said:
“So I joined a number of other senators asking the Attorney General, asking the head of the FBI, asking the head of Homeland Security, why did he come in, what we knew about his criminal record, what we knew about his terrorist ties, what we knew about his radicalization. At this point, we haven’t gotten an answer. And I will say it’s frustrating that the Biden administration is extraordinarily slow to respond to congressional scrutiny And so we’re getting, we’re just getting crickets chirping. And I’m gonna keep pressing, I’m gonna keep fighting. Because there’s a Democratic majority in the Senate, I don’t have the ability to call a hearing – only the majority can call a hearing. What I can do is question witnesses who show up at a hearing called by the Democrats. So the next hearing where I have the opportunity to question them, I I will ask them directly nt. I will keep pushing for answers. But so far, the administration hasn’t provided answers that I think the American people deserve to know – what did we know? And how could we have stopped this terrorist from coming to America and committing this act of terror? »