The past six months have seen a significant rise in the number of Arab Christians joining the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), according to a report Sunday in Haaretz.
Israel National News The report said that Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek-Orthodox priest active in a group founded in 2012 and which supports and works toward more Christian Israelis joining the army, held a meeting at the home of a local family in the Galilee town of Shfaram. Nadaf has advocated for a strong connection among Arab Christians with the State of Israel and has been sanctioned by the official Greek Orthodox church over his views. Arab MKs have also condemned him, calling him “an agent of Zionism who seeks to divide Arabs.”
Supporters of the initiative told Haaretz that the impetus for the rising numbers of recruits might be coming from outside Israel – attacks on churches in Egypt and the beheading of priests in Syria have strengthened the view that the Arab world cannot be relied on, and therefore integration into Israel is the best protection for them.
h/t Vlad Tepes