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January 30, 2014 2:23 pm

Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, World Jewish Congress Honor Israeli Christian Leader

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Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth and spiritual leader of a forum for the enlistment of Christian youth in the IDF, meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Prime Minister's Office of Communication.

Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth and spiritual leader of a forum for the enlistment of Christian youth in the IDF, meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Prime Minister's Office of Communication.

JNS.org – The Israeli Knesset’s Christian allies caucus and the World Jewish Congress honored Greek Orthodox Father Gabriel Nadaf at a special ceremony on Wednesday night in Jerusalem.

“Christians have to be a part of the State of Israel. They are citizens and so they have to be partners in everything that happens in the state. We have to encourage and adore you,” Likud MK David Rotem, a member of the Christian allies caucus, said at the dinner, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Father Nadaf has been an outspoken proponent of Christian integration into Israeli society. He has encouraged Christians in Israel to enlist in the Israeli Defense Forces through setting up the “Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum.”

But Nadaf has also received significant criticize from some in the Israeli Arab community. Late last year, his son was allegedly attacked over his father’s views.

“We are Israeli Christians living as a minority among a minority of Arabs,” Nadaf said.

“We have good relations with the Jewish community,” he said. “This is a cause of great pride for me. I am here to open the eyes of the [Christian] community. It is up to us to say ‘enough.’ The Christian community wants to integrate into Israeli society and opposes the stances of its leadership, which is not interested in doing so.”

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