Arab-Israeli Priest to UN: ‘Israel Only Safe Haven For Christians in Middle East’ (VIDEO)
Israeli-Arab Greek Orthodox Priest, Father Gabriel Nadaf, addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Tuesday, called on the world to stand by Israel in its fight against Islamic terrorism, Israel’s NRG News reported.
“Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christians are safe,” declared Nadaf, who has been sharply criticized by many Israeli Arabs for his staunch public calls for enlistment of Israeli Christian Arabs into the IDF.
In 2012, he created The Forum For the Enlistment of the Christian Community group, a move which has earned him the support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but scorn and even death threats from some Israeli Arabs.
The state’s Christian population has more than quadrupled since its independence in 1948, from 34,000 to 158,000 in 2012. Meanwhile, Christian communities in the Palestinian Authority and in Gaza, not to mention Egypt, Syria, Iraq and other Arab states are dwindling due to harassment and severe violence by Muslim Islamist groups, among them, Hamas, ISIS, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In his remarks, Nadaf sharply attacked the attitude of the Arab states to Christianity, and lauded Israel’s treatment of Christians, demanding that the world stand by Israel in its fight against terrorism.
“Anyone who wants to destroy the Jewish state is signing a death sentence on the last liberal Christians in the Holy Land,” he charged.
“Every year in the last decade a hundred thousand Christians were killed throughout the Middle East, meaning that every five minutes a Christian was killed because of his faith … those who could escape persecution by Muslim extremists, fled, and those that remained are second- if not third-class citizens, under Muslim rulers,” Nadaf said.
“In the societies of the Middle East, there is one country where Christianity is not persecuted,” he said, referring to Israel. “Moreover, there is freedom of speech, worship and security warmly bestowed by Israel, the Jewish State.
“Leaders, peace activists, end this witch hunt against the only free country in the region,” he pleaded.
Nadaf spoke immediately after a panel discussion entitled “The Human Rights Situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories,” during a special discussion on racism.
Nadaf was sent to Geneva under the auspices of the “Face of Israel,” advocacy group, an Israeli organization that promotes Israel’s case in the international arena by influencing decision makers and opinion leaders, as well as various cultural and religious communities around the world.
Watch a video of Nadaf talking about the status of Christians in Israel, and calling for support of the Jewish State and the IDF:
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