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May 11, 2016 9:40 am

Uproar Over Israel’s Honoring of Controversial Priest Who Encourages Christian Arabs to Enlist in IDF

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Israel honored Father Gabriel Naddaf, pictured, at its official Independence Day ceremony. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israel honored Father Gabriel Naddaf, pictured, at its official Independence Day ceremony. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israel’s decision to honor a controversial Greek Orthodox priest at its official Independence Day ceremony is driving a wedge in the country’s tiny Christian Arab community as the government recognizes him for his efforts to encourage Christians to enlist in the Israeli military.

Father Gabriel Naddaf’s recruitment drive has deeply divided Israel’s Christian Arabs, who make up just 2 percent of Israel’s population. His inclusion in a ceremony tinged with sadness for many of the country’s Arabs, along with new allegations accusing him of sexually harassing young people he helped, has only added to the anger and risks overshadowing what is meant to be a national celebration.

Read full story at The Associated Press.

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  • Yisrael

    Aramaic Christians differ from Arabs.

    Israeli indigenous Christians are Aramaics who descend mainly from ancient Aramaic-speaking nomadic Nabateans, and who resisted Arab Muslim imperialism, colonization, and supremacism.

  • Jay Lavine

    Bestowing honors on people has both positive and negative aspects. The positive aspect is that the publicity may inspire others to behave in a similar, elevated way. But sometimes the publicity may have an unwanted effect, as indicated by this story.

    A negative aspect of giving honors is that it may tend to cheapen the accomplishments of the honoree. Righteous people tend to shun honors; they do what they do out of a sense of service and because they feel it’s the right thing to do. Receiving a prize or an honor may make it seem as though they’re getting something in return, thereby making their contribution to society less of a selfless act.

    Perhaps it would be best just to express appreciation to such people in a quiet way.

  • Reform School

    Israeli democracy is modeled on presumption of innocence. Its Arab minority sided with Adolf Hitler’s Axis Powers. Its leader, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, sat out the Second World War in Berlin, as Hitler’s personal guest, friend and advisor. The Arab Nation is modeled on presumption of guilt. They are backward, but not so backward they do not employ psychologists for propaganda purposes.

  • Reform School

    No friend of the United States nor Israel, the average reporter of the Associated Press is under 30 years old, with the integrity of a tiger shark in a feeding frenzy.

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