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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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