(JNS.org) Several Christian-Arab youths are being targeted and slandered by Arab media and leadership for their participation in an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conference.
Two weeks ago, over 120 Arab Christian high school students in the Nazareth area came together for an event sponsored by the Israel Defense Ministry’s Youth and Community department on IDF enlistment and national service.
The Christian Arab youth who participated in the event were depicted as traitors, and journalists wrote articles promising to “take care of them” and hunt them down, Israel Hayom reported. One writer said, “We will uproot you from the source. The mission that failed 50 years ago will fail now, too.”
Even Arab Knesset members joined in the criticism of the youths and claimed that the conference was designed to slander and attack Islam.
Meanwhile, one of the local Christian Orthodox priests, Jobrail Nadaf, who participated in the event and supports enlistment of Arab Christian youth, had been suspended from his duties as priest and excommunicated from his church by a local council.
Nadaf also asked for protection by the local police after several threats were made against him.
“This is an act of grave incitement and racism by the Arab media and Knesset members from the Arab sector,” said Alex Gadalkin, deputy mayor of upper Nazareth and one of the conference organizers.
According to Israel Hayom, each year over 50 Arab-Israeli Christians enlist in the IDF.