Saturday April 19, 2014
Israel Hayom
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PM vows to defend Christians after pro-IDF family attacked
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Dror Eydar

Don't turn the other cheek

I'd like to hear from those people who are always crying "incitement!" now that a son of the Greek-Orthodox priest who supports IDF enlistment has been attacked. This is a test case of incitement not from the Right, but from the Left, i.e. the Arab parties, mainly Hadash and Balad, against members of the Forum for Drafting the Christian Community. Israeli Arabs are subject to intense pressure not to identify with the state, to resist integrating into Israel and to fight against the state.

In the last year there has been a countertrend. The Christian community understood that the Arab parties had stolen 60 years from them in which they could have integrated into society. The forum's spiritual leader, and one of the leaders of this revolution, is Father Gabriel Nadaf.

"The Christian public wants to integrate into Israeli society as opposed to its leaders," he said last September. "There are forces trying to push us aside, so that we remain a victim of nationalism that is not our own and a conflict that has nothing to do with us."

Obviously this is anathema to Arab nationalistic politicos. Members of the forum suffer from terrible incitement on a daily basis on social networks and in the media. About two weeks ago the Knesset Ethics Committee received a complaint against MK Basel Ghattas (National Democratic Assembly) concerning prolonged incitement against Father Nadaf.

In the complaint, submitted by the Im Tirtzu organization, Ghattas was quoted in the Arab media saying "I still don't understand why Father Gabriel Nadaf has not been fired. He needs to be derobed."

Azmi Hakim, the Greek Orthodox community leader in Nazareth, was questioned by police over similar complaints of incitement against Nadaf. After his questioning, Hadash Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh wrote on his Facebook status: "we are all with Azmi Hakim...the hero who rejected the plot to recruit Christian youth to the Israeli hostile activity forces (interesting definition to the IDF by a MK).

I have received hundreds of examples of quotes and defamatory images against this wonderful group of people, who offer hope for a batter future between the Jewish and Christian communities, as well as the possibility that they will also influence the Muslims.

One can understand why Barakeh, Ghattas, and other Arab politicos are so outraged by this heresy, particularly by a group within Arab society, who say openly that they are tired of fighting someone else's war.

As a society, it is incumbent upon us to defend this initiative and its leaders. The police cannot address this as just another "spat between young people." We are talking about prolonged incitement, that leads to action by grass roots activists. Just let us not wake up one day, God forbid, to a worse tragedy. This is vital to our existence.

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