Danny Brenner - Yisrael Hayom
The Arab media is waging an unrestrained and vicious campaign against a small group of Christian Arab youth who wish to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.
Two weeks ago, a conference was held at an Upper Nazareth community center for 121 Christian 11th and 12th grade high school students, all residents of Nazareth, Upper Nazareth, and Arab villages in the Lower Galilee region, who had expressed their desire to enlist in the IDF, even in combat units. Every year, some 50 youths from the Christian Israeli-Arab sector enlist for military duty.
After the conference, some Arabic newspapers and online news sites began a smear campaign against the participants, depicting them as traitors. Journalists wrote articles promising to "take care of them" and hunt them down. The Arab Orthodox local council in Nazareth announced that priest Jobrail Nadaf, who took part in the event and supports IDF enlistment among Christian Arab-Israeli youth, had been suspended from his duties as priest and excommunicated from his church for "cooperating with the enemy."
The Israel Defense Ministry said in a statement that it "will not accept that people who work to promote this issue come under threat or attack, and it will act to grant the greatest possible aid and support to all those being threatened."