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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776
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Israeli Christian Leader: “We Must Unite Against Terror”

Leader of Arab Christian community in Israel calls for support for IDF, diplomatic support for Israel from international community.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meets with Greek Orthodox priest Father Gabriel Nadaf  of Bethlehem

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meets with Greek Orthodox priest Father Gabriel Nadaf of Bethlehem
Photo Credit: Moshe Milner GPO / FLASH90

Father Gabriel Nadaf, one of the heads of the Greek-Orthodox church in Israel and a staunch supporter of the State of Israel, called on the international community Monday to support Israel’s government and Operation Protective Edge, and to unite against terrorism “in order to safeguard the Holy Land.”

In a letter to ambassadors from various countries stationed in Israel, Nadaf called for support both on for the IDF as it engages in military conflict, and also for diplomatic support for Israel.

“Edmond Burke, the 18th century Irish philosopher and political theorist, said, ‘The only thing necessary for evil to win is for good men to do nothing.’ Therefore, we are all brothers in the face of evil, with no regard to religion, race, and faith. The outcry about the atrocities we are crying out together. As the spiritual father of the Israeli Christians Forum, who encourages the recruitment of Israel Christians to the IDF and  full integration of Christians into the Israeli society, I would like to turn to you with a plea to support and back Israel, our Holy land, and its defense forces. The country is under fire and our soldiers are fighting against terrorist organizations, whose sole purpose and goal is to destroy the State of Israel.”

“In the name of the Israeli Christians, I am crying out to the whole world: Wake up! Terrorism acts don’t allow any chance for peace. If Hamas doesn’t safeguard its own people, Israel cannot be held responsible for their safety. Hamas is supposed to be protecting its own people but unfortunately, like all the terrorist organizations, it does the opposite, takes advantage of the Civilian Gazan population, and sacrifices its people (women and children). Therefore, the death of the Palestinian civilians in Gaza is the sole responsibility of Hamas. They are the only ones to blame, ” said Father Nadaf.

“Israel complied with Egypt’s offer of a cease fire, but Hamas refused. Israel cannot sit idle while the barrages of rockets are being fired on its civilians and it cannot allow the infiltration of terrorists into its space through tunnels whose sole purpose is killing Israeli civilians. The one big difference between Hamas and Israel is that the lives of Israeli civilians are very precious to the State and it will do everything in its power to protect them, regardless of religion.”

The letter continues to describe the plight of Christians in Gaza: “Since the takeover of Hamas of Gaza, it has done everything to force the Christians to disappear and flee from Gaza. They hate the Christians no less than they hate the Jews. Hamas is part of the Al-Qaida ideology and resolutions cannot be reached with them. Their refusal of the cease fire is a clear testimony to that.”

Father Nadaf criticizes the world’s response to Hamas aggression: “Instead of reinforcing the State of Israel and the security it provides for the Christians and all of its citizens, it’s being boycotted and there are continued attempts to weaken it, which will lead to us becoming an easy prey like all the countries around us. The State of Israel is at the forefront of the battle against the terrorism that is trying to swallow the whole world. The flame of terrorism is going to reach every corner of the world and no country will be immune from the terrorist attacks. What is happening in Syria, Iraq, and Gaza will be happening in your country if you continue to do nothing.”

Father Nadaf finally relays a call for action: “Therefore, we all have to come together in unity and uproot terrorism. We should not be complacent and accept terrorism as a fact of life. We have to stop being indifferent about terrorists, who are exploiting our freedom and good spirit. I am calling on you, on behalf of the Israeli Christians, to support the IDF and the State of Israel in Operation ‘Protective Edge’ and to fight terrorism with us, in order to protect the Holy Land. For, if God forbid, our country falls in the hand of terrorists, a catastrophe will befall the entire world. May God bless you and bring justice and peace to the world. Amen!”

Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency

About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.


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