A Channel 2 News report Sunday night presented serious evidence of sexual abuse against Gabriel Naddaf, an Israeli priest of the Greek Orthodox Church, a judge in the community’s religious courts, and a spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Naddaf, who has been selected to light a torch at the Independence Day ceremony this year for his role in encouraging Christian Arabs to enlist in the IDF, has allegedly conducted conversations rife with sexual innuendo with soldiers who sought his help. He is also accused of soliciting benefits from PA Arabs in return for helping them obtain entry permits into Israel.
Naddaf has been embraced by the Israeli establishment for his pro-Zionist activism, as part of a growing group of Israeli Arab activists of the Christian faith who declare their loyalty to the Jewish State and insist on being viewed and treated in a different manner than Muslim Arabs.
Naddaf issued a statement Sunday saying the source for the complaints against him are criminal elements in the Arab community who are determined to deny him the success he has enjoyed in promoting Christian youths’ enlistment in the IDF. He noted that he had passed two separate polygraph tests regarding the allegations against him and that he had filed a complaint with police over them.
MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) approached Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev demanding that she prevent Naddaf from lighting the torch in light of the allegations against him. Regev issued a statement Sunday night saying she supports the decision of the public committee which had chosen Naddaf unanimously for his good works in the service of the state, and as long as law enforcement official have not stated that they suspect otherwise, Naddaf is considered fit to be honored.