It’s odd that Basel Ghattas, who is himself a Christian, would want to stop Christians from enlisting in the IDF, when he himself is a member of the Knesset. Shouldn’t he be loyal to the State of Israel, and want to see it defended? And why does he think that the Pope would take an interest in who does or does not join the IDF, which is not a question involving matters of the Christian faith? In any case, Ghattas should be removed from the Knesset, as he is clearly an enemy of the State of Israel and has no business holding a seat in its representative body.
Ghattas is apparently a willing tool of the Muslim agenda, which co-opts Arabic-speaking Christians and demands their loyalty on the basis of a shared Arab identity (while keeping up a low level of harassment and persecution at the same time). A more coherent alliance is the one long advocated by the pioneering historian Bat Ye’or: an alliance of Jews and Christians against the Islamic jihad that endeavors to subjugate both of them and relegate them to dhimmi status, denied basic rights. The increasing Christian enlistment in the IDF is a welcome sign of the strengthening of that alliance. Free people worldwide should hope that the rate of that enlistment will increase still more.
“Stop Christian Enlistment in IDF, Arab Lawmaker Urges Pope,” from Israel Today, February 23:
Israeli Arab Member of Knesset Basel Ghattas (pictured) has issued an appeal to Pope Francis to personally intervene against the enlistment of Arabic-speaking Christians in the Israeli army.
Ha’aretz reports that Ghattas’ letter was delivered to the Vatican’s representative in Jerusalem, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, in hopes that Pope Francis would address the issue when he visits the Holy Land in May.
Like most other minorities, local Arabic-speaking Christians are not required to serve in the Israeli army, but a growing number are choosing to do so, many at the encouragement of the Nazareth-based Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum.
Ghattas and other Arab MKs have grown increasingly hostile toward the activities of the forum. Recently, Ghattas’ colleague MK Hanin Zoabi called the forum’s spokesman Shadi Haloul a “coward” and threatened that he would be dealt with on the streets of Nazareth.
In related news, the Knesset’s Labor, Health, and Welfare Committee last Wednesday passed the second and third readings of a new bill that will differentiate between Arab Muslims and Christians.
The practical implication of the bill is that Christians will be recognized as an independent minority on local councils and labor committees. For Haloul and others, it means so much more. It means that they can finally step out from under the shadow of an imposed Arab identity.