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Christian Arabs wrestle with Israeli identity

Israel's Christian citizens have found a safe haven in Israel, compared with other states in the region.
PM Netanyahu meets with Christian spiritual leader Father Gabriel Nadaf
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In a June 5 article for Al-Monitor, “Israeli army tries to lure Arab Christian recruits,” my colleague Botrus Mansour analyzed why the Ministry of Defense decided to send recruitment notices to Christians and the implications of this action. The notices are invitations to volunteer for service, and do not obligate anyone to serve.

Mansour examines the dilemma facing Christian Arabs in Israel. He notes that the mainstream of the Arab population in Israel opposes the enlistment of Christians because they see it as a public relations ploy, rather than a genuine attempt to integrate Christians into Israeli society as equal citizens. This group also considers it a move to split the Palestinian minority in Israel by dividing Arab Christians from fellow Arab Muslims. Mansour concludes his article by saying that the recruitment effort will not succeed without the full integration of young Christians into Israeli society. While it is hard to contest this point, there are a few other points about the issue that he ignores.

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