Israeli society is locked in a heated debate over sharing the burden of military service more equitably, given that some 40% of potential draftees manage to evade army duty. To date, the dispute has largely focused on the exemptions granted to ultra-Orthodox Jews studying full time in yeshivot, and the Knesset is currently considering a bill that would greatly reduce that privilege, though the haredi world has vowed to fight it every step of the way.

But over the past month, a debate has raged over a different sector of the public serving in the army: Arab Christians. Knesset members and state prosecutors have been drawn into this impassioned exchange, thanks to a Greek Orthodox priest from the Galilee who has encouraged Arab Christians to volunteer for the IDF.

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