The IDF has observed a rise in Christian-Arab enlistment.
Since June, 84
Christians have volunteered for the military, constituting a spike in
recruitment from the community, which has averaged 50 annually of
“The last recruitment cycle is the largest observed in recent
years,” an army source told The Jerusalem Post
on Tuesday. A total of 140
Christian Arabs are on active service, while 400 are in the
“The contribution of minorities who voluntarily enlist is very
important to the IDF’s capabilities,” the source said.
Some 60 Beduin
signed up for military service in 2013 as well.
The army’s Personnel
Directorate is responsible for overseeing the recruitment of minorities, who
join up through a range of programs, such as conferences for high school
students, in which their options in the military are discussed in
Officers from the Personnel Directorate conduct home visits to
perspective recruits, and accompany them throughout the enlistment
Earlier this week, 90 active and reserve Christian soldiers
gathered in Nazareth for a conference organized by the Forum for Enlisting
Christians, led by Greek Orthodox priest Father Gabriel Naddaf.
elements in the Arab-Israeli community have threatened, and in some cases
assaulted, the forum’s members.
The military credits the forum with
doubling the number of Christians serving in the security forces.
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent a video greeting to the conference, which met
on Sunday, vowing to stand by the soldiers and to face down threats together
with it. “I salute you, and support you,” the prime minister told the forum.