Gabriel Nadaf, whose son was attacked Friday evening and ended up in the
hospital, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Sunday that he does not
fear anyone and will continue on his path.
Nadaf is a Greek Orthodox
priest who supports IDF enlistment and the integration of Christians into
He told the Post that he has been suffering from
incitement for a year and- a-half now, since he called in 2012 for Christians to
enter the army.
“I thank God that a disaster did not occur,” he
Arab political leaders and some journalists have been inciting
against me, “but I am not scared of them,” he said.
Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the attack on Nadaf’s son at Sunday’s cabinet
meeting, saying that Israel will not tolerate threats of physical attacks
against Christians, Muslims and Druse who “want to link their fate even more to
the State of Israel and want to serve in the IDF.”
“We will protect
them,” he said.
In August, Netanyahu met Father Nadaf and said he saluted
him for his work to integrate Arab Christians into Israel’s mainstream and for
his leadership in the forum for the enlistment of Christian youth into the
“The Christian youth must be allowed to go into the IDF,” he said at
In August the Prime Minister’s Office said there was a
significant increase in the number of Christian enlistees in the IDF – from 35 a
year ago to approximately 100 this year, with another 500 young people from the
community doing national service.
“My wife is closed up in the house and
my second son refuses to leave the house,” said the priest.
“If you want
to go in the path that you think is right, then you know they will incite and
attack you, but if you don’t do it – who will do it?” asked Nadaf.
explained that Arab MKs are confusing the aggressor with the victim and are
trying to turn his son into the bad guy.
Father Nadaf specifically
pointed out Hadash MK Muhammad Barakei and Balad MK Basel Ghattas for inciting
He has filed several lawsuits against Arab politicians and
journalists for slander and is pushing for the Knesset ethics committee to
investigate and remove Ghattas and other Arab MKs for incitement.
Ghattas gets away with this and goes back to inciting against me, “it won’t end
good,” warned Nadaf.
Ghattas, a Christian Arab himself, “doesn’t do
anything for the Christians.
He entered the Knesset by luck and he
attacks me a lot,” he said.
The Arab MKs only work to support the people
who voted for them and not everyone else, said Nadaf.
“My son who will
enlist soon in a combat unit in the army – people curse him, and I always tell
him to ignore them,” he said.
Asked if the police are giving him extra
protection, he responded that they are checking his house often.
that there are quite a few quiet supporters who are afraid to go public with
their support for fear that they will end up in a similar situation as Nadaf now
finds himself in.
Asked if there is any Arab politician, or ex-politician
who has contacted him or shown his support, he responded that not one of them
has contacted him.
He says a Facebook page has been created to show
support and that more than 1,000 people have joined.
Asked if he has been
in touch with Netanyahu since Friday, he said that he has not spoken with him
personally, but he is aware of everything that is going on.
He has spoken
with a number of people close to him as well as other senior political figures
who have called him.
Asked if he is a supporter of Bishara Shlayan, who
is creating a new pro- Israel Arab Christian party, he responded that he is not
a political person, but he will do everything to help Christians in all
In addition, he is receiving lots of contact from Christians in
America and elsewhere in the world who have shown their support.
the future of Nazareth as a Christian city is at risk, he said that numbers do
“A Christian who doesn’t believe in coexistence – he doesn’t
go the way of Christianity,” he concluded.