Father Gabriel Nadaf.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth who advocates IDF service for Christian Arabs, spoke out on Sunday in defense of the controversial Jewish-state bill.
Writing on the Friends of Father Gabriel Nadaf Facebook page, which has 5,735 followers, Nadaf wrote that although the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948 had been milestones in the actualization of the Jewish right to its homeland, that principle had become blurred and confused in the years since.
He said that it is ironic that, although the State of Israel defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state, democratic principles are well-founded in law, whereas Jewish principles are not.
The priest also said that the claim by “a small minority, with great influence via the Supreme Court, the media, and leftist academia” that Israel is “ a state of all it’s citizens,” was lovely at first sight, “but covers a severe injury to the Jewishness of the state.”
“Even the Basic Laws – which the Supreme Court has turned into a constitution, contrary to all internationally recognized practice – where it says that Israel is a Jewish and democratic state, have been interpreted to give a clear superiority to the democratic dimension above the Jewish dimension,” he said.
Nadaf highlighted what he said is the importance of defining Israel as a Jewish state in light of the refusal of the Palestinian leadership to so.
“There is a reason why they won’t recognize [Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people]. They prefer it to be a state of all its citizens, without a national perspective, which would allow them to claim their own national rights in the land forever, including the concept of the ‘right of return.’ “In light of this, it is important to clarify in law to the citizens of the state, who maybe have forgotten this, to our neighbors, and to the entire world, that it is not worthwhile for them to err. The Jews have returned home and established their national state. They are no longer temporary residents in the Land of Israel,” Nadaf wrote.
He noted that all minority citizens living in the State of Israel “enjoy freedom and equality in all aspects, and that for Israel to define itself as Jewish would not pose any obstacle for members of minority groups to live in peace in the country.
The Abraham Fund, a coexistence organization that lobbies for Arab equality, expressed concern over the proposed law, however, and said government support for the bill, currently in two proposed forms, is damaging relations between the state and the Arab minority.
“The law implicitly suggests the effective abandonment by the state of the vision of a Jewish and democratic state: a state that is the national home of the Jewish people and is also the full and complete home of its Arab citizens,” the organization said in a statement to the press.
“Changes in Israel’s character must be made on the basis of a broad political consensus, comprising all parts of Israeli society – the Arab minority included. Such changes cannot be based on a political will to exclude and marginalize minorities. The further advancement of this and similar legislative initiatives is liable to cause a profound rift between the state and the Arab minority. We fail to understand the need for this legislation, nor the added value the state would gain from its advancement in the current reality.”sign up to our newsletter
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>