Israeli Arab sentenced to house arrest for Facebook comment against enlistment of Arab Christians

“I expressed my point of view in Arabic. I did not use any violent words or threats” accused tells 'The Post'.

April 29, 2014 21:14
2 minute read.

Ghassan Monayer from Lod. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Police are investigating Ghassan Monayer, 44, from Lod, for a item he wrote on Facebook criticizing the government initiative to get Arab Christians to volunteer for the army. Police detained him on suspicion of posting a threatening message.

Monayer, an Arab Christian, was released to five days house arrest on condition that he turn over his computer, telephone and iPad.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, filed an appeal in Nazareth Magistrate’s Court on Monday against the conditions of Monayer’s release.

“The decision to detain the appellant was illegal in the first place,” argued Fady Khoury, an Adalah lawyer handling the case.

Khoury said that Monayer was arrested for merely expressing his opinion on the recent initiative to recruit Arab Christians for the army and that the authorities and Father Gabriel Nadaf cannot be immune from criticism.

And even if the accused was guilty of the offense, there still was no reason for the police to seize his computer and other equipment, the lawyer said.

Along with the Facebook post last Wednesday, Monayer posted a picture of a meeting between Nadaf and Finance Minister Yair Lapid.

Nadaf is a Greek Orthodox priest who supports IDF enlistment and the integration of Christians into Israeli society.

When police questioned Monayer, he denied that he was threatening anyone.

“I expressed my point of view in Arabic. I did not use any violent words or threats,” even though the police said the people involved claimed they were threatened, Monayer told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Tuesday.

“Both investigators said this won’t reach a judge. So if you knew it why did you keep me for six hours and take my computers.

I should have gotten my stuff back today, according to the agreement,” he said.

The officers interrogated him for 20 minutes, but he spent six hours in the police station.

“Most of the time doing nothing,” he said.

“This behavior is threatening – not to criticize Nadaf and others – they don’t let you express your thoughts,” Monayer complained.

“Nadaf should be praying with people in the church, but what he is really doing is dividing the society. They are trying to divide us [Christian Arabs] from the Muslims,” he said.

Nadaf's youngest son was attacked in Nazareth in December.

Following the December attack, Upper Nazareth mayor Shimon Gafsou visited the priest’s son in the hospital and condemned the violent attack.

“Attacking the son of Father Nadaf began with incitement and could have ended much worse.

Israel must give full backing to those in the Christian community who wish to enlist,” Gafsou said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night