By RYAN JONES, ISRAEL TODAY—
Some 150 Israeli Arabic-speaking Christians on Sunday demonstrated outside the European Union mission in Tel Aviv, demanding that the international community stop nitpicking against Israel and start combatting the severe persecution of Christians everywhere else in the Middle East.
“Nations, organizations and international missions are quick to raise an accusing finger against Israel at every opportunity,” said Father Gabriel Nadaf, spiritual father of the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum, which organized the rally.
Those same nations and organizations “don’t life a finger against the ethnic cleansing of Christians in the Middle East,” the priest continued.
Father Nadaf went on to explain that from Syria to Egypt to Iraq to the Palestinian Authority, Christians on a daily basis suffer intimidation, harassment, desecration, coercion, torture, rape, physical abuse and murder. “According to the statistics, a Christian is murdered every five minutes , and the Western world is silent about this,” he lamented.
In messages posted to its Facebook page during the Tel Aviv rally, the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum insisted that “there is no place but Israel that is safe for Christians in the Middle East!”
While the rally was largely ignored by the mainstream Western media, the Israeli press took great interest, and forum spokesman Shadi Khalloul, a veteran of the IDF, was interviewed by various television and print media outlets.
Khalloul has spoken numerous times with Israel Today regarding the Christian awakening within Israel, and the bonds of brotherhood than bind local Christians to the Jewish people and the Jewish state.
Last month, Israel’s Knesset took the first important step toward recognizing local Christians as an independent minority separate from the Arab Muslims. Both Nadaf and Khalloul say this is necessary, since local Christians were here before the Arab Muslim conquest around 600 AD.
A growing number of Israelis, including lawmakers and opinion shapers, are likewise waking up to the strong Christian minority in their midst, a minority that has been long neglected, but which is now beginning to boldly take its place alongside the Jews.