The Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum, which advocates young Arabic-speaking Christians voluntarily joining the Israeli army, has long had vocal critics. Now that the State of Israel is publicly backing the Forum’s efforts, that criticism has turned to open violence.
More and more young Christians are deciding to volunteer for IDF service as a first step to greater integration with Israeli Jewish society. And the number is expected to rise exponentially after the Israeli government decided last month to begin sending voluntary IDF recruitment letters to local Christians when they reach 18 years of age.
Days after the official decision was made, activists associated with the anti-Israel Arab Knesset party Balad, as well as some radical left-wing Jewish activists, demonstrated against Christian recruitment at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
It didn’t take long for the protesting activists to start violently attacking any and all that vocally opposed their position. Police were forced to get involved and break up a scuffle between the Balad group and students who support Christian enlistment.
This week, police detained an Arab Christian activist from central Israel after he posted comments to Facebook threatening violence against any fellow Christians who volunteer for the IDF.
Ghassan Monayer insisted that he “didn’t use any violent words or threats.”
But the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum said that is far from being true. Monayer has “called for killing soldiers of the ‘occupation army,’ [and] the ‘army of the cross’” a number of times, the group wrote on its own Facebook page.
According to the Forum, Monayer has repeated engaged in “incitement to murder and has corresponded with hostile elements. The Forum reiterated its warning that ”we will take legal action against anyone that tries to physically or verbally harm IDF soldiers."