A growing number of Arab Christians are today signing up for service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
As non-Jews, their service is not mandatory. But many young Arab Christians feel it is their obligation to volunteer to defend this country alongside their Jewish countrymen.
Samer Barham is one of those young Arab Christians putting his life on the line for Israel.
In an interview with Messianic YouTuber Hanaya Naftali, Barham said that if he and other Arabs expect the state to provide for them, then they, too, must be willing to give back.
But Barham’s service is about more than just give-and-take.
He made the decision to enlist after his older brother died of Leukemia. It was the dream of Samer’s brother to be an IDF combat soldier. But after enlisting, the army’s medical screening discovered his fatal condition.
The brother died not long after, and Samer determined that he would fulfill his brother’s dream in his stead.
Arabs love Israel?
But wait. We are constantly told that Arabs hate the Jewish state because it oppresses them. How could it have been the dream of a young Arab Christian man to serve in what Israel’s detractors call the “occupation forces”?
Samer quickly debunked that notion, explaining that a great many Arabs love Israel.
“I live here and it is my obligation to love the country in which I live,” he told Naftali.
But, Naftali asked, isn’t there discrimination and racism against Arabs, like the Palestinian Authority and its supporters often claim?
“In my opinion, no,” replied Samer. “Everyone in this country – Muslims, Christians, and Jews – worships however, whenever, and wherever they want. Even in the IDF, as a Christian I was treated exactly the same as the Jews.”
Samer said that those who smear Israel simply don’t know what they are talking about, and that if more Arabs would visit, they “would be shocked” by the reality.