Each torch symbolizes one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. This was announced by Culture Minister Miri Regev.
“When Miri Regev called and told me that I could light a torch of independence, I was incredibly moved,” Father Gabriel Naddaf told Israel Today. “The fact that Israel bestowed this honor upon someone from the Christian minority is not self-evident. Israel is the only democratic state in the Middle East. Israel is our home.”
Each year, a committee chooses 12 Israeli citizens who have made outstanding contributions to the nation to light the torches at the colorful Independence Day celebration on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
“Nobody is as committed as Father Nadaff to integrating his [Christian] community into Israeli society and to the concept that equal rights means equal duties,” said Regev. “He urges his community to serve in the army and defend the State of Israel.”
Most Israeli Arabs, who make up 20 percent of...
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