| ||‘We Are Proud of You,’ Netanyahu Tells Christian Soldiers
| ||United with Israel
“We are proud of you. You belong to the most moral army on earth,” Netanyahu told Christian IDF soldiers, noting that “not everyone shares this view,” referring to Turkish President Erdogan.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday attended a civil New Year’s event with Christian IDF soldiers at the Tel Aviv Palmach Museum.
The IDF has launched a unique program for Israeli-Arab Christians which enables them to integrate into the army and serve their country.
The Nachshon Platoon consists of 24 Arabic-speaking Christians who volunteered to join the IDF based on one motivation: to contribute to the State of Israel.
After years of low draft percentages among the Arabic-speaking Christian community in Israel, no more than a dozen draftees a year, things have now changed. In a recent draft class, 24 soldiers of the Arabic-speaking Christian community volunteered to serve in the IDF.
“We are proud of you; the entire nation is proud of you. You belong to the most moral army on earth,” Netanyahu told the soldiers.
Erdogan’s Latest Anti-Semitic Tirade
However, “not everyone shares this view. I was just exposed to the daily trolling of the anti-Semitic dictator Erdogan,” Netanyahu remarked, referring to Erdogan’s latest tirade accusing the IDF and Netanyahu of a long list of crimes.
Netanyahu accused Erdogan of being “obsessed with Israel. He knows what a moral army is and he knows what a genuine democracy is, as opposed to an army that massacres women and children in Kurdish villages and a state which, to my regret, is becoming more dictatorial day by day.”
The Turkish army has conducted several vicious campaigns against the Kurds in their region, while Erdogan is systematically chipping away at civil rights and other elements of democracy in his country.
‘Obsessed with Israel’
“He is obsessed with Israel. But there has been an improvement. Erdogan used to attack me every two hours and now it is every six hours” Netanyahu quipped.
Approximately 20 percent of Israel’s eight million citizens are Arabs. According to the Israeli Democracy Index, a public opinion survey conducted last year by the Israeli Democratic Institute and the Guttman Center for Surveys, 65% of Israeli-Arabs are proud to be Israeli.
Israel is the only safe haven for Christians in the Middle East, while their numbers diminish as a result of Muslim persecution in all other areas of the region.