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On recruiting and drafting Christians into the Israeli army

Posted By: Tomassus

On recruiting and drafting Christians into the Israeli army - 07/09/13 10:36 PM

ASIA/ISRAEL - The Justice and Peace Commission intervenes on the recruitment and drafting of Christian Arabs into the Israeli army

9 July 2013
http://www.fides.org/en/news/33948-...ristian_Arabs_into_the_army#.Udwhj-D3MqY

Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - A document which has just released by the Justice and Peace Commission - a body linked to the Assembly of Ordinary Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land and presided by the Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem of the Latins - provides criteria for discernment on the issue of recruitment of Christian Arabs in the Israeli military, at the center of public debate in recent months. According to the authors of the document, sent to Fides Agency, the army is used as "an institution that promotes social cohesion" and a "principal place" of forming national consciousness and participating in the nation building project "as conceived by the authorities, i.e. promoting Israel as a Jewish national state". In this perspective, according to the Justice and Peace commisssion operating in the Holy Land, "talk about drafting of Christian Arabs rather than the Arabs in general - Muslims and Christians - is clearly an attempt to drive a wedge between Christians and Muslims in Israel". On addressing these delicate problems, the Church should keep in mind that "the army is used as a means of imposing and maintaining the occupation of Palestinian territories and thus preventing Palestinians from achieving dignity and independence". The army is primarily "an army of aggression rather than an army of defense". Therefore "the use of army service to divide the Arab population against itself is detrimental to the interests of the Arabs as a community". The document points out that "many of the Arab youth in Israel are losing their national, culture and religious identity and many no longer identify themselves as Arabs". In some places like the mixed cities "they try their best to assimilate into the Jewish majority and identify with it". In this regard, members of the Justice and Peace Commission repeat that "the task of the Church is to educate young people to accept themselves as they are, giving them a balanced human, national and Christian education" that helps them to integrate the various elements of their identity (Palestinian Arab Christian and citizen of Israel) without repressing any one of these elements.
The hope expressed in the document is that "bishops and priests must help the faithful in the midst of this crisis of identity."
Posted By: Tomassus

Re: On recruiting and drafting Christians into the Israeli army - 07/09/13 10:36 PM

An Israeli form of Jannisaries?
Posted By: StuartK

Re: On recruiting and drafting Christians into the Israeli army - 07/09/13 11:50 PM

A more objective view can be found here. As can be seen, both Muslim Arabs and Christian Arabs have long been allowed to volunteer into the IDF. The push to have Christians conscripted comes from within the Christian community, not from the IDF or the Israeli government. At one time they were formed into their own units (the Druze and Bedouin battalions are highly regarded), but recently--and at the insistence of the Muslim and Christian communities--they have begun full integration into IDF line units.

Really, the amount of shear nonsense coming out of Middle Eastern bishops these days makes one wonder about their sanity or their freedom to speak plainly. Either way, the one place in the Middle East where Christians are indeed secure in their persons and in their faith is . . . the much maligned Zionist Entity. No wonder not only Christians, but Muslims and Druze living in the occupied territories are now applying for Israeli citizenship in increasing numbers.

As to the notion that the Israelis are somehow going to use Christian soldiers as "jannisaries"--get a grip, man!
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: On recruiting and drafting Christians into the Israeli army - 07/11/13 09:43 AM

An acquaintance of mine who is an Israeli Army veteran told me that up to one-third of the Israeli Army is constituted, in fact, by Armenians. He also said they have their own units headed by their own commanders and that this has been going on for quite some time.

Citizens of Israel can be Christians (as there are many secular Jews who are as well).

Alex
Posted By: IAlmisry

Re: On recruiting and drafting Christians into the Israeli army - 07/14/13 12:15 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK
A more objective view can be found here. As can be seen, both Muslim Arabs and Christian Arabs have long been allowed to volunteer into the IDF. The push to have Christians conscripted comes from within the Christian community, not from the IDF or the Israeli government. At one time they were formed into their own units (the Druze and Bedouin battalions are highly regarded), but recently--and at the insistence of the Muslim and Christian communities--they have begun full integration into IDF line units.

Really, the amount of shear nonsense coming out of Middle Eastern bishops these days makes one wonder about their sanity or their freedom to speak plainly. Either way, the one place in the Middle East where Christians are indeed secure in their persons and in their faith is . . . the much maligned Zionist Entity. No wonder not only Christians, but Muslims and Druze living in the occupied territories are now applying for Israeli citizenship in increasing numbers.

As to the notion that the Israelis are somehow going to use Christian soldiers as "jannisaries"--get a grip, man!

I remember the Greek monks showing me where the Zionist soldiers shot up our (Orthodox) Churches. Funny, they didn't have any to show as to the Jordanians.

Screaming "Amen!" as usual.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: On recruiting and drafting Christians into the Israeli army - 07/14/13 09:55 AM

Quote
An acquaintance of mine who is an Israeli Army veteran told me that up to one-third of the Israeli Army is constituted [by Armenians]


This is demonstrably false, unless, somehow, Armenians constitute one third of the Israeli male population. You see, Israel practices universal conscription, but it is only mandatory for Jews (and even ultra-Orthodox Haredim receive generous exemptions--though this is changing because of popular pressure). Muslims and Christians are presently exempt from conscription, though may volunteer for service. The Druze have long had their own very highly regarded units within the IDF. There is also a battalion of Christian soldiers, several battalions of Arab Muslim soldiers, and an elite Bedouin battalion. Thanks to pressure from within the Arab Israeli community, these segregated battalions are being abolished and Muslims and Christians integrated into IDF line units (the Druze and Bedou choose to remain distinct).

The Israeli Army consists of a rather small, professional regular force; an active force consisting of the annual conscript intake; and a very large inactive reserve to which almost all Jewish males between the ages of 20 and 45 belong. The composition of the IDF is such that it is, and will remain, an overwhelmingly Jewish force.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: On recruiting and drafting Christians into the Israeli army - 07/14/13 09:55 AM

Issa, one can get really sick of you.
Posted By: IAlmisry

Re: On recruiting and drafting Christians into the Israeli army - 07/14/13 01:39 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Issa, one can get really sick of you.

I take great pride in giving some people indigestion. Zionists are among them.
Posted By: Samn

Re: On recruiting and drafting Christians into the Israeli army - 07/14/13 03:52 PM

Seeing as how there are well less than 10,000 Armenians in the Holy Land now, down from over 30,000 in 1948, that's kind of ridiculous.

For a recent interview with their new patriarch in Jerusalem about just how badly they're treated there, see here:

http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week...-patriarch-of-jerusalem.premium-1.532541
Posted By: Samn

Re: On recruiting and drafting Christians into the Israeli army - 07/14/13 03:56 PM

Err... if you have trouble with the Haaretz paywall, here it is reprinted on an Armenian site--

http://hetq.am/eng/news/27783/we-are-third-class-citizens-says-armenian-patriarch-of-jerusalem.html
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