IDF: Christian arab recruitment on the rise

A_Soldier_of_the_Armored_Brigades_Reconnaissance_Unit_Paving_the_Way-author-IDFby: Ahuva Balofsky

“And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not do him wrong.” (Leviticus 19:33)

IDF: Rise in Christian Arab Recruitment Soldier of the Armored Brigades Reconnaissance Unit (Photo: Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF has released some numbers on the Christian community: it has reported a significant rise in the number of Christian Arab recruits in the past year.  Since June, 84 Christians have volunteered for army service. Normally, the average is 50 per year.

“The last recruitment cycle is the largest observed in recent years,” an army source told The Jerusalem Post. “The contribution of minorities who voluntarily enlist is very important to the IDF’s capabilities,” he added.

In the wake of the Arab Spring, Christian Arabs residing in Israel are now attempting to further distance their identity from Israel’s larger Arab society which is 90% Muslim. A new political party called B’nei Brit Hahadasha, which translates as “Sons of the New Testament,” has become one of the more vocal platforms representing Christian Arab interests in Israel. According to the Facebook page for the party, the main goals of B’nei Brit Hahadasha are to “encourage full integration of Christian Arabs into Israel society, the two-state solution, and enlistment of Arab Christians in the Israel Defense Forces.”

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