The Israeli Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus and the World Jewish Congress hosted their eighth annual Night to Honor Israel’s Christian Allies last week. Knesset members and governmental leaders from across the political spectrum joined Jews and Christians in honoring Father Gabriel Naddaf and Jane Hansen Hoyt for their steadfast commitment to Israel.
Father Gabriel Naddaf is a Greek Orthodox Israeli-Arab priest from the Galilee. He is an outspoken advocate for Christian IDF service and Christian integration into Israeli society. Father Naddaf has remained committed in his support of Israel despite threats and incitement against him. Thanks to Father Naddaf, Israeli society as a whole is now more aware of their Christian allies living in the Land of Israel.
Jane Hansen Hoyt is the President and CEO of Aglow International, a non-denominational Christian organization that is also one of the largest women’s Christian organizations in the world. Hoyt is well known for her success at advancing women’s rights around the world. The Caucus, along with the Ministry of Tourism, honored Hoyt for her enormous contribution to Israeli tourism.
When accepting his award, Naddaf told the audience that his work to strengthen Judeo-Christian relations is “a cause of great pride for me.” However, he acknowledged that there is still much work to be done.
“I am here to open the eyes of the community,” Naddaf stated. “It is up to use to say enough. The Christian community wants to integrate into Israeli society and opposes the stances of its leadership, which is not interested in doing so.”
Israeli Christians living in Israel are, according to Naddaf, “a minority among a minority of Arabs.” In response, MK David Rotem (Likud), a member of the Christian Allies Caucus, told the audience: “Christians have to be a part of the State of Israel. They are citizens and so they have to be partners in everything that happened in the state. We have to encourage and adore you.”