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CHRISTIAN ARABS IDENTIFYING WITH ISRAEL AS ISRAELIS – 18 Aug 2013

In July a Christian Arab from Nazareth, Bishara Shlayan, announced his intentions of forming a new political party in Israel.  At that time, the name of the party was Allies of the New Covenant, but afterwards changed to just Allies, since Jewish people were uncomfortable with the term, New Covenant, which is the same as New Testament.

Among other things, Shlayan and the party want to be recognized as Israelis, as proud citizens of Israel, their country, and want to serve in the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces.  He is opposed to boycotts against Israeli goods, even those manufactured in the ‘occupied territories’, saying that they hurt Arab workers and families whose livelihood comes from those jobs and other opportunities.

At present there is no viable party, but by raising the banner of Arabs willing to stand with Israel against all the pressures, especially from Islamic forces and from Christians who have taken on a more Islamic worldview regarding Israel, Shlayan has put out a challenge for Bible-believing Arabs to consider anew their relationship and attitudes with respect to Israel and Israelis.  The New Covenant/New Testament gives hope to the seed of Ishmael and of Esau when they put their faith and hope in the truth of the gospel to bring them back home to the Father, to YHVH God of Abraham, while at the same time confirming the hope of Israel as a nation through that same good news of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God.

Arab Israeli Christians face some similar tensions as Jewish Israeli believers in Yeshua/Jesus in how they identify themselves compared with how their compatriots label them.

Here are some recent articles from the press related to the new party and a change rising up among the Israeli Arabs:

Jerusalem Post  http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/New-pro-Israel-Arab-party-says-EU-boycott-counterproductive-322864

The Jewish Press  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/arab-christian-party-dont-release-arab-murderers/2013/08/14/

Elder of Ziyon (blog)  http://elderofziyon.blogspot.co.il/2013/07/christian-girl-tells-arab-newspaper-she.html

The Times of Israel  http://www.timesofisrael.com/boshra-khalaila-telling-israel-like-it-is-in-arabic/

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