The young leadership of the Jewish Home party sent a faux flight ticket to MK Basel Ghattas (Balad) Wednesday, in response to his call to Christian Arabs to refuse to enlist into the IDF and to burn their draft summonses.
The young leadership suggested that Ghattas “move to a country where you will not be forced to enlist.”
"In view of your call to Israel's Arab Christian citizens, to burn military enlistment orders and, in effect, prevent their integration into Israeli society, we suggest that you offer an example and be the first to do so,” they explained.
They also called on Ghattas to resign from the Knesset, burn his Israeli ID card and move to Iran. “In order to assist you in this somewhat difficult move, we have bought you a special flight ticket in the Iranian airline, to make things easier for you,” they wrote tongue-in-cheek.
In a letter to Pope Francis, Ghattas called recent efforts to recruit more Christians into the IDF “part of a divide-and-conquer policy” to foster the “Israelization of the Arab minority." He asked the pope to intervene on the alleged attempt "to harm the Palestinian minority inside Israel.”
DF Radio revealed last week that Christian Arab teens will receive a draft notice, like Jewish ones - but have the option to either volunteer or decline military service. Analysts say the move - which has Israel actively reaching out to Christian youth to serve for the Jewish state - has serious political and social significance.
Shortly after the report aired, the IDF made the official announcement on its Twitter page. "Over the next several weeks, the IDF will begin sending voluntary draft notices to all potential Christian IDF recruits," it tweeted. "This will provide a wellspring of opportunity for volunteerism."
In January, the Forum of Christian IDF soldiers revealed that Christian Arab recruitment is on the rise. The IDF does not provide precise numbers of Christians serving in its ranks, but the forum says the increase is significant and that there are currently 300 Christians serving in the IDF, 157 of them in the conscript army.