In historic first, Israeli Christian leader visits Samaria

Father Gabriel Nadaf, Chairman of the Christian Forum for Enlistment and spiritual leader of the Aramaean Christian community in Israel, toured Samaria this week and met senior rabbis at Har Bracha, near Shechem. In comments to Arutz Sheva he stated that the Land of Israel, including Samaria, belongs to the Jewish people forever, based on the Bible.

He also asked: “On what authority does [Palestinian Authority head] Mahmoud Abbas say that Jesus was a Palestinian?” referring to oft-made remarks by Abbas and other PA leaders, who claim the Jewish founder of Christianity was in fact “Palestinian.”

The tour was initiated by the Christian Friends of Judea and Samaria Communities NGO.

Sandra Braz, the NGO’s director, said that ever since the European Union announced it would mark products made in Judea and Samaria, she has been “working overtime” to make the decision ineffective.

“I bring groups of public opinion shapers from the Christian world, in Israel and abroad, and give them explanations about our  enterprise,” she told Arutz Sheva. “Many of them promised to buy their Christmas gifts from factories in Judea and Samaria. In numerical terms, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of shekels.”

Indeed, since the labeling decision was announced, initiatives supporting Jewish businesses in Judea and Samaria have registered a record amount of interest.

Father Nadaf met with Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, the Rabbi of Har Bracha, and expressed his admiration for the settlement enterprise. He bought a bottle of wine at the local winery and noted: “My visit here was born in order to show the world that the step they took, the marking of products, is not taken from Christianity and cannot be a true Christian deed, and that is why I am buying this wine here.”

The marking of products from the heart of the Jewish community enterprise is anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli, he stated. “Its purpose is not one of peace – but sowing evil and hatred against the Jewish nation by people lacking in historical consciousness of facts.”