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By Israel Today

In an interview with Italian media, Israeli Christians from Nazareth once again debunked assertions that Israel is an apartheid state with their own powerful testimonies.

The report started off by noting that there is a growing rift in the Israeli Christian community between those who choose to side with the Jewish state and those who choose to identify with the “Palestinian” narrative.

But that the problems facing Christians are not coming primarily from Jewish Israel, but rather from the Muslims, is evident in even a cursory investigation of Nazareth.

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In Jesus’ hometown, Muslim intimidation has been on the rise, leading many Christians to pack up and head to nearby Christian-only villages or even Jewish-dominated towns, such as Upper Nazareth.

To gain a deeper understanding of the situation, and the standing of Christians in Israel in general, the Italian newspaper spoke to Shadi Khalloul, spokesman for the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum and an Israel Today contributor.

Pointing out what is happening to Christians in Syria, Egypt and elsewhere in the region, Khalloul insisted that by comparison, “Israel is the paradise for Christians from the Middle East.”

The Italians also spoke to a young Israeli Christian who, under the tutelage of Khalloul’s movement, intends to volunteer for Israeli army service. He echoed Khalloul’s remarks, adding that Christians in Israel “live in peace and security; we are not discriminated against and we enjoy our freedom.”

The young man said that even in the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories, such as Bethlehem, “Christians are subject to discrimination, racism and oppression,” and that they were much better off when Israel was in full control of the so-called “West Bank.”

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