Culture minister indicates she won’t strip priest of torch lighting honor

Author: Staff
Date Published: 05/09/2016
Publication: The Times of Israel

Miri Regev, whose Culture Ministry determines who will light Independence Day torches at the main state ceremony Wednesday night, says she won’t rush to judgment against Father Gabriel Naddaf.

Her statement appears to indicate she won’t ask Naddaf, accused of sexual harassment, to step down from his role as torch lighter, seen as a major honor.

“I trust law enforcement officials to carry out their check into the case around the priest Gabriel Naddaf,” she says, according to Channel 2 news. “Everyone has the right to remain innocent until proven otherwise.”

Police earlier said they would carry out a preliminary probe into Naddaf, a Christian Arab leader, after claims surfaced Sunday that he tried to elicit sexual favors from soldiers and young men.