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[WATCH] Druze refusal in the Israeli army (part 1): A history lesson

According to the mainstream Israeli narrative the Druze population in Israel is loyal to and maintains an alliance with the state, the most famous element of which includes mandatory military service. But is that really the whole story? The first episode in a four-part series looking at Druze in Israel, their relationship with the security forces, social equality and a not-so-new draft refusal movement.

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    1. It’s amazing that when people are allowed to tell their story, how different it is from the lies that have been told about them.

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Of course those telling the story are but a small minority of the Druze Community. Most Druze threw in their lot with Israel part way through the 1948 war and have never regretted it since.

        The Druze in Israel are economically better off and enjoy better rights than Druze in any Arab country. Druze serve in high and sensitive positions in Israel industry and in the military. The commander of the Golani Brigade is Druze. He was wounded in the early fighting in Shejaija in Gaza. He immediately went back to command the brigade and fight the terrorists in Gaza.

        The history of Arab treatment of Druze in Mandate Palestine by Palestinian Arabs is instructive why the Druze threw in with Israel. The Jewish Virtual Library states:

        “the leaders of local Arab militias related to the Druze with scorn, acting with violence and extortion within their villages. Other Druze were kidnapped and murdered by Arab nationalists, sowing threats and fear. At a time when many Druze sought a solution to their plight, the Jewish leadership in the country, who realized what was occurring, capitalized on the anger in the Druze villages and began to develop relations with the Druze, primarily in Ussifiya, Daliat al-Carmel, and Shfaram. Thus, some Druze began to help and defend the Jews, while others continued to identify with the Arab nationalist leaders.

        “The key reason for the break in relations between the Druze and the Arab nationalists was the demand by the Muslim Wakf in 1942 to take over control of Jethro’s Tomb, the holiest site of the Druze, located in Kfar Hittin west of Tiberias. This demand was supported by the Arab Higher Committee headed by Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem. The demand triggered waves of protest and anger and a protracted legal struggle.”

        Today, the Druze enlistment rate in the Israeli army is 82%, higher than the enlistment rate among Jewish Israelis.

        Al-Jazeera and the Times of Israel quoted prominent Druze religious leader, Sheikh Muafaq Tarif, who recently spoke out against groups promoting conscientious objection.

        “Like every society, Druze society too has extremist, subversive elements who try to stir up the youth, with one goal: To break the alliance between the Druze community and the State of Israel”

        Israel has Jews who object to being conscripted and a small number of its Druze.

        Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Today a Druze leader, Atta Farhat, spelled out his community’s prespective of the Druze presence in Israel:

        “since the Gaza war, Muslim Arabs have been inciting against the Druse all over the country because they support the state and serve in the army.”

        “This is the Jewish state – how it was 3000 years ago and it will continue to be that way,”

        “Our only similarity with the Arabs is by language”

        “We are not Palestinians and do not have religious or cultural connections with them, but are full Israeli citizens.”

        “I want the state to be a Jewish state and not one ‘for all its citizens’,” since “Jews respect others and their way of life.”

        “We see what is happening in Iraq, Egypt, and other Arab countries. We don’t want to live under a government of darkness, but where we have freedom,”

        Reply to Comment
        • Baladi Akka 1948

          “Today a Druze leader, Atta Farhat, spelled out his community’s perspective of the Druze presence in Israel”
          Haha, Zionists can’t write a sentence without lying !
          Your Druze “leader” is the head of the Druze Zionist Council for Israel according to JPost. It’s clearly indicated just before yout copy-and-paste. Why did you omit that ? Another co-opted native who represents nobody but himself, just part of the colonial divide-and-conquer.

          Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            He is still a leader in the Druze community.

            Here is what another Druze leader said

            “The spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, Sheikh Muafeq Tarif, sent a letter of support to the families of kidnapped teens Naftali Frenkel, Eyal Yifrah, and Gilad Sha’ar Tuesday.

            “Since Thursday night, the thoughts of all the Druze in Israel have been directed to the fate of your sons,” the Sheikh wrote. “Your destiny is our destiny – and the hope for a quick release bring you and us together.”

            Reply to Comment
    2. Pedro X

      I tried to post a longer post, but it has not been posted.

      The fact is that the majority of the Druze community in Israel supports Israel. The enlistment rate in the Israel army among Druze is 82% which is a higher enlistment rate than for Jewish Israelis. Only a small minority object.

      I am sure many Druze remember how they were treated by Arab militias in 1947-49. Arabs treated them with scorn, extorted money from them, terrorized their villages and carried out murders. Many Druze villages threw their lot in with the Jews because they knew that if the Arabs won, no Jews and few Druze would be left alive.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Did you even watch the video, or just hit it and quit it with your attempt at refuting their historical narrative?

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        I watched the video and it was a piece of revisionist propaganda. The Druze leaders have supported Israel since 1948 and the enlistment of Druze into the Israeli army. A small minority do not accept what the majority do.

        Reply to Comment
      • Julia

        I can probably find you dozens of Zionist Palestinians who love Israel and want to serve in the IDF. Then make a video with them in it. Is it going to be making any kind of point? The only point it will make is that there are some people with some views – you have no idea how many, and what the rest thinks until you interview every single one of their group and do the math. I only hope you are capable enough of understanding that.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Your word against members of the Druze population.

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Actually it is the Druze words against the propaganda of fringe leftists:

        Today a Druze leader, Atta Farhat, spelled out his community’s prespective of the Druze presence in Israel:

        “since the Gaza war, Muslim Arabs have been inciting against the Druse all over the country because they support the state and serve in the army.”

        “This is the Jewish state – how it was 3000 years ago and it will continue to be that way,”

        “Our only similarity with the Arabs is by language”

        “We are not Palestinians and do not have religious or cultural connections with them, but are full Israeli citizens.”

        “I want the state to be a Jewish state and not one ‘for all its citizens’,” since “Jews respect others and their way of life.”

        “We see what is happening in Iraq, Egypt, and other Arab countries. We don’t want to live under a government of darkness, but where we have freedom,”

        Reply to Comment
    5. Baladi Akka 1948

      The most famous Druze in historical Palestine, our beloved poet Samih al-Qassim died this August in his village ar-Rameh in the Galilee. Samih al-Qassim was together with his close friend Mahmoud Darwish, and the former mayor of Nazareth, Tawfiq Zayyad, the leading voice among the “poets of resistance”. Al-Qassim died of cancer at the age of 75, but said his own cancer was nothing compared with the cancer spreading in his homeland: the Zionist settlements.
      Samih al-Qassim was put to prison on various occasions: for refusing to serve in the Israeli army and for what I guess Ayalon Ltd. would call “poetic terrorism”.

      From “End of a Discussion With a Prison-guard”
      Through the eyehole of this little cell of mine
      I can see the trees all smiling at me,
      The rooftops crowded with my family,
      The windows breaking into tears for me
      And prayers for me.
      Through the eyehole of this little cell of mine
      I see your bigger cell just fine.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Pedro X

      No Samih al-Qassim did not die in his village. He died in an Israeli hospital in Safed which was treating him in his last days. I do not know what is more ironic Samih al-Qassim accepting the medical help of the Israeli system or the Israeli system helping Samih al-Qassim.

      In any event Samih al-Qassim was an extremist in his own community. He was a long-time member of the communist party.

      Reply to Comment
      • Baladi Akka 1948

        So you know better where Samih al-Qasim died than his own son, right ?
        According to Watan al-Qasim (cf. interview with the Palestinian press agency WAFA in Arabic and Huffington Post in French), his father was transferred from the hospital in Safed to his home in al-Rameh close to Akka on Friday 15th of August and he died the following Tuesday.
        You have no idea of how the Druze community considered Samih al-Qasim, just stick to your Zionist propaganda, and leave the Druze community out of it !

        Reply to Comment
      • You’re a Godless man.

        Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          If god does not exist, every man is godless. If god exists, every man has a god.

          Tell me Marnie, are you a god woman or a godless woman?

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Tell me Marnie, are you a god woman or a godless woman?”

            She is just a common garden variety idiot (as in idiotic).

            Reply to Comment
      • Bullshit alert.

        Reply to Comment
    7. Shaun

      No mention of the riots and violence taking place between Muslims and Druze. You know, they are all on the same side according to 972????

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        A big brawl erupted between Druze Israelis and Arab Israelis stemming from Israeli Arabs wearing Palestinian headdress to school. The Druze took exception. Later there was a knife fight. Then a huge brawl between the communities took place. It was clear that Druze see themselves as Israeli and not as Palestinian Arabs.

        Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X is an Idiot

          okay first of all “Israeli Druze” are Arabs and more importantly are Palestinians.. they’re religion is Darzi, but they are ethnically Arab.. ALL of the people i met in Haifa and in the Galilee who were Druze, firstly called themselves Palestinian – they never referred to themselves as Israeli Druze ( a term imposed upon them by the Zionist government).. and this was not a small minority of Druze… even the fucking cop at Al-aqsa mosque who was Druze called himself Palestinian… second of all the Druze religion is actually an offshoot of Islam.. its a sect within a sect, or a split within a split you could say.. one of my roommates actually first told me he was Muslim, and later clarified that he was Druze because it’s rooted in a branch of Shia Islam.. furthermore, Palestinian arabs are not just Muslim, you fucking moron.. there are also Palestinian Christians, Druze, Jews, Samaritans, athiests, etc… so stop bringing it back to Muslims.. in the end the point is that Zionists tried to ethnically cleanse Palestine of Palestinians no matter if they were Muslim, Christian, Druze, etc.. however, this doesnt mean that there were never any divides within the Palestinian community… there will always be internal strife, no matter where you go.. but all Palestinians who are aware of the Zionists’ actions are suffering under their oppression together..

          Reply to Comment
    8. NIZ

      Pedro X: My family is druze and it is divided between 4 countries (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine/Israel). These were the borders of colonialism of which zionism is an integral part. The Druze were the leaders of the anti-colonial revolution in the levant in general under Sultan Pasha al Atrash, you can check the 1925 revolution against the French. The Druze in mandate palestine are no exception. In fact, they have killed in the revolt the brother of Moshe Dayan during that war. The collapse of the nationalist movement in Damascus and the incapacity of the Arab liberation army to send proper assistance to the Druze of Palestine in 1948, left them in a pressing situation. It was then, that Sultan Pasha al Atrash met with the Druze families of Galilie and he spared them to do what they see fit to preserve their lives and that of their children. They chose to negotiate with the zionists who spared their lives and villages on the condition that the Druze would stand out of the fight. In this sense, the Druze of Palestine took a vow of silence. In exchange for their silence, they get to keep their villages and possessions. However, the Druze leadership in Lebanon took the opposite view. Kamal Jumblat, a Druze and Arab leader in Beirut supported the PLO fully. The Druze were spearheading the left and military camps for Palestinian resistance were constructed in their villages and under their protection. The Druze understand that for survival, it is sometimes required to play the game. Unnecessary fights that could cause huge loss to their community are to be strictly avoided. However, when given the political chance, the Druze understand fully well that for a minority to live on in this region, it has to fulfill its duty by taking the grand causes of its times. The Palestinian cause is one of them. The ashkanazis will eventually leave and the sea of Arabs will sweep over Palestine as Mahmoud Darwich said “as if nothing has happened and as if nothing has happened, a small wound on the arm of the absurd present.” The Druze understand fully the ebb and flow of this region and are wiser than you and your zionist racists might think. We will save ourselves and we will conquer, we will never be traitors to the Arabs to a garrison western state. We regret however, the unfortunate destiny of the Mizrahim, our brother Arabs who paid the heaviest price for some Ashkanazi game of false redemption from the savagery of Europe. When the pieces fly again in the air, the Ashkanazim will leave their summer houses in Yafa and go back to their rich NewYork suburbs. The oriental jews will be left to suffer. The Druze have nothing to gain from the colonial borders that were built at the beginning of this century but checkpoints, and broken families. Pedro, you have the force with you my friend, and you are blinded by it. Our villages from the Shouf mountains of Lebanon to Suwaida in Syria to Azraq in Jordan to the Jaleel mountains in Palestine. They form a square broken into 4 pieces by fascist nationalism. We don’t buy zionism or any of your wretched ideologies.

      Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        @Niz

        Let’s hope the ‘sea of Arabs’ you pray for won’t be a wave of Sunni fundamentalism, because then the Druze will find themselves on their knees and their womenfolk sold into chattel slavery like so many Yazidis.

        Ouch!

        Reply to Comment
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