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Monday, October 1, 2007

Helping Druze Zionists and other Loyal Minorities in Israel

What it's about:
Druse leaders blasted on Sunday the "peripheral minority of the [Druse] community" who have recently visited Syria and who warned of an upcoming "Druse intifada."

"These statements come to turn back the clock on the tremendous advances made in the integration of the Druse into public service, and to harm the Jewish-Druse covenant of life that we have been building for many years," wrote Nabia Nasser Adin,head of the Forum of Druse and Circassian Mayors, Yusef Nasser Adin, the chairman of the Druse Zionist Movement in Israel and Moshe Ben-Atar, the director of the Israel Zionist Council, which works with Israel's Druse communities on issues of Zionist identity and integration.
This same loyal majority also opposed the "vision" statements of the Arab leaders, which essentially called for abolishing the Jewish state.This trip to Syria was a trip to visit Druze holy places there. In early September, 330 Druse religious leaders led by Druse MK Sa'id Nafa (Balad) went on a tour of Druse religious sites in Syria. Of course, one could understand that the real purpose of any trip organized by the Balad party wasn't  related to religion, but it is really difficult to oppose such requests. Perhaps Israel should be encouraging visits by Syrian Druze to Israel. Loyal Druze are complaining about the attitude of the Israeli government:
In the immediate aftermath of the visit, Deputy Knesset Chairman Majalie Whbee of Kadima called it a "trip of flattery to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, initiated by members of the school of [former MK] Azmi Bishara," and said it "represents only the extremist margin groups and not the mainstream Druse population of Israel."

According to Whbee, the trip was "another sign" that the state of Israel "sticks its head in the sand and is not doing enough to halt subversive actions perpetrated under the auspices of [extreme left-wing Arab party] Balad and its leaders."
Israel indeed should be rewarding its loyal minority citizens and giving them a place of honor in Israeli society. Minority members such as  Ismail Khaldi, and Azzam Azzam are excellent spokespersons for Israel. Druze and Bedouin soldiers have given their lives to defend their country. It is unfortunate that the antics of people like Azmi Bishara and Sa'id Nafa get much more publicity, and doubly unfortunate that too many non-government organizations are willing to give credence and support to these people, rather than working with those who support Israel. The result is that de-facto, Israel is rewarding its enemies and punishing its friends.
Ami Isseroff

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