Israel's Druse Community at Turning Point

By Gideon Weigert

World Zionist Organization (WZO), Summer 1978

This article describes the current state of the Druse population in Israel. The Druse are an offspring of Islam (in Egypt), in the 11th century. There are today about half-a-million Druse, mainly in Syria, Lebanon and Israel, and some in the U.S. The Druse are known primarily as a mountainous peasant people, who over the centuries learned to adapt themselves so as to maintain their beliefs in the face of an overwhelming, hostile, Moslem majority. In January 1977 the first Druse ex-serviceman to enter Israel's Parliament was sworn in as a Likud faction member. The author argues that today one may reasonably look forward optimistically to a new era in Druse-Jewish relations in Israel. There is renewed hope that the "new deal" recently introduced for this proud people, will bring about solutions for their justified complaints, and enable them to feel that they are equal citizens in the Jewish State - to serve, in fact, as a living example of the brotherhood and understanding the people of Israel can attain with a minority living in their midst.

Topic: Political Behavior, Justice, Community Relations, Ethnicity, Inclusion, Politics

Name of Publication: Forum: on the Jewish People, Zionism, and Israel

Page Number(s): 188-193

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Genre: Article

Coverage: Israel

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Weigert, Gideon. Israel's Druse Community at Turning Point. Forum: on the Jewish People, Zionism, and Israel. World Zionist Organization (WZO). Summer 1978: 188-193.


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