Other voices

A few days ago, my oldest friend of 65 years in Rishon Lezion took me to task for my constant support of our Druze minority. He tells me that I am unrealistic, that not all the Druze are as fond of Israel as I have described them. He reminds me that he worked with many Druze for several years at the Dead Sea and often heard some of them complaining about Israel.

So another voice has been heard! I still stick to my original praise and support of the Druze. The fact remains that no Druze hand was ever lifted up against a Jew since the beginning of the Druze religion in the 10th century.

Descended from their prophet Yitro, (Nebi Shueib), father-in-law of Moses, they have always been devoted to the Jews whom they call their spiritual brothers.

I support them one hundred percent in their claims against our new and discriminating Nation-State law which, according to the entire Druze population, appears to classify them now as second-class citizens. So do they believe to be true.

They reject Bibi Netanyahu’s offer to build new housing, new infrastructures for their towns and villages. They are not seeking financial benefits used as bribes to calm them. As one Druze leader said this week, “the only thing we request (demand) is that the one word “equality” for all the minority populations be added to the new law”. Is one word too much to ask for?

Is there any group of people among us, including some Jews, who have been more faithful, loyal, and dedicated to the State of Israel than the Druze who serve valiantly in our IDF. Thousands of them have given their lives for the Jewish State. On fields of battle, Druze blood soaks into the soil.

My friend’s comment about hearing a few of his work partners complain about us is not valid. One or two individuals do not comprise a community of 150,000 loyal citizens.

Other voices have also been heard. The Arabs vocally complain about discrimination in Israel. I am not sympathetic to them. They do not serve in our military, they do not provide workers for our civil services, and they show more loyalty to our Palestinian enemies than they do to the land in which they were born.

Basically, most of our Arab citizens are fifth-columnists who would not hesitate to destroy us if they had the opportunity.

A recent protest march by thousands of Israeli Arab citizens in Rabin Square in Tel-Aviv, showed many of them holding high the flag of the Palestinian Authority, a poignant sign of their dis-loyalty to Israel.

There is, however, only one of their many grievances which I accept. That is the elimination of the Arabic language as one of the three historically official languages in Palestine since 1918. There was no valid reason to demote Arabic to a special status. It was purposely done by our government to humiliate the Arab population by throwing gasoline into the already hot fires. It was not the Jewish thing to do.

Surprisingly, with both Druze and Arab protest marches, we have heard nothing from our third minority population, the Circassians, of whom I know very little. But there is absolutely no doubt of their loyalty to the State of Israel. They serve in our army with pride.

They fought on the side of the Jews in the 1948 war and demonstrated their loyalty and love for the Jewish State which had always treated them as equal citizens. Why they have maintained silence, I do not understand.

Other voices, when speaking of the right of equality for Druze and Arabs, are not heard in defense of the Circassians among us.

Our government, led by our very stubborn and autocratic prime minister, need to examine their hearts and souls before the advent of Rosh Hashanah. They must correct the errors by including the word “equality” for all Jewish and non-Jewish citizens.

I have never felt shame in being an Israeli citizen until now. I wonder how many would protest with me in support of our non-Jewish citizens? Other voices need to be loud in order to be heard by those who govern.

It is the right thing to do. Because it is the Jewish thing to do!

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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