Druze Escape from Syria to Israel

By present accounts about 1.6 million people have fled from Syria to neighboring Arab countries to escape from the brutal civil and increasingly international war there. Now, unexpectedly, has come a startling request by leaders of the Druze community in the Golan Heights to the prime minister of Israel to allow fellow Druze in Syria to escape to Israel. The relationship between Druze and the State of Israel is complicated. The Druze community in Israel, members of a sect active since the 11th century with a creed known only to insiders, is officially recognized as a separate and independent religious community. Knowledge of their beliefs is restricted though the principle that all Druze are linked with consequent ethnic, religious, and political connotations. Arabic speaking, but not Arab nationalists, this community of about 125,000, living mostly in 22 villages in the Galilee, are Israeli citizens who are loyal to the State of Israel, serve in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF),...(Read Full Post)