Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
 
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

photo of Moshav Korazim with the Golan Heights in the background
photo by Rhonda Spivak


Kinneret and Golan heights in the background
photo by Rhonda Spvak

 
A Point to Make at IAW: Number of Golan Heights Druze seeking Israeli citizenship is on the Rise

Many young Druze now consider their best option is to become Israeli

by Rhonda Spivak, October 23, 2012

Something interesting has been happening in the Golan Heights  in the last few months which pro-Israel advocates on campus ought to point ought when detracters launch Israel Apartheid Week on campuses throughout North America, as they no doubt will in March 2013.  

Afer more than a year and a half of  the raging civil war in Syria, Druze residents of the Golan Heights, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six day War, are flocking to the Israeli Interior Ministry by the dozens to request Israeli citizenship.

This trend currently going on in the Golan, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six day War, has been reported in the Times of Israel and Ma'ariv.

Israeli law was extended to the Golan Heightsin 1981 but up until recently of the 20,000 Druze residing in the main villages of Majdal Shams, Mas’ade, Buq’ata, and Ein Qiniyye, only a few hundred have accepted Israeli citizenship. Traditionally,Druze have openly sworn allegiance to Syria and as such very few requested Israeli citizenship.

However,  according to Israeli government statistics provided by Israel's Population, Immigration, and Border Administration, cited by the Hebrew newspaper Ma'ariv, in recent months, citizenship requests from Golan Height's Druze "have spiked several hundredfold."

As the Times of Israel reports "most of the recent applications have been filed by Druze youths, "whose connection to Syria is generations distant, and whose perception of it has been marred by the bloody civil war."

Young Druze are coming to the conclusion that they would rather be citizens of Israel than Syria- a country which kills its citizens, and where ongoing upheaval and instability is likely to continue for the forseable future. . Like Bashar Assad’s Alawites, the Druze are an empowered minority in Syria that are protected by the Assad regime.However, in the event that Assad falls (as appears more likely with the passage of time) this develpoment may not al all be positive for  the Golan Heights Druze.

“Now the [Golan Heights Druze] residents internalize that the Assad regime will not last long, and understand that there is no longer any cause for them to return to Syria,” one Buq’ata resident told Ma'ariv.

“I believe this trend will only increase,” a Mas’ade resident who holds Israeli citizenship told Ma'ariv. “More and more people comprehend that this [Israel] is a well-managed country and it’s possible to live and raise children here. It is preferable to turning into refugees in another country.”

“In Syria there is mass murder, and if [the Druze are] under Syrian control they would likely be turned into the victims of these atrocities. People see murdered children and refugees fleeing to Jordan and Turkey, lacking everything, and ask themselves: Where do I want to raise my children. The answer is clear — in Israel and not Syria.”

Thus, if this trend continues, it will become increasingly clear that Israel ought not to be viewed as an "occupier" of the Golan Heights, when in fact more and more Druze of the area do not wish to be re-occupied by Syria, [or whatever comes after when Assad is deposed.]

Supporters of IAW no doubt will favour a  boycott of  Israeli settlement pruducts produced over the 1967 Green line.  But this position is at odds with the emerging reality on the ground which is that more and more the Golan Heights Druze want to be part of Israel, such that it becomes difficult to come up with a reason [let alone a compelling reason] to boycott goods produced by Jewish communities in the Golan.

Historically, Druze have been persecuted by Muslim rulers in Syria and Lebanon — both Shiite and Sunni — since the religion’s inception in the 11th century.ones. The philosophy of the faith has generally been to display loyalty to the nation in which they live. Many Israeli Druze — those who do not live in the Golan — serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

 

 

 

 
<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • Jewish Child & Family Service
  • Winter's Collision Centre
  • Bernstein's Deli
  • Jewish Foundation of Manitoba
  • Curtis Carpets
  • Kathy Taylor-Hallick
  • Dr. Gary Levine
  • Heather Stefanson
  • Marjorie & Morley Blankstein
  • International Cellars Inc.
  • Christine Melnick
  • Frank Goldberg
  • Joyce Rykiss
  • Royal Winnipeg Ballet
  • The Morantz Family
  • Great Promo
  • Paula Havixbeck
  • Kromar Printing
  • Lorne Weiss
  • Allure by Norma
  • Bob Silver & Family
  • Active Key & Lock Ltd.
  • Glen J. Sytnyk
  • Aactive Accounting
  • Total Lighting Sales
  • Saper Agencies Ltd.
  • Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson LLP
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Nikos Restaurant
  • Hub Insurance
  • Gislason Targownik Peters
  • Western Scrap Metals Inc.
  • Winnipeg Drapery
  • Fetching Style
  • Saul B. Simmonds
  • Peerless Garments
  • Broadway Law Group
  • John Orlikow
  • Bramer Automotive Centre
  • Thorvaldson Care Centre
  • Imperial Soap
  • Paradise Restaurant
  • Rosemarie Peart
  • Logistics
  • Ideal Electric
  • Stafford Dental Group
  • Tuxedo Village Family Restaurant
  • Maxa & Cliff Chisick, Laura & Josh, Baillie & Dan
  • Arnold and Myrna Frieman
  • Sid & Esther Halpern
  • Bernie Lofchick
  • Danita & Michel Aziza and family
  • David Matas
  • Astroid Management Limited
  • City Bread
  • Seekville Inc. Land Development
  • Rings and Things
  • MidWest Professional Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
  • McNeill Media
  • A Flower Affair
  • Nachum Bedein
  • Saul & Claribel Simkin Centre
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.