Despite fighting the war in Lebanon since day 1 of the war until day 33 of the war, the all-Druse battalion, Herev, emerged from the fighting with all of its soldiers safe and sound. Their commander attributes this success, humbly, the the battalion’s ongoing presence in the North while other Israeli battalions became heavily embroiled with the Palestinians. He also claims great familiarity with terrain in Lebanon since this has been the battalion’s primary area of conflict for many years. This is quite an achievement and notable that this is an Arab-Israeli group of fighters. Apparently the IDF may reward their success by elevating their status to equal that of other elite combat units.

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themiddle

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  • Druze are NOT arab-israelis. They are not arabs. They do not refer to themselves as Arabs, and hate being referred to as such. Out of respect for the wishes of this group of non-Jews who put their lives on the line, in the front, shoulder-to-shoulder with their non-Jewish brethren, this entry should be corrected,

  • None of the Druze I have known (in and out of the army) have ever called themselves Arabs. They would take offense at being called such and not referred to as what they are – Druze. I’ll chalk up your mistake to New Immigrant ignorance. Try not to do it again – there are great Druze out there protecting Israel.

  • According to Wikipedia “Most Druze consider themselves Arabs.”

    [1] Al-Maðhab at-Tawḥīdī ad-Durzī p. 66 by Najib Israwi, cited in Samy Swayd 1998, The Druzes: An Annotated Bibliography, ISBN 0-9662932-0-7

  • The Druze religion started in Egypt and as they speak Arabic they are, by basic definition Arabs. But the definition isn’t relevant for the Israeli Druze. The Druze philosophy calls for assimilation – as a matter of survival – and loyalty to the country they live in. How much different does that make them from Diaspora Jews?

    Also the Druze, while Islamic, have historically been attacked by mainstream Islam. Groups tend to identify with groups more based on values than history. Many in past generations of my family, because of the persecution they received at the hands of non-Jewish Poles, refused to call themselves Polish, preferring to claim they were Austrian (at one time Austria controlled the area of Poland they were from).

    Not only are the Druze traditionally great soldiers and consistently proven to be one of the most loyal groups of Israelis, they are also an imporant bridge for Israel to the Lebanese Druze – a more important fact now than ever.

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