imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Israel's state-Druze rift

by ISN Security Watch Sunday, Nov. 18, 2007 at 11:56 AM

Israeli Druze close association with the state is increasingly under threat with violent scenes in a Galilee village and protests over land confiscations.

16 November 2007

By Dominic Moran in Tel Aviv for ISN Security Watch (16/11/07)

A botched police raid in the predominantly Druze village of Peki'in has exposed a growing rift between Israel's Druze and the state, with potentially wide-ranging repercussions.

Israel's 118,000-strong Druze community lives largely in small villages and towns in the Galilee and constitutes a 2-percent minority within the wider Israeli population and 8.3 percent of the Arab-Israeli population, according to the latest government figures.

The Druze religion emerged as a reform movement within Ismaili Islam in 11th century Fatimid Cairo, holding to seven principles of faith - rather than the five pillars of Islam - and a belief in reincarnation. Adherents currently constitute significant minorities in Syria, Lebanon and northern Israel.

Professor Kais Firro, an expert on the Druze community at Haifa University, told ISN Security Watch, "From 1948 the Israeli authorities tried to separate the Druze from the Arab community," imposing conscription in 1956.

These efforts included the separation of Druze and Arab-Israeli institutions, the establishment of a separate education system for Druze and "changing their identity card nationality from 'Arab' to 'Druze.' And this process continues until now," he said.

Incorporation

Alongside the ongoing efforts to drive a wedge between Druze and other Arab communities, persistent efforts have been made to draw the Druze into the national security structure and Zionist political sphere, with some success.

"We can find that about 25 percent [of Druze] employees are employed in the military services, the police and other security institutions," Firro said. "Among the Jewish population [the figure is] about 10 or 12 percent."

"The Druze opposition to the [conscription] law was very, very high," he explained, "but the Israelis imposed it by force. And then the Druze recognized the fait accompli."

Despite this "till now we can find some people who reject military conscription but, you know, the whole of the community wants to live and to build their salary and therefore the Druze integrated into the Israeli security forces," Firro said.

With Negev Bedouin increasingly unwilling to allow their sons to enter the military, the Druze now constitute the sole major Arab presence in the Israeli security services. Due to their command of Arabic, Druze soldiers play a key role in combat units in the West Bank and Gaza and in Israel's northern police district.

The Druze have traditionally provided significant support in national elections to both the Labor and Likud parties, though Firro cautions against generalizing with regard to political affiliation.

While these political ties have largely held through the gradual but progressive transition in Israeli-Arab identity politics towards greater symbolic association with the Palestinians, there have been signs in recent months of a significant developing rift.

Referring to Kadima, Labor and the Likud, the head of the Peki'in council, Mohammed Khir, told ISN Security Watch, "It is assured that the Druze will vote much less for the big parties. People [Druze] inside and outside Peki'in no longer believe in the big parties that just talk and do nothing."

Land confiscations

Druze communities continue to suffer from established institutional discrimination against Arab communities in official planning, non-security civil service employment, permits and resource allocation.

This problem is recognized by the government and is at the heart of the current debate on the role of the Jewish National Fund in land management.

There are indications that Druze patience has come to an end. A battle is brewing near Haifa between the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) and residents of Daliyat al-Carmel-Issifiya over the status of surrounding forests. This struggle reached new heights this summer in a series of arson attacks, the blocking of roads with logs and INPA equipment confiscations and allegations of illegal logging.

The authorities "wanted to annex some of the private lands of the Druze to this part of the Carmel," Firro explained. "The relationship now is very, very bad between the population of Daliyat al-Carmel-Issifiya and the authorities […] You can find local committees that have begun to be organized by the Druze in order to stop this policy."

In comments carried by Haaretz, the chair of the Protection of Carmel Lands association, Fahmi Halabi, warned: "The INPA people, who mean to take the last pound of flesh that the people have, are the enemy. We recommend that they not enter the city."

Golan settlement expansion

Around 20,000 residents of four Druze villages in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights are entitled to permanent residency in Israel, although many retain Syrian citizenship or identification, refusing to recognize the unilateral 1981 Israeli annexation of the territory.

This community maintains greatly reduced links with their extended families in Syria, with many tertiary students traveling to Syria for their studies. However, cross-border marriages and traditional socio-economic ties have been sharply attenuated by the Israeli occupation and resultant armed standoff.

Successive Israeli governments have chosen to focus settlement building activities elsewhere, but a turning point appears to have been reached with the 2005 Gaza evacuations and 2006 Lebanon War. Recent efforts have been made to double the circa 20,000-strong Jewish population of the Heights within the next decade.

In the wake of the Lebanon War, Jewish settlement leaders launched a US0,000 advertising campaign to lure Jews to the Heights. Around 400 Jewish families are moving to the Golan each year, according to the Washington Post.

The presence and expansion of Israeli settlements on the Golan is adamantly opposed by local Druze leaders but has largely been ignored by the Israeli media and peace movements.

The Battle for Peki'in

The recent sharp escalation in tensions between the state and Druze reached new heights recently with disturbances in Peki'in. Over 30 were injured in a day of rioting, including several police officers and three villagers shot with live rounds.

The disturbances flared after a large police force entered the village in the early hours of 30 October in response to the burning of a cellular phone tower situated at a nearby residence in Jewish New Peki'in. Druze villagers had repeatedly asked the owner to remove the tower, linking its presence to high cancer rates.

Subsequent footage showing hooded men trashing property at a Jewish residence - seemingly after the police withdrawal - inflamed racial tensions and led to comparisons in the Israeli press with the 2000 race riots in the north.

"Peki'in was one of the worst event in the state [history]; policemen are coming to arrest 12 kids at 3.30am […] for breaking an antenna," Khir said. They used teargas and stun grenades. People that woke up and went outside to see what's going on got beaten up and kicked by the police," he said.

The botched police raid led to calls from Arab legislators for the sacking of the district police chief. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert moved quickly to consult with Druze leaders and police commanders in a bid to prevent a fresh outbreak of violence. However, his government has ruled out an official state inquiry to supplement an ongoing police probe.

Jewish resident Ilan Schecter, whose family has lived in the village for centuries, told ISN Security Watch that the police should have called the heads of the Druze community demanding they hand over the arsonists: "They [police] could have solved it like this but they didn't want to, they wanted to solve it by force. Pity."

Ulterior motives

It is gradually coming to light that the Peki'in riot had a more disturbing undercurrent that could signal a new trend in Jewish settlement patterns in the Galilee, provoking a major spike in racial tensions.

Druze blame the recent strife on several new Jewish residents, who have allegedly settled in Peki'in with an aggressive right wing agenda.

Haaretz reported Thursday that two right-wing Jewish groups with close ties to the West Bank settlement movement had been buying properties adjacent to the ancient synagogue in the heart of the village with an eye to inserting a hard-line Jewish presence.

The settler organizations were identified by the Hebrew daily as the Lower Galilee Association and Peki'in Forever. The former purportedly has ties to legislator Moshe Feiglin, a settler activist whose Jewish Leadership faction has emerged as a far-right competitor to the Likud leadership in internal party elections.

Relating to the newcomers, Schecter said, "They came with a different mentality, with a different culture […] Unfortunately they used to walk around and talk about the need to free Peki'in."

"It made the locals very unhappy: 'They are coming to our place, what have we done for them to come here and treat us like that,'" Schecter explained.

He added that the new Jewish residents were also riding roughshod over the village's small established Jewish community, seeking control of the ancient synagogue: "They did it to me and I am from their own people. They wanted to take control of the property of the old Jewish community," he said.

"They want the Jewish property and even the spring in the center of the village. This always belonged to Peki'in and suddenly they want to make it part of the Jewish property," Khir added.

The Lower Galilee Association has allegedly paid up to five times the true value of the four properties to secure ownership, repeating a tactic honed by settlement groups in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

A researcher who has been conducting interviews with residents of the village from all sides, and asked that his identity be protected, revealed to ISN Security Watch that two of four houses purchased by the two associations from Christian owners were burnt by Druze after they had driven police from the village.

Villagers report that rising tensions in the village had been punctuated by a series of stun grenade attacks on Jewish residences.

A Lower Galilee Association activist burnt out in the riots related to Haaretz that he had hosted tourists and a small youth group from the far-right Kfar Tapuach settlement in his house, accusing villagers of instigating a pogrom.

A radical Jewish youth who was lynched after murdering four Arab-Israelis on a bus in nearby Shfaram in August 2005 stayed in Tapuach before his attack.

With the government openly backing efforts to bolster the Jewish population of the Galilee and Negev, similar clashes in predominantly Arab-Israeli towns and villages in the north appear inevitable and are likely to be exacerbated by any future withdrawals from West Bank settlements.

The unequivocal backing given Peki'in residents by Druze leaders, and questions raised concerning the community's commitment to military and police service following the riot are clear signs that the state-Druze relationship is increasingly at risk.

"The trust was damaged because of the bad treatment of the government and authorities," Khir said, adding, "The situation is boiling, but it is as if we are living in a different country."

Asked if fewer Druze would now go to the army, Khir said, "I'm certain of it."

"We established the State of Israel alongside the Jews. What happened? Only 60 years have passed and the Jews already want to betray the Druze.

Efforts to contact members of the two Jewish associations active in Peki'in were unsuccessful.

Dr Dominic Moran, based in Tel Aviv, is ISN Security Watch's senior correspondent in the Middle East and the Director of Operations of ISA Consulting.

http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?id=18363

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy