Saturday, June 23, 2012

Druze on the Golan are now asking for Israeli citizenship

Some real news, highlighted by Elder of Ziyon - "The protest against Assad: The Druze on the Golan are asking for Israeli citizenship." The story is from Israel's Channel 2 news of June 21, 2012 (for the Hebrew, go to: חדשות 2 - המחאה נגד אסד: הדרוזים בגולן מבקשים אזרחות ישראלית). My translation follows:
The thirty-year old ban that the Druze majority on the Golan imposed on the residents of the villages that agreed to receive Israeli citizenship - has ended. In opposition to Assad's regime, and in order to show that it no longer rules over the villages on the Golan, the leaders of the community lifted the ban imposed on those who accepted Israeli citizenship.
... Thirty years after the Knesset decided to grant Israeli citizenships to the residents of the Golan, the ban has ended which the leaders of the community decreed against the residents who agreed to accept Israeli citizenship.
In contrast with the Druze who live in other parts of Israel, the Druze on the Golan see themselves first of all as citizens who are loyal to Syria. Therefore, the Druze sheikhs decided to place a ban on anyone who accepted Israeli citizenship - their families were shunned, they could not marry their children, and they were not honored at funerals of their loved ones.
Senior officials in Israel tried for years to put pressure on the Druze sheikhs to change their policy without any success. It took events occurring over the border, in Syria, to bring a change. In defiance of Assad's regime, Druze on the Golan are now asking to take advantage of the right that was given to them by the law and to add Israeli citizenship. This step has been taken, among other reasons, to show Assad that he does not rule any longer over the Druze villages on the Golan.
This is really a major step. There remain close ties between the Golan and the Syrian Druze, and the Golan Druze have not wanted to seek Israeli citizenship in order to ensure that those ties continue. They have also done so out of the consciousness that if they accepted Israeli citizenship, and the Golan went back to Syrian rule, they would be regarded as traitors and treated accordingly.

My first thought is - if this is how the Druze on the Golan feel - why should the Golan ever go back to Syria?

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