9 thoughts on “Israel’s Ambassador to Norway to Resign Over Sexual Harrassment Allegations – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. “Israeli Druze pride themselves in being distinct from the Palestinian minority and even from the majority Muslim culture among Israels Muslim. They serve willingly in the IDF and use such service as an entry into majority Jewish society”
    This reflects the Israeli hasbara point of view. Reality is much more complex. I don’t know where to start….. so I’ll post some links about the Druze community in Israel:
    – Growing number of Druze refuse to serve in Israel’s army
    – “Israel tried to brainwash us’ says Druze pioneer who refused army service.
    These articles are in this list on the Omar Sa’ad-case, the young Druze musician from the Galilee who’s become a symbol of Druze resistance to conscription. Omar Sa’ad sent an open letter to Bibi last spring telling that he refused to serve in the Israeli army and that he grew up identifying as a Palestinian. Saad was imprisoned in December
    A few facts: compulsory military service was imposed upon the Druze community in 1956 through an ‘agreement’ between the State and some Druze religious leaders in opposition to the general Druze opinion (cf. one of the articles).
    According to a Haifa University study (2010), two-third of the young Druze would not serve in the military if it wasn’t compulsory.
    At any given time there are three or four Druze refusers in prison (and they are punished harsher than the Jewish citizens)
    972mag also has numerous articles on the Druze (embedded in the articles about Omar Sa’ad) and an interview with Omar Sa’ad
    One of the most famous Palestinian poets is Samih al-Qâsim (living in Haifa): he’s a Druze and has been to prison several times for refusing army service.
    In August, Omar Sa’ad and his two brothers, Mustafa and Ghandi, participated in a concert at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Palestinian Strings with Nigel Kennedy. Here 15 years-old Mustafa playing Vivaldi wearing the keffiyeh

    1. I understand that there are emerging ideas in the Druze community that compete with the previous consensus. I welcome that. But I was trying to explain what I believed was the majority view was of these matters. Not endorsing it.

      1. I know you’re not endorsing it, Richard 🙂
        In fact, it seems that the Druze oppostion to conscription has always been important, but that the Druze community – as a minority within the Arab minoirty – has always been very quiet about this, the religious leaders asking the young refuzniks to go to jail but keep silent. As elsewhere in the Middle East the Druze have a long history of ‘staying neutral’ or ‘adapting’.
        And with the hasbara presenting the Druze as a pro-Zionist community exemplified by high-profile members as Ayoub Kara, it’s easy to fall into the propaganda trap.
        In some of the articles that I mentioned there are interviews with Omar Sa’ad’s father and a former Druze member of the Knesset for Balad, Said Nafa, who both give some historical background.

  2. Sir, has the recall of an unnamed diplomat been confirmed by the foreign ministry? I am a Norwegian journalist and i would like to follow up on this, but I cannot find any references to the matter on English versions of Israeli news outlets.

  3. It is substantial to clarify that Araidi does represent the Druze community in the foreign ministry, nor his views represent the majority. Most Druze oppose the right wing nationalistic position expressed by Araidi and his patron, Liberman. Araidi is reminds me of Milton’s Faust, who sold his soul to the devil, in exchange for “pleasure”. This is an opportunistic personal position that has nothing to do with supporting a nationalistic policies of the foreign minister and his government.
    I suggest that you meet Druze intellectuals to learn more about the real positions in the community.

    1. @ Prof. Jamal: Thanks for correcting my misimpressions. I didn’t mean to say that Araidi represented all Druze or their political beliefs. I’m sorry if I conveyed that impression. I would love to do that someday if I can get to Israel.

  4. I can’t speak for the numbers or about this specific situation, but I do know that there are people of all ethnicities, religions & political inclinations (et cetera) who abuse their power. Some of them have no lack of training or experience in their professions.
    I am glad this news is being picked up….

  5. I wonder why you did pick this issue to write about. Not that it is not an important subject, it is, but I can not escape the feeling that you could not have made the point you wanted to make without misrepresenting us, the Druze minority. You could have done it differently with all due respect, but it seems that you where eager somewhat and rushed it.

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