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Israel army: concern about diminishing military service among Druze

August 1, 2018 at 12:12 am

Graffiti saying Welcome to Apartheid Street, following the adoption of Israel’s Nation State Law, 27 July 2018 [Twitter]

Israeli military sources expressed on about the increase in the number of Druze and Circassians who are refusing to serve in the Military, Tuesday. These refusals are in protest against the Nation-State Law, passed recently by the Knesset.

A new Druze officer joined the campaign to refuse military service recently. The officer, Shadi Zeidan, 23, is a deputy company commander in a combat unit announced his intention to quit military service in protest on Facebook:

I’m a citizen like everyone and gave my all to the state … And in the end, I wind up a second-class citizen… I’m not prepared to be a part of this. I’m also joining the struggle, I’ve decided to stop serving this country

Zeidan went on:

Until today I stood in front of the state flag proudly and saluted it. Until today I sang the Hatikvah national anthem because I was certain this was my country and that I’m equal to everyone. But today, today I refused for the first time in my service to salute the flag, I refused for the first time to sing the national anthem.

Another officer announced that he had ended his military service in the Israeli army in response to the new Israeli National-State Law just days ago.

On Sunday, Captain Amir Jamal published an open letter to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on his Facebook page:

This morning, when I woke up to drive to the [army] base, I asked myself, why? Why do I have to serve the State of Israel, a state that my two brothers, my father and I have served with dedication, a sense of mission and a love of the homeland, and, in the end, what do we get? To be second-class citizens. Continue serving the country? I do not want to continue and I am sure that hundreds more people will stop serving and will be discharged from the army following your decision, Netanyahu, that of you and your government.

Finally, Jamal called on others to renounce military service for Israel:

I ask everyone who is against the nation-state law to share and share my proposal to community leaders to stop the conscription law for members of the Druze community.

The army spokesman said the soldiers were not allowed to express their political positions publicly and said that army would investigate.

The Druze community strongly opposed the Israeli National State Law, which classified Israel as a Jewish state and did not give any status to the Druze sect whose members have served in the army since 1948.

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