A recent poll conducted by the University of Haifa has revealed that the number of Druze refusing to serve in the Israeli army is increasing. It also showed that a growing number of Israeli youth prefer being jailed instead of military service.
Only 36 per cent of the youth who took part in the poll supported obligatory recruitment, while 47 per cent believed military service should be voluntary. 17 per cent believed the current conscription policy should be revoked.
According to the poll, 47 per cent of Druze said there is no difference between them and other Arabs, while 27 per cent claimed their situation is worse than the Arabs in Israel. Moreover, 83 per cent said that their life is worse than the Jews in Israel despite their military service.
90 per cent of Druze polled said they held negative views towards the Israeli establishment because they suffer land confiscation and geographic siege similar to other Arabs. About 75 per cent of them said their negative feelings were because of high rates of unemployment in their community compared to the relatively low rate of unemployment among Jews in Israel.
This latest poll by the University of Haifa affirms the findings of similar surveys; that the rate of recruitment in the Israeli army has sharply declined. While some placed the rate at less than 50 per cent, other found it to be below 48 per cent.
The issue of recruitment of Palestinian Druze into the Israeli military has become a major public debate after the popular youth musician, Omar Sa'ed, publicly declared that he preferred spending time in prison rather than serving in the Israeli army.
Another youth from Druze community issued a public statement explaining the reason for his refusal to in the Israeli army: "Because I am Palestinian, my morals and conscience do not allow me to serve in the Israeli occupation," Orwa Ghalib said in his statement.
Source: Al Ghad