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Israeli Druze

In this video, Chloé in her many personas educates viewers about the little-known Druze population in Israel. Israel is home to a sizeable Druze community that is extremely loyal to the state and has high rates of military service. Their religion is a secretive one and the community is very close-knit. Watch this video and use the prompts below to learn about Israeli diversity, national loyalty, and multiculturalism.

  • Review
  • Discussion
  • Reflection
  • Further Learning
  1. How big is the Druze community in Israel?
    • 80,000
    • 100,000
    • 130,000
    • 200,000
  2. For the Druze religion, who is the most significant prophet?
    • Moses
    • Jethro
    • Mohammed
    • Abraham
  3. True or false? Most Israeli Druze men serve in the IDF.
  4. What type of pact do the Druze have with Israel?
    • Spirit-pact
    • War-pact
    • Peace-pact
    • Blood-pact
  5. True or false? Druze religious beliefs are secret and closely guarded by their religious leaders.

 

  1. Israel is made up of several groups: Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bedouins, Circassians, Bahai and more. What are some of the challenges of being both a multicultural country and a uniquely Jewish state, and what are some of the opportunities? Split your class into pairs for a Think-Pair-Share.
  2. Explain the difference between a society of cultural pluralism and a melting pot. Discuss with your students which model they believe benefits a broader society most? Have your students come up with real-life examples from other countries and communities.
  3. What ultimately drives loyalty? Religion, patriotism, family ties or community obligations? Post a piece of paper with each respective word on a different wall in your room and have your students stand closest to the word that they agree with and explain why they feel that way.
  4. In an area of the world with regional conflicts and changing borders, what issues can arise for a group that is always fiercely loyal to the country that they reside in? Discuss.
  5. Divide your class into small groups of 2-3 and have them read the Nation-State law. Have them read the law from the perspective of both Israeli Jews and the Israeli Druze community. How does it make you feel? Is there anything you would change in it? Why or why not? Have them share their thoughts and findings with the class.
  6. The Druze community living in the Golan Heights has a more complicated political identity than the rest of Israel’s Druze, as until the Six-Day War, the Druze of the Golan Heights were loyal citizens of Syria. Read the following article about their current situation and how American Foreign Policy decisions affect it. Ask your students to write two questions each that they have about the Druze of the Golan Heights and then discuss as a group.

 

  1. In your life, where do YOUR strongest loyalties lie? To your country, religion, family, community, or nation? Students can journal their responses and share if they feel comfortable.
  2. Why were many in the Israeli Druze community offended by the passage of the Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People Basic Law? How would you feel if you were a member of a loyal minority group and your country passed such a law?
  3. Why does Israeli diversity matter according to this video? Why does it matter (or not matter) to you?
  4. What can we stand to learn from the Druze loyalty to their country despite some disagreements they have with its policies?
  5. What do you think is the best way for Israel to remain a uniquely Jewish state but still be inclusive and empowering toward all of its inhabitants?

 

  1. Dr. Naim Aridi, “The Druze in Israel” https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFA-Archive/2002/Pages/Focus%20on%20Israel-%20The%20Druze%20in%20Israel.aspx
  2. Rachael Gelfman Schultz, “Druze in Israel: Insiders and Outsiders” https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/druze-in-israel/
  3. Anna Ahronheim, “Bereaved Druze Families to the ‘Post’: They Stabbed Us in the Back” https://m.jpost.com/Israel-News/Bereaved-Druze-families-to-the-Post-They-stabbed-us-in-the-back-564102/amp?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&__twitter_impression=true
  4. Dr. Susan Hattis Rolef, Translation of Israel’s Nation-State Law https://knesset.gov.il/laws/special/eng/BasicLawNationState.pdf
  5. Adam Rasgon, “First Druze woman in Knesset: I’m here to represent all Arab Israelis” https://www.timesofisrael.com/first-druze-woman-in-knesset-im-here-to-represent-all-arab-israelis/
  6. i24NEWS English, “Inside the New Generation of Druze in Israel’s North, Majdal Shams” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqUwoUiBRsU

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