As of 2019, 143,000 Druze were living in pre-1967 Israel and the Golan Heights. That is the third-largest Druze population in the world after Syria and Lebanon (2017). Israel’s Druze speak Arabic and identify themselves as a separate, Arab-related ethnic group. Many speak Hebrew as well — and unlike other Arabs in Israel, they serve in the IDF. In fact, Druze have attained a number of very high-level positions in the army.
Those living in pre-1967 Israel profess loyalty to the country, while those living in the Golan Heights — which was captured from Syria in the Six-Day War — do not. The Druze practice their own unique and highly secretive religion. They do not accept converts; the only way to be part of the Druze community is to be born into it.
Israeli Druze were adamantly opposed to the country’s 2018 Jewish Nation-State Law and complain they are not treated as first-class citizens in many aspects of life.
Quote: “The Druze place heavy emphasis on philosophy and spiritual purity. Nearly all Druze (99%) believe in God, including 84% who say they are absolutely certain in their belief. But there are no set holy days, regular liturgy or obligations for pilgrimage, as Druze are meant to be connected with God at all times… Druze tradition also honors several ‘mentors’ and ‘prophets,’ including Jethro of Midian (Moses’ father-in-law), Moses, Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Prophet Muhammad.”
Sources: Wikipedia, pewresearch.com
Learn more about the Druze of Israel on Wikipedia. >>
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