Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I'm cited in a report about the Druze in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights featured on Qantara.de, the great online magazine run by Germany's international broadcaster.

Squeezed between occupation and civil war 
Ylenia Gostoli, Qantara.de
(...)Apart from the protest mentioned above, however, most Golanese Druze have distanced themselves from the position of their co-religionists inside Israel.
"Over the last decades, the relationships between the Druze in Israel and those in the Golan has been very cold and distant," said Tobias Lang, a political scientist who wrote a book about the Druze minority (...) "The majority of the Druze in Israel serve in the army and accepted a particularistic Israeli-Druze identity, whilst Golani Druze stayed loyal to the motherland."
"We don't share most of their demands," said Salman Fakhr Edeen, a resident and researcher at a local human rights NGO. "I myself am against the war. To increase killing on the other side, that's not a peaceful position. We are talking about our families, our people."
"It's cynical to talk about economic issues when you compare it to the lives lost," adds Fakhr Edeen, "but it's true that we [in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights] had a lot of benefits from Syrian government, and the regime is losing its influence."
For many years, 400 to 500 young people from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights would cross into Syria to attend university there, encouraged by the fact that there were no fees and that the Syrian government even provided a small monthly stipend. Security concerns have now left students with two choices: enrolling at universities in Israel or going abroad.(...)

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