Sunday, January 17, 2016

Very insightful piece about Samir Quntar and the Golan Druze by Nour Samaha, I am briefly cited as well.

Blurred Future
by Nour Samaha, Newsweek Middle East

(...) Who was Kantar and What Was He Doing in Syria?
At the age of 16, Kantar, a Lebanese Druze, was sentenced by an Israeli court to five life terms plus 47 years for his role in a 1979 military operation in the northern Israeli town of Nahariya. He was eventually released in a prisoner exchange deal between Hezbollah and Israel in 2008.  He joined Hezbollah’s ranks soon after.
Following the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011, Kantar was tasked with heading up the Popular Syrian Resistance (PSR), an obscure group that was created in 2013.
Backed by the Syrian government, and supervised and equipped by Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the PSR’s aim was to recruit local Syrians from the southern Quneitra province, near the Golan Heights. The recruits were tasked with carrying out operations against Israeli targets inside the Golan—part of a wider front stretching from Naqoura on Lebanon’s southern coast to the furthest point on the Syrian southern border—alongside Hezbollah and its allies in the war against Israel. (...)
Kantar was a key commander in the PSR, recruiting and training fighters, most of whom were Druze from the Golan area. Enough of a reason for Israel to assassinate him according to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
Israel’s Golan Heights Project (...)
“The majority of residents say they are Syrians and under occupation,” said Tobias Lang, an expert and researcher on minorities in the Middle East with a special focus on the Druze community. “But among the younger Druze, who don’t have direct contact with Syria, it may be different.” (...)
“Since late 2013, Israel has allocated millions of dollars to the Golan infrastructure,” said Lang. “Before that it was provided by the locals themselves, but now the Israelis are investing and it is clear they want to bring the Golan into the fold.”


  1. Hi Tobias,

    Thanks for the great articles from ur blog. Nowadays, the defination of Islam or muslim has changed. They have many types of muslim in the world today. But to recognized a real muslim by their names is Muslim Sunni. Shia, Alevi, Druze, Bahai, Dawoodi Bohra and others not real Muslim. Their religions just appeared after the death of Muhammad. But, they're still declared their also Muslim. It's okay, that's their right.

    But the ulama' in Islam Sunni country has decided, all muslim sunni cannot marry to all women/man from all of this new religion be coz they not Islam sunni. Its forbidden. Islam cannot describe only about the people names, everyday prayer, qoran texts and fasting, it's about faith.

  2. Hi Mat,
    I appreciate your comment but I disagree fundamentally. Who do you consider as Muslim is mostly depending on your standpoint - political and religious. Religiously speaking there are many different opinions, since Islam has no binding authority. E.g. al-Azhar (maybe the closest thing to a binding authority in Sunni Islam) issued a fatwa confirming the belonging of the Shia to the umma. In the 70's Mussa Sadr issued a fatwa declaring the Alawites are Shia Muslims and so on....
    Regarding marriage, as you know I guess, mixed Sunni-Shia families are very common in Lebanon and Iraq. To marry someone from the more heterodox communities can of course be even more delicate for a Sunni but its still far from being unheard of - in history and present times. Its mostly depending on how secular the environment is.