More Druze refuseniks despite Israel threats
Despite the repeated threats and actual punishments against Arab Druze refuseniks in Israel, more Druze young are rejecting military service in the Israel army and confirmed their belonging to their Arab nationality, and to the Palestinian people.
The youth are rejecting to be part of an army which is occupying Palestine and Arab territories, and reject to be part of the killings and assaults carried by this army.
Waleed Ja’far, one of the Druze refuseniks said that the youth do not want to be related to this army “which is killing and conducting terrorist attacks against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories”, and added that he was arrested and imprisoned two times for rejecting the military service.
“Even if I spend my whole life in prison, I will not be a soldier who carries a gun against his own people”, Ja’far said, “We are part of the Palestinian nation; we will not be part of the army’s killing machine”.
A report prepared and published by the Free Druze Movement, which is one of the movements against compulsory military service, stated that it held several meetings with Druze people in the country, and in Jordan, and decided that they will not be part of the Israeli army.
The report also revealed that there is an increasing number of Druze young men, aged 18-25, who are rejecting the military service, and that currently there are 40 young men in Israeli prisons for rejecting to serve in the army.
Sami Mhanna, member of the Free Druze Movement, said that Israel always tried to separate the Druze people from the Arabs and the Palestinians, and added that Israel always tried to make the Druze sector isolated from the rest of the Arabs and tried to give the impression that the Druze people are supporting Israel and its policies.
Saqer Naffa’, 19, spent 80 days in prison for rejecting the military service. He said that when he was in the 11 grade at school, he started received forms from the army in order to fill them and join the military.
When he was in his twelfth grade, he received direct order to be recruited but he refused and went to an Israeli police station where he told them that he will not join the army, and that he will not be part of the military which occupies his own nation.
He added that he is an Arab, and will not fight against the Arabs, and will not be part of this army which occupied Palestine, and kills the people.
One of the officers tried to talk him out of his decision, and told him that the “Druze are not Arabs, and that they should serve Israel”.
Naffa’ stated that his imprisonment made him more determined to reject the military service and that now there are more than fifty young Druze men who are rejecting this service.
He added that it is true that the number of young Druze men who are rejecting the military service it’s relatively small, but more are becoming aware of this issue.
Another resident, Suleiman Daghmash, spent four years in prison for rejecting the military service, and now his two sons Faleh and Najd are also rejecting the military service, and Najd was imprisoned for three months.
Daghmash, a senior member of the Druze Movement, said that “it is a crime to force a person to kill his own people”, and added that this is a considered “an Israeli conspiracy against the Druze”.
Several groups in the Druze sector are currently active against the compulsory military service, and are conducting social events in order to strengthen the cultural and historical roots of the Druze nation.
Lawyer, Sa’id Naffa’, one of the main activists in this field, stated that the compulsory service must be revoked, especially since it is forcing a nation to fight against its own people.
Translated & Edited by Saed bannoura – IMEMC