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Good ArabsThe Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs, 1948-1967$
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Hillel Cohen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257672

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257672.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Minorities within a Minority

Minorities within a Minority

Dilemmas of Identity

(p.158) Six Minorities within a Minority
Good Arabs

Hillel Cohen

University of California Press

In opposition to the common wisdom and in partial contradiction to Israel's claim that the Druze asked to be conscripted, they were, to put it mildly, lukewarm about serving in the Israel Defense Forces. To overcome resistance within Israel and from outside it, the police arrested Druze who refused to enlist. The reason Israel persevered in its policy should first be sought in external politics. Mandatory military service for the Druze was and still is important for much more than their mere fighting power. A document produced by the Minorities Battalion states this explicitly: “The direct effect [of the minorities unit] has been to bring the Druze community closer and to tie it to us, impairing relations between the Druze and Muslims in this country and undermining trust in the Druze outside the country.” One important factor in some Druze leaders' consent to military conscription was their rivalry with other leaders for primacy among their coreligionists. A noted opponent of conscription was Sheikh Amin Tarif, acknowledged by most Israeli Druze as their senior religious authority.

Keywords:   Israel, Druze, military conscription, Israel Defense Forces, Sheikh Amin Tarif, politics, military service, minorities, Muslims

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