Last Friday, the IDF’s Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz visited the Bedouin and Druze communities which are celebrating now the religious holiday of Eid al-Adha.
Lt. Gen. Gantz visited the Israeli-Arab local council of Zarzir where he met the Bedouin community leaders, including the Chairman of the Forum of Bedouin Councils, Mr. Hassan El-Hayeb. Lt. Gen. Gantz also met with leaders of the Druze community, such as Sheikh Muwaffak Tarīf, while visiting the Druze village of Julis.
Lt. Gen. expressed his appreciation of their devoted service throughout all of the Israeli security forces: “In light of the challenges before us, we must continue and stand strong together, all the variety of communities that comprise the Israeli society.”
Over the past years, there has been an increase in the number of Druze youth who are recruited to the army. Overall, 83% of Druze youth are recruited to the army out of which 60% serve in combat units.
Israel is a country known as “a nation of immigrants.” Many of its citizens are Jews from all over the world, bringing their unique culture and traditions from their country of origin. In order to help with integration, the IDF provides educational programs emphasizing shared Judaism and Zionist values, however, it also seeks to integrate Christian, Bedouin and Druze minorities into its forces, and provides special programs dealing with their needs as well. Read more about the Israel Defense Forces’ Role and Impact on Israel’s Society here.