The Druze in Israel 2018-07-19T16:27:52+00:00

The Druze in Israel

Since the establishment of the religion 1,000 years ago, most of the Druze settlement in Israel was carried out between the 11th and 13th centuries. The Druze population generally chooses high places to be settled in . There were options of settlement on the plains or in the valleys, but the cruel reality kept pushing the Druz back into the mountains, or at least the mountainous valleys. In the first and second wave of settlement in Israel, the Druze settled in the Lower Galilee, the Kishon River, and the northern coastal plain.

The Druze placed their settlements close to each other, or at least tried to make sure there was eye contact between the villages. All 19 Druze communities in Israel are closely connected, from Daliyat al-Carmel to Osfiya, and from Osfiya to all Druze villages in the Galilee, including Shfaram.

Towards the end of the 19 th century and during the 20th century, relations between the Jews and the Druze strengthened when the climax reached the conclusion of the alliance signed between the Druze leadership and the leadership of the “Yishuv” prior to the declaration of Israel’s independence, at that time both the Druze and the Jews faced persecution and discrimination by the Arab communities.

However, the four Druze villages on the Golan Heights are a separate group from the other Druze villages in the State of Israel. They are different in nature, geographical location, in their network of connections that is more inclined to Syria than to Israel, and especially their location on the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights, and their deep fear that they will be forced to return to Syrian rule one day and be punished for having a relation with Israel.

Upon the establishment of the State, the members of the Druz community were recognized and respected: they were recognized as a religious community according to the religious orders and Druze courts were set up to deal with questions of personal status, and internal autonomy was guaranteed in their religious affairs. .

In 1957, the Druz religion was recognized as an independent religion and a special department was set up to deal with their religious affairs immediately after the Six-Day War. This was done at the request of the community and in accordance with the declaration of the late Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.

Demography of the Druze community in Israel

With the establishment of the state of Israel the number of Druze was 14.5 thousand. Today there are more than 110,000 Druze living in Israel. All 19 Druze localities are located in the Northern part of Israel (80% of the Druze population) and in the Haifa (approximately 19% of the total Druze population).

Close to 95% of the Druz population live in Beit Jann, Baka, Julis, Daliyat al-Carmel, Hurfeish, Yanuh-Jatt, Yirka, Kasra-Samia, Majdal Shams, Al-Assad, Ein Kania. In the rest of the settlements, Abu Sinan, Mghar, Usfiya, Peki’in, Rama and Shfaram, the Druze live alongside to Christians and Muslims.