Ya'alon embraces Druse community after incident of discrimination against IDF Druze soldiers

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 1, 2013 07:10

3 Druse soldiers reportedly were delayed entry to Dimona nuclear site while Jewish fellow soldiers waved in.

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Druze soldiers of the IDF’s Herev Battalion in training

Druze soldiers of the IDF’s Herev Battalion in training 521. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon expressed outrage over an incident reported by the Israeli media in which three Druse soldiers were delayed entry to the Dimona nuclear plant while Jewish soldiers accompanying them were waved in.

“The incident is serious and outrageous, and it absolutely contradicts all our policies,” Ya’alon said. “It is difficult to stand by and watch such discrimination, but this incident will not damage the ties between the State of Israel and the Druse.”

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The defense minister added that the Druse community was “at the heart of the IDF and its contribution is impressive and illustrious.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reacted to the report of discrimination on Saturday saying that the necessary lessons must be learned from the incident.

"Our Druse brothers are part of us. They serve in combat units in the IDF and they should be treated as equals," Israel Radio reported the PM saying.

A Druse officer and two Druse soldiers were forced to wait outside the gates of the highly secure site while fellow soldiers from the air force were allowed in for a training exercise.

After half an hour they were permitted entry.

The incident was revealed on Friday by the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot, although it took place a number of weeks ago.

The father of one of the Druse soldiers expressed anger during a Friday interview on Army Radio.

“This is a humiliation. Everyone arrived, and suddenly the Druse soldiers are told they cannot come in,” he said.

Following the report, the IDF Spokesman’s Office said the incident would be investigated.

A spokesperson for the nuclear site said entry was contingent on a security check, and the Druse soldiers were allowed in following such a procedure, Army Radio reported.

Majalli Wahabi, a former Likud and Kadima MK from the Druse community, told Army Radio that the incident reflected severe discrimination.

“It is inconceivable that there are organizations that do not fully trust the Druse, a group that has been an integral part of the state from the War of Independence until today,” Wahabi said.


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