The Druze in Israel: Affiliation, Identity, and Future Challenges

Years of Activity: 2014

Research Status:


Prof. Amal Jamal, Dr. Yasmin Abud-Halabi, Dr. Yusri Haizran, Attorney Osama Halabi, Dr. Ibtisam Barakat, Sa'id Salame, Attorney Sammy Mahana, Dr. Rabia Sabag, Suha Thabet Halabi, Amal Abu Zidan, and Marzuk al-Halabi

The focus of the group’s discussions will be an inquiry into the ethnic and cultural identity of the Druze community in Israel. The participants will study the development and nature of the relations between members of the Druze community and the other Palestinians in Israel and between the Druze and the Jewish citizens of the state. The topics will include the impact of military service on Druze social life and the ramifications of refusing to serve, employment in Druze villages, and planning and construction issues. The group will aim to publish its discussions in a summary document toward the end of its activity. This document will summarize the recent changes in the Druze community in Israel and their implications for the place and status of Druze in Israel.

In 2014 the meetings will focus on the issue of affiliation and identity, and we will start by looking within. We will examine historical, social, and political factors that influenced the shaping of our identity in Israel. We will try to touch on the topic of religion, mainly on the role of the clergy in constructing and maintaining the identity of the community. We will also try to understand the status of the Druze woman and how, in general, this conservative community copes with the challenges posed by modernity. We will do this by means of dialogue between the group members, by meeting with people, such as clerics, outside the group, and by meeting with a parallel group from the Golan Heights villages. At the end of the first year we aim to hold one or two panel discussions in one of the Druze villages in the north.