Sheikh Salim Abu Salah, a Druze leader in the Golan Heights, spoke at a conference saying that he sees himself as an inseparable part of the state of Israel. Salah went on to bless the Jewish nation and their resettlement in the Golan region. He also expressed hope that the number of Golan residents would increase to over 100,000 Jews and Druze living together in unity.
In an apparent warning of what’s expected to take place on Israel’s northern border, Salah called on the Israeli government saying: “Please excuse me for addressing the leaders of Israel – Do everything possible to keep the state of Israel safe. Because that is what is needed in the current situation.”
Justa few years ago it was unthinkable that a druze sheikh from Golan would say this. pic.twitter.com/KdxgVDXAgE
— 🧉 ☆ أماني ☆ (@Amani90__) November 10, 2019
As opposed to the Druze in the Galilee, who are for the most part loyal to the state of Israel and serve in the IDF, the Druze in the Golan were traditionally loyal to Syria. However following the country’s civil war and Turkey’s recent invasion, Salah’s speech appears to be a byproduct of the region’s geopolitical shift.
The Golan Heights was captured by Israel in 1967 during the Six-Day War. When that happened, the Syrian occupants of the Golan were driven off the land back to Syria. The Golan is the safest region in all of Israel with regards to crime and terrorism.
The Druze people speak Arabic but practice a secret religion that is only revealed when one reaches 40-years old. The sect beleives that they are descended from Mose’s father-in-law, Yitro (Jethro).
In 2015, Israeli Druze lawmaker Ayoub Kara hinted that Israel was covertly protecting the Druze population in Syria, many of whom are related to the Druze on the Israeli side of the Golan.