The deadly attack last week on the Temple Mount pitted Israeli Druze against Muslims, tightening an prophesied alliance with Israel that has Biblical roots leading back to the Druze patriarch Jethro. The fulfillment of their role as brothers-in-arms with the Jews precipitates the end-of-days war against Amalek.
On Friday, two Druze men serving in the Israel Police, 30-year-old Haiel Sitawe and 22-year-old Kamil Shnaan, were murdered by Palestinian terrorists on the Temple Mount while protecting the Jewish state. Their sacrifice was a clear fulfillment of Balaam’s prophecy, which foretells that the Druze and Jews will fight together against their enemy, Amalek.
The Druze are an ethnoreligious group native to the Middle East, today comprising a population of nearly one million throughout Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Israel’s Druze population is well-known for its loyalty to the Jewish state; unlike Israeli or Christian Arabs, they are drafted into the IDF. Though the Druze faith originally developed out of Ismaili Islam, Druze are not considered Muslim.
The Druze connection to the Jewish people dates back to Moses and Mount Sinai with Jethro, father-in-law of Moses, from whom the Druze have a strong tradition that they are descended.
Indeed, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, a French medieval commentator on the Bible known by the acronym Rashi, taught that the Druze have an inheritance in the Land of Israel, based on a verse in Numbers describing the farewell between Moses and his father-in-law.
And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what good soever Hashem shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.’ Numbers 10:32
Rashi explained that the ‘good’ was a portion of the most fertile land near Jericho.
This Biblical bond between the Sons of Jacob and the Sons of Jethro, also known as the tribe of Kenite, is described in Jewish sources as the basis for a future end-of-days alliance. Yeranen Yaakov, a prominent geula (redemption) blogger, explained that the Sons of Jethro figure into the Messianic process through the prophecy of Balaam in Numbers.
And he looked on Amalek, and took up his parable, and said: Amalek was the first of the nations; but his end shall come to destruction. And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said: Though firm be thy dwelling-place, and though thy nest be set in the rock. Numbers 24:20-21
Jethro was described as a Kenite in Judges, a tribe that lived near the Amalekites.
And the children of the Kenite, Moshe’s father-in-law, went up out of the city of palm-trees with the children of Yehuda… Judges 1:16
In a powerful precedent to the modern Druze-Jewish brotherhood, the Kenites in the Book of Judges joined with Yehuda in order to combat the Canaanite inhabitants of Israel.
The 13th-century Spanish Biblical commentator Rabbi Moses ben Nahman, commonly known as Ramban, taught that Balaam’s words advised the Sons of Jethro that if they lived among the Jewish people, they too would be exiled but would return with the Jews. However, if they stayed among the Amalekites they would be destroyed along with the enemy.
The Jews are commanded to battle the Amalekites, their archetypal enemy, at any place and at any time. Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, a 12th-century Spanish Torah authority known as Rambam, taught that Balaam’s prophecy placed at least some of the Sons of Jethro, or the Druze, alongside the Jews in this Messianic battle.
Rabbi Ari Enkin, the rabbinic director of United With Israel, is a strong believer in this close spiritual brotherhood between Jews and Druze, whom he believes are the true descendants of Jethro. Rabbi Enkin, who has warm relations with many Druze leaders, frequently teaches Torah to Druze students.
“We are obligated to love the Druze, who have so much to lose and are being ostracized for loving Israel,” Rabbi Enkin told Breaking Israel News. “They believe in one God, the God of Abraham, and accept the Noahide Laws. They have a place with us in Israel and a place in olam haba (the world to come).”
Rabbi Enkin cited a Halachic (Torah law) ruling by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef which states Jews are required to say prayers for Druze that fell defending the state of Israel. The commandment was fulfilled this week in a rare and poignant way when a group of Jews was enabled to pray on the Temple Mount after the Islamic Waqf guards who prevent Jewish prayer boycotted the Mount in protest of security measures. The Jewish worshipers took the opportunity to say Kaddish (the prayer for the dead) at the spot on the Temple Mount where one of the Druze police officers was killed.
As this Biblical blood bond between Jews and Druze deepens, the tensions between Muslims and Druze grow. Muslims threw stun grenades in two separate attacks this week targeting Druze mosques in the hometown of one of the murdered policemen.