Refuse, Your people will protect you.


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"In the year 1949 and after the establishment of the state of Israel, minorities were emancipated from serving in the Israeli army. In the year 1954, the security office attempted to recruit all the Arab citizens in the country, yet, the attempts failed by facing a strict refusal. In the year 1956, the Palestinian Druze youth were compulsorily recruited to serve in the Israeli army, and in the year 1958 the Circassian youth were compulsorily recruited". (The law of serving the security in the state of Israel).

This is how the Arab Druze youth were recruited in the Israeli army by the order of Israeli minister of security and under the name of "law". This proves the inaccuracy of the Israeli narrative that claims: "Druze approached the state requesting to serve in the army.

At first, the Druze youth were forced to serve in the army using methods such as preventing their families from entering their fields and orchards (noting that at the time, agriculture was the main source of making a living).

From the very beginning of forcing military service, there were massive objections from many Druze people, which leaded to the formation of the Druze Initiative Committee that helps the young people who refuse to serve in the army.

Israeli policies designed to divide Palestinian solidarity have been able to drive a social and cultural gap between Druze and the rest of the Palestinians· Because of this, some years ago the movement against compulsory military for Druze youth was formed. At first it did not stand out in public awareness, because many of the cases of refusal to serve in the Israeli army were unannounced.

The group consists of Druze and non-Druze young men and women from different ages and Palestinian areas, in the purpose of resisting the compulsory service forced on the Arab Druze youth and all forms of military recruitment that the Israeli institution is trying to impose on the Palestinians inside the Jewish state.

The group basically works to accompany the recusant (refusing) guys and to widen the base of both the youth that refuses to serve in the Israeli army and the resisters of this law. The group also works on the media side, by organizing protests, producing songs or short films to spread awareness. In addition, it concentrates on the subjects of follow up and media publication of the cases of the young men who decide to publicly announce their refusal to serve in the Israeli army, in order to raise the profile of the issue in international public awareness - not only the local press. It also concentrates on the absolute injustices that Druze especially face through this forced recruitment: politically, economically, socially, and academically.

In addition, the group works on the subject of Palestinian-Palestinian communication. Just recently, our group has got together with another group in Al-Nabi Saleh village, and we attempt to organize mutual activities that we will announce soon.

We are trying to build a bridge to communicate with other groups in different areas (Al-Dehesha, Beirzeit, Nablus and others), in order to confirm the unity of our stand and our cause, to brake the boundaries that were put to us by the occupation and to alter the dominant preconceived ideas people have.

The group organizes and promotes a series of demonstrations in front of prisons in support of the guys refusing to serve in the army. The founder team of the group lead a public media campaign in collaboration with Ahl Jordanian foundation under the title: "Orfod, sha'abak yehmeek", ("Refuse, Your people will protect you").

Maisan Hamdan

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Related peace activist(s): Omar Saad
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