Recent Protests Show That Golani Druze Are Feeling More Israeli

Since June, Druze residents of the Golan Heights have staged mass public demonstrations against the planned construction of wind turbines in the area. They were joined by their coreligionists elsewhere in Israel, who have for the most part followed a separate political trajectory. Yusri Hazran explains the significance of this and related developments:

This was a protest over a civic issue, devoid of the nationalistic overtones that used to characterize occasional bouts of pro-Syrian demonstrations by Golan Druze. Absent were any Syrian flags during the entire period of stormy demonstrations. Instead, what was visible was the five-colored flag of the Druze (red, yellow, green, blue, and white) representing the higher values of the faith. This civic aspect of the protest confirms a growing trend of “instrumental integration” of the Golan Druze into Israel.

For decades after the 1967 war, the Druze community in the Golan conducted a political struggle against Israeli sovereignty and adhered to their Syrian identity. They had practical reasons—expectations that Israel would return the Golan to Syria, families and sometimes marriages among the Druze across the border in Syria, and government benefits like free university education in Damascus. In exchange the Golan Druze declined Israeli citizenship—excommunicating those who did apply for it—refused to serve in the IDF, and banned the Hebrew language in their schools.

This preference, however, began to fall apart following the outbreak of the popular uprising in Syria in 2011. A new tendency emerged among the younger generation in the Golan, driven by pragmatic considerations. . . .

By now, the “turbine protest” has demonstrated once again the intense solidarity of Druze communities across the region, reacting to perceived threats to their existence or their space. Perhaps it is a sign of the community’s ultimate integration into the somewhat fractious political culture of Israel that this solidarity is manifested in quite loud political protests.

Read more at Jerusalem Strategic Tribune

More about: Druze, Golan Heights, Israeli society

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus