PM announces agenda to increase funding for both communities; meets with Druze leadership last week; Gives condolences on Druze fallen heroes, Police Master Sergeant Zidan Saif & Israeli Border Police officer Jedan Assad killed in terror attacks
Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Druze and Circassians community leaders last week, announcing over the weekend that he plans to seek government approval allocating increased funds and “investment” in the communities.
There are close to 4,000 Israeli Circassians, a community of Sunni Muslims who were expelled from their homeland in Caucasus settled in the Middle East, many in the Galilee region during the Ottoman Empire.
Circassians helped Jewish immigrants during the first aliyah (immigration) to Israel and fought on Israel’s side during the War of Independence.
There are approximately 130,000 Druze living in Israel.
Both communities are strongly Zionist and support the state of Israel, their religious beliefs centered on separation of faith and homeland. Leaders of both communities require males to serve in the IDF.
Netanyahu took time during his meeting Wednesday to give his personal condolences for the deaths of Police Master Sergeant Zidan Saif who died in Jerusalem’s terror attack during the operation to kill the terrorists and Border Police Chief Inspector Jedan Assad who was killed when a terrorist drove into a crowd of Israelis in Jerusalem at the light rail.
The prime minister intends to allocate more funds for the communities to “ order to close the gaps and advance the towns” specifically in education and infrastructure.
Speaking to Druze leaders on tight relations between the communities and both Druze and Circassians support for the State of Israel and the Jewish people, Netanyahu stated, “You are our very flesh. You are an organic part of Israeli society. Your heroic policemen and soldiers have fallen in order to defend the state and all its citizens, but we will defend your rights and your security” in reference to Saif and Assad.
He added that the Druze community specifically aids in the fight against radical Islam, stating, “We are in a major fight against Islamist extremist fanatics. This is not simple. This is a dangerous threat. This is a struggle that we must fight. From our perspective every citizen has the right to life, security and freedom of religion. Freedom of religion and freedom of conscience – this is our battle. From my point-of-view, your battle is my battle and my battle is your battle.”