Webcast Interview: L.A.’s Iranian Jews embrace visiting Israeli Druze delegation
The Druze people are a religious minority that account for more than 100,000 people living in Israel today. Their faith is a monotheistic spiritual religion that is traced back to Jethro, one of the most famous desert tribesman of the ancient biblical period who was also Moses’s father-in-law. Even though they are a non-Jewish minority in Israel, the Druze are quite patriotic and fully integrated citizens of Israel who serve in the military and different areas within the public and private sectors of the country.
Most recently a small delegation of Druze soldiers and medical personnel were visiting Los Angeles in support of Israeli non-profit organizations. While they visited several Southern California area universities and groups to discuss their lives as free minorities living in Israel today, the local Iranian Jewish community warmly welcomed this Israeli Druze delegation. The L.A. Iranian Jews at the Beverly Hills-based Nessah Synagogue cheered, embraced and showered the Israeli Druze delegation with love during a special luncheon last weekend. Kudos to Mr. Simon Etehad, the out-going president of the Nessah Synagogue for welcoming the Druze delegation to Los Angeles and showing them that L.A.’s Iranian Jews love all of Israel’s peace-loving citizens.
More importantly the visiting Israeli Druze delegation shed light on the fact that despite some outrageous inaccurate media reports, Israel is not an apartheid state and offers them, a religious minority, equal right under the law. The Druze of Israel embrace a unique belief in co-existence and peace loving nature, they realize that one of the very few places in the Middle East where they would be able to freely practice their faith and live as free people would be in the Jewish State of Israel.
I caught up with some of the visiting Israeli Druze to chat with them about their lives as minorities living in Israel and the current security issues average Israelis of various faiths face today. The following are some clips of my interviews with Dr. Amir Halabi, an Israeli Druze doctor and reservist in the military as well as Inspector Faten Nasr Aldeen, the first female Israeli Druze police commander….