The Druze in Israel: Between Protest and Containment
political protest
Palestinians in Israel
Middle East

Israeli policy toward the Druze has been two-dimensional since the establishment of the state. While the state enforced conscription of Druze into the military, the government’s policy toward Druze in civilian areas was no different from the policy toward its Palestinian citizens in general, namely the confiscation of lands, discrimination in education and employment, and exclusion from a selfidentified Jewish state. The ambivalent reality of the Druze community thus produces a dual dynamic of protest and containment. In this article, Yusri Khaizran reads the trajectory of protest among the Druze community inside Israel, and identifies key inflection points in that trajectory. He also analyzes the primary obstacles to such protests, which undermined their momentum and helped the state to tighten its grip over the Druze, despite the discrimination and exclusion that Druze, like all Palestinians inside Israel, face. This includes not only state authorities but also the traditional religious establishment in the Druze community, which has been increasingly involved in the efforts to contain and coopt Druze protest since the early 2000s.

Author biography: 

Yusri Khaizran is a historian and lecturer at al-Qasimi College and a research fellow at the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His main area of specialization is the politico-cultural history of the Fertile Crescent. Currently, he is completing his second book, on Israel’s efforts to create an alliance with ethnic and religious minorities in the Arab Middle East.