Reshaping Druze Particularism in Israel
In order to suppress Arab and Palestinian national sentiments among the Druzes, Israeli policymakers have systematically tried to reshape Druze traditional particularism since 1948 into a Druze identity that is part reconstruction, part invention. In so doing, Israeli government officials, with the help of a coopted Druze elite, are practicing a policy seeking to politicize Druze communal and sectarian dimensions while de-politicizing their noncommunal and national dimensions. This paper, based largely on Israeli archival material documents some of the political social and economic factors that have led to the "success" of these policies.
Kais M. Firro is professor of history and head of the Middle Eastern History Department at Haifa University and the author of The Durzes in the Jewish State: A Brief History (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1999).