A Druze leader in the Golan Heights mocked a United Nations report which spoke of “economic and social repercussions of the “occupation” on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories, including east Jerusalem and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan.”
“This decision was a big joke,” said Dulan abu-Saleh, mayor of Majdal Shams, the largest Druze town in the Golan. “Look what’s going on with us – the development of vacation apartments and hotels, the restaurants and pubs full of people, the tourism at the high points of the year, and the UN decides that our economic and social situation is bad. Everything is politics there. They prefer us dying in Syria than being alive and having a good time in Israel.”
“The Golan residents don’t serve in the army and meanwhile only take from the state,” he said. “I don’t understand what they’re complaining about. It’s laughable. Why don’t they condemn the horrors in Syria where dozens of children are killed every day?”
“Although we weren’t included in some major government decisions on budgets, when we build and make up plans we never felt discrimination,” he added. “On the contrary, we always found an attentive ear.”
Karim Batkhish of the Druze town of Masa’ada said that the Golan Druze no longer identify with President Bashar Assad.
“The war in Syria doesn’t interest us anymore,” he said. “Perhaps there are a few people here who say they support Assad but it’s all a lie to show Syria we’re with them. They’re lying. No one wants to see Syria here.”
This year, over eighty Golan residents have applied for Israeli citizenship in a growing trend that began since the Syrian civil war broke out.
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel