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Druze Praises Israel when Golan Heights Delegation Meets Legislators

A Druze from the Golan Heights who was a former member of the Syrian Parliament yesterday lauded Israel, saying his appraisal was based on Israel’s actions rather than declarations. Sheikh Jamal Kanj headed a delegation of Druze from Jamdal Shams, which paid a return visit to the Knesset Labor Committee here. Moshe Erem, chairman of the committee, told the delegation that Israel owes a great debt to the Druze. an Arab-speaking non-Moslem minority, many of whom serve in the Army and border police. The debt is being repaid in full, he said, by Israel’s fostering of social, economic and educational progress among the Druze.

The Druze villages in the Golan Heights were the only ones not deserted in the Six-Day War. Their inhabitants had been engaged in agriculture while the Syrian villagers had been employed almost exclusively by the Syrian Army which had turned the area into a fortified zone of camps and military installations.