Druze dodge draft less than Jews


Young people from Israel’s Druze minority are less likely to evade mandatory military service than their Jewish counterparts, official data show.

Col. Ramez Immadin, the military officer responsible for minority conscripts, told Israel Radio Tuesday that 83 percent of draft-eligible Druze enlist compared to 72 percent of Jewish youths.

Draft dodging has been a hot-button issue in Israel since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, which showed the limitations of the armed forces.

While fervently Orthodox Jews have long been exempt from mandatory service, official data suggest an increase in the number of secular Israelis seeking ways out of the draft.

The Druze are a sect within the Israeli Arab minority that traditionally have been loyal to the Jewish
state. While Muslim and Christian Arabs are generally exempt from the military, Druze are expected to serve and have contributed many senior commanders in the armed forces.

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