Skip to comments.All-Druse unit returns without single casualty
Posted on 08/14/2006 10:56:48 PM PDT by Nachum
They hiked over 40 kilometers, killed close to 20 Hizbullah guerrillas and spent 32 days in Lebanon without a single casualty. But on Monday, soldiers from the Herev Battalion emerged from battle, sweaty, dusty and tired making history twice - as the first battalion to enter Lebanon and the one to spend the longest amount of time deep in enemy territory under Operation Change of Direction.
The battalion, consisting strictly of Druse soldiers from northern Israel, was on its way to take control of the northern border with Lebanon on July 12, when Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were kidnapped in a cross-border Hizbullah attack. Commanded by Lt.-Col. Wajdi Sahran, the battalion secured the area of the kidnapping and assisted in the evacuation of the dead soldiers from the scene of the attack. Little did he know that the kidnapping would change his battalion forever.
Several days later, OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam decided to send Sahran and his men into Lebanon, making Herev the first full battalion to invade Hizbullah strongholds during this war. Days earlier, the elite Maglan and Egoz Units suffered heavy casualties during clashes in Lebanon and Adam sent in Herev, a battalion known for its vast experience in Lebanon and intimate familiarity with the tough terrain.
The battalion went into Lebanon during the first week of the war and was first sent to Marwahin, a known Hizbullah stronghold in the central sector of southern Lebanon. There it spent three days before being sent off to Maroun a-Ras, scene of heavy clashes between Maglan, Egoz and Hizbullah just days earlier. The battalion spent 10 days there until it was again sent off to Itoran for another week.
In every village, the routine was the same, recalled Maj. Shadi Abu Fair, the battalion's deputy commander on Monday from the lobby of the Ginossar Hotel on the banks of the Kinneret, taken over by the IDF and used to give soldiers respite before returning to battle.
Why did Herev succeed where so many other battalions appeared to have failed? "We are a strong unit that has always fought in the North," Abu Faris explained. "While other units went to fight in the West Bank we stayed in the North and are the battalion with the most experience and time in Lebanon."
Due to its success following 32 days in Lebanon, Abu Faris revealed that the Northern Command was now considering turning the battalion into an elite unit like Egoz known for its expertise in fighting Hizbullah.
For Herev, the war in Lebanon was not just a war against a fierce enemy but was a war in defense of their home - not just the State of Israel, but their homes in the literal sense. All of the soldiers, without any exception, Abu Faris said, live in northern Israel and their homes came under the incessant Hizbullah Katyusha rocket attacks during the past 30 days of fighting.
"There are soldiers here whose homes were hit by Katyusha rockets," explained one of the soldiers, St.-Sgt. Eitan Agmi, whose relative was Wasim Nazil, one of the eight soldiers killed in the July 12 cross-border Hizbullah attack that sparked the war in Lebanon. "A mother of one of the soldiers was even hospitalized for several days after she was injured in a rocket attack."
Are Druze similar to Mormons in that outsiders consider them to be Muslim, though Muslims don't consider them Muslim (as nonChristians put Mormons under Christianity but Christians don't consider them Christians)?
I'm not sure about the Druse but only the most bigoted and insulated Christians see Mormons as non-Christian. By any conventional definition Mormons are Christian. They believe in the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth and the resurrection -- which is more than can be said of many politically correct leaders of mainstream Christianity.
Actually, no. They're not Jewish at all. Druze are of Arab descent, and speak Arabic.
They are Ismailists - Islamic monotheism heavily influenced by Greek philosophy and tempered by Hindi tolerance/forgiveness.
I.E., what Islam would be if they redacted all of the insanity from the Qu'ran and adhered to the basic humanist tenets of all mature religions.
"They believe in the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth and the resurrection -- which is more than can be said of many politically correct leaders of mainstream Christianity."
Do they believe that He is the Son of God?
I don't think so...
So, when is Israel going to integrate their armed forces?
Just wondering, why does the Druze fight for Israel?
Just wondering, why does the Druze fight for Israel?
They realize it's the best country in the Middle East for minorities and for fairness.
And because they think that jihad is a really, really bad idea - oppressing other religions is a *huge* no-no in their book.
Israel, by its nature, is the most tolerant state in that part of the world.
The Druze are very much their own, unique religion (which is largely unknown to anyone but the Druze themselves) and ethnic group. They are quite deliberately vague and secretive about their religious beliefs - sometimes appearing to be Muslim, sometimes Christian and sometimes Jewish - all depending on who is in the majority at the particular locale. The Druze religion's chief symbol is a five-pointed star.
The true believers among the Muslims (like Hizbollah) naturally consider them to be infidels and pagans and thus subject to jihad and dhimmitude, which explains the Druze willingness to serve in the IDF. They are, after all, quite free to practice their religion in peace within Israel - the region's only genuinely western country - without being subjected to persecustion.
The Alawites (who control Syria, even though they are a small minority) are also a separate religion - sort of a bizarre combination of Islam and Christianity - and tolerant of both, which is why so many Iraqi Christians have chosen to flee to Syria since the rise of "democracy" (Sharia) in Iraq. In addition to one of region's largest remaining Christian populations, Syria also has a significant number of Druze, some of whom serve in the Syrian military alongside Muslims and Christians. Contrary to all the of propaganda encountered from neo-Jacobin idiots, Syria - despite the fact that it is a military dicatorship - is actually far more tolerant of its religious minorities than our "good friends" and "allies" in the "war on global extremism" like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan are.
The Alawites have a sacred meal of bread and wine where they believe they partake of the body of Allah. This is of course a great heresy to Muslims -- and one can see the crypto-Christian origin of it.
Depends on your definition of insulated, but it should be that most Christians would not recognize Mormons as fellow Christians. Protestants, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and Baptists (who apparently aren't Protestant) all recognize each other as being Christians, with some debates among them, but they still consider each other Christian.
Even Muslims acknowledge the virgin birth--and could also recognize the Resurrection.
As for divinity, Mormons still seem to not fully grasp what divinity is.
There is also other writings they follow (Book of Mormon), which is not Christian. Granted, Roman Catholics have the Apocrypha which could also be nonchristian, but they still recognize God for being fully God.
The article became even more meaningful when I looked up Druse.
Compliments on you being very polite even though you obviously disagree.