Dec. 25, 2015
- The Bedouin Arabs Who Fight alongside Israel – Jake Wallis Simons
Mohammad Ka’abiyah, 25, like almost all the men in his Bedouin village in northern Israel, volunteered to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. He was the first one from his clan to join the Air Force, where he served in a helicopter unit. Today a political science student at Haifa University, he says, “I am proud of being Bedouin, Arab, Muslim and Israeli.” About 1,700 Bedouin soldiers currently serve in the IDF, although there is no obligation on them to do so.
“Arabs are victims of the terrorist organizations,” Ka’abiyah says. “Some people call us traitors, but Israel is a democracy where all cultures and colors have the same rights. The ones who refuse to serve are the real traitors.” At his family home, Ka’abiyah shows off a picture of his warrior grandfather, Rashid al-Ka’abi, posing alongside the renowned Jewish fighter Alexander Zaid, who was killed by local Arabs in 1938. “The Bedouin and the Jews made a blood pact,” he says. “It will never be broken.” (Daily Mail-UK)