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The Israeli Druze community is the only non-Jewish group in the State whose sons are drafted into the IDF.

The Druze are a unique ethnic and religious group found in in a number of the countries that had been part of the Ottoman Empire.   In Israel they live in tight-knit, peaceful communities in the north: in the Golan, the Galilee and the Carmel (Haifa) region.  Their tradition, which dates back to the 11th century, incorporates elements of Islam, Hinduism and classical Greek philosophy, and rejects ritual.

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Credit: The Forward

Israeli citizens, often identifying as proudly Zionist, they are active in political life in Israel.  Perhaps best known is MK Ayub Kara, who has been heard to declare, “I am more Zionist than the Jews.”   They comprise not quite 2% of the population of Israel.

During the War of Independence in 1948, Druze fought to protect their villages in the north of Israel.  Subsequently, in 1956, elders from the community arranged with government officials for men of the Druze community to be drafted into the IDF.  This agreement became known as the “Covenant of Blood” (“brit damim”), so called because Druze soldiers, proud to serve in combat units, gave their lives for the nation.  More than 80% of Druze young men serve. In 1974, an all-Druze battalion known as Herev (sword) was established.  

See them here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Dt4RzIWVnA

In 2015, this battalion was disbanded in favor of integrating the Druze throughout the IDF. This was done because of “the growing desire of a decisive majority of the community” to serve in all units and service branches, including elite forces and top technology posts.  The integration also aimed at facilitating those who aspire to the high echelons of IDF command.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2015/05/18/idf-to-integrate-druze-across-ranks/

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Israel has the world’s highest percentage of teenage EMTs
(emergency medical technicians).

More than 60% of the volunteers with Israeli emergency response service Magan David Adam are teenagers.  By percentage, this is a far bigger youth corps for emergency services than is found anywhere else in the world.

The Education Ministry requires 60 hours of volunteer service for graduation.  Since 1993, MDA has been offering a 60-hour course for 15-18 year olds, which fulfills this requirement.  It is not mandatory to serve on ambulances after training, but many young people opt to do so. Working under the supervision of a senior MTA, they are permitted to perform emergency services.  Both Jews and Arabs volunteer.

https://www.israel21c.org/why-israel-has-worlds-highest-percentage-of-teenage-emts/

Training for mass-casualty incidents:

Credit: Courtesy

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Tel Aviv is the most dog friendly city in the world,
with a variety of services available for the pooches…

Boasting the highest rate of pet dogs per capita in the world (one dog per 17 residents), the city offers 70 off-leash dog parks, as well as designated beaches where they can roam freely. Nearly every restaurant has a water bowl outside for thirsty pets to refresh.

The municipality has a no-kill shelter, a 24/7 vet service for homeless animals, and a city animal patrol that checks complaints regarding animal abuse. It has also developed an app called Digi-Dog, which offers resources and discounts to make dog owners lives easier.

https://israelbetweenthelines.com/2017/09/14/tel-aviv-is-the-most-dog-friendly-city-ever/

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People from over 70 countries have made Israel
their home since 1948…

The majority of Israeli Jews are descendants of immigrants from Arab countries.

http://mfa.gov.il/MFA_Graphics/MFA%20Gallery/Documents/Diversity2010-En.pdf

In recent years, groups of people who have ancient connections with the Jewish people are also coming home. Notable among them are the Bnei Menashe of the Manipur region of India, who have held on to traditions for 2,700 years. With the help of the Shavei Israel organization, they are becoming fully integrated back into the Jewish people, and brought to Israel.

See the video:

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On May 24-25, 1991, Israel executed “Operation Solomon,”
which brought out 14,500 Ethiopian Jews…

from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in some 36 hours. Said Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Avihu Ben-Nun, “It was a great operation on a global scale: never before, did so few pilots transport such a great number of people in such a short time“.

It was a highly complex and top-secret military operation, with 34 unmarked planes flying 41 sorties. The Ethiopian government of Mengistu was about to collapse; rebels outside the city stood down for two days to allow this operation to proceed.

See a video of the airlift:

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Tel Aviv, known as the White City, was named by UNESCO as a World
Heritage Site
because it is home to more Bauhaus…

or International Style architecture than any other city in the world. Almost all other World Heritage sites are either natural phenomena or very old. Tel Aviv is one of very few sites that is a twentieth century phenomenon.

https://www.israel21c.org/celebrate-bauhaus-turning-100-in-tel-avivs-white-city/

See video:

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Israel moves from mourning to
celebration with the sound of a siren…

Israel observes Yom HaZikaron – Memorial Day – to honor the memory of all those soldiers who have died defending Israel over the years, and all those who died in terror attacks in the State.  It is a day of enormous sadness nationally, as so many have been touched by loss.  At sundown, a siren sounds and the nation then immediately begins Yom Ha’azmaut, Independence Day, celebrated with great joy across the nation.  Everyone understands that the sacrifices of the soldiers and those who lost their lives in attacks have made Israeli independence possible.

“Video on Yom HaZikaron”

“Video on Yom Haatzmaut celebrations”

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The IDF inducts young people with autism…

to do high level work in Intelligence Unit 9900, which maps and analyzes visual data. Soldiers with autism can excel at this work because they are often adept at detecting patterns and maintaining focus for long periods of time.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/soldiers-with-autism-take-on-key-roles-in-idf/