About The Druze Veterans Association (DVA)
“Reverence my friends is not enough. Druze men and especially Druze women are greatly underrepresented in the modern professions. There is an urgent need for increases in the number of Druze attending and graduating university and earning advanced degrees. There is a pressing need to integrate young Israeli-Druze into the high-tech sector – Israel’s most dynamic industry. There is a need to invest more in infrastructure and community services in Druze villages and in Druze neighborhoods. I commend Koftan and the Druze Veterans Association for creating the Druze High-Tech Economic Empowerment Center and encourage all to support it together with me. I commend Koftan and his DVA for the time and effort they invest in defending Israel at home and abroad. Let us all make a vow. Let us pledge to make Israel’s covenant with the Druze people stronger, deeper and more meaningful. Let’s make it a covenant not only of blood, but of caring, of dignity, and yes, of love.”
Ambassador Dr. Michael Oren
Former Ambassador of Israel to the United States
Former Deputy Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister
See more from Ambassador Michael Oren on the Druze of Israel
The Israeli-Druze Veteran Association (DVA) was founded in 2009 by a group of young Israeli-Druze veterans who identified a need to do something bold in order to empower the young people of the Druze community, particularly the newly released veterans, outside of the security services.
These young Israeli-Druze men saw significant challenges to full integration into modern Israeli society, to full access to quality higher education and to full entrance into the expanding and changing national workforce.
They felt this challenge could no longer go unanswered.
The DVA vision is to assist in the creation of a productive modern leadership for the Israeli-Druze community, built on the foundation of leadership that was formed, trained and fortified during the Israeli-Druze soldiers’ service in the Israeli Defense Forces. We believe that those young leaders should have their place in the greater Israeli table. As contributing members to society, young Druze deserve an opportunity to thrive in business, academia, science and the public sector.
At Israel’s inception, the Druze community with Israel made a conscious ‘blood covenant’ alliance with the newly reborn Jewish state. We can proudly say that this loyal and brave partnership spans even further back to the days of the British Mandate over the Land of Israel.
With the declaration of Israel’s independence, Druze religious and political leadership formally expressed their aspiration to live in Israel, side by side with the Jews, as equal citizens, with all the rights and obligations. Our leaders wisely chose to be a full part of a growing and thriving majority – with all the rights and obligations that go along with that decision – rather than be part of a belligerent and regressive minority.
Israel’s Druze soldiers have taken part in every battle and war that Israel has had to fight. We play an important role in Israel’s various security agencies and in all the sections of the IDF. During Israel’s first years as a state, the Israeli-Druze voluntarily enlisted to the IDF, but 1956 Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion accepted the request of our wise leaders and legislated a mandatory military service for all the Druze of Israel. Like religious Jews – our men serve in the front lines and in the most select and secretive elite units. Our women, exempt from military service along the same lines as the religious-Zionist Jewish community, participate in National Service and devote one or two years in service to the state.
Our brave youth have served in Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) with pride, dignity and devotion since 1948 – it is time we did something collectively to repay that debt.