Intelligence: Israeli Arabs and Keeping Secrets


May 16, 2006: The war on terror has made simple cases of corruption or other crimes into something potentially much worse. Case in the point is the case of Israeli Lieutenant Colonel Omar al Heib, a Druze (an Islamic sect considered heretical by most Moslems). Al Heib was caught dealing drugs in 2002. During the investigation, he was also found to have traded (for drugs) military secrets to Lebanese terrorist group Hizbollah. The long investigation and trial of Al Heibs has finally ended, and the Israelis have concluded that they had caught a drug dealer, not a traitor, or part of a larger espionage network within the Israeli military. Israeli Druze Arabs have long served in the Israeli military, and done so willingly because to most Arabs, Druze and Jews are both hated for their religious beliefs. The Druze had a hard time of it long before Israel was founded.

Israel has thousands of Arabs (mainly Druze, Christians and Bedouin) in its military, and has always been concerned about divided loyalties. There have been very few cases of Israeli Arabs betraying their nation, especially those serving in the armed forces. But the fear is there, as is the pressure on Israeli Arabs, by other Arabs, to commit treason.


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