Jordanian funds back anti-IDF group targeting Druze in Israel

Israeli watchdog group finds a Jordanian group that is meddling in Israeli internal affairs, funding an NGO that tries to brainwash Druze youth to not enlist in the IDF.

By World Israel News Staff

A Jordanian-backed organization in Israel is illegally working to discourage Druze youth from enlisting in the IDF, Channel 20 reported Wednesday.

The Im Tirtzu organization, a non-profit that works to strengthen Zionism in Israel, investigated a left-wing NGO named Urfod that says its goal is to prevent members of Israel’s Druze community from enlisting in the IDF.

Urfod’s Facebook page says the group works “against the compulsory military service imposed on the Palestinian Druze community.” Urfod says it uses professionals like lawyers and psychologists to persuade young Druze to avoid the draft and support those who refuse to enlist with the motto of “refuse – your people will protect you.”

According to Im Tirtzu, Urfod is funded by the Jordanian group Ahel, which accuses Israel of being an “apartheid state.” Urfod content was also found to have been broadcasted on Roya Palestine, the Ramallah station of the Jordanian TV cable channel Roya.

According to Im Tirtzu’s report, Urfod’s activities are an apparent violation of Section 109 of Israel’s Penal Code, which states that a person is liable to five years imprisonment if he or she “incited or induced a person liable to service in an armed force not to serve in it or not to report for a military.”

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Since 1956, following the initiative of Druze leaders, military service has been compulsory for the Druze community, with the Druze community having one of the highest percentages of military enlistment in Israel.

“I’m stunned that the state, police and judiciary aren’t dealing with this organization,” Deputy Minister for Minority Affairs Fateen Mulla told Channel 20.

“I will look deep into this matter and if everything I heard is found to be true I will work against this organization,” said Mullah, a Druze community member from the town of Yarka in northern Israel who entered politics after a long career in the IDF, retiring with rank of lieutenant colonel.

Im Tirtzu called on Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn to “open an investigation against the heads of this radical group for promoting draft refusal in apparent violation of the penal code.”

Im Tirtzu also said it expects tax authorities to investigate Urfod’s foreign funding.