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dimanche 29 juillet 2012


Tolerance of Minorities in Israel The case of Circassians
For some reason or other, I thought about the Circassians this morning while at the Blue House among the Indians
I knew that they had Slavic origins but did they come from Russia or Balkans?
www. To the rescue
Circassians arrived at their present location from the Balkans in the year 1880; after 10 years of residence at Marvel, which is at the border of Greece and 

Bulgaria, they migrated to Palestine. The Ottoman Sultan asked them to reside at Rihania (Reyhaniye) and Kfar-Kama villages. About 1,000 Abedzah Circassians live in Reyhaniye and about 2000 Shapsıg Circassians live in Kfar-Kama, and scores of families live in various Israeli cities and towns near their jobs.

Education and Employment 
Kfar-Kama, the larger village, has Jewish settlements as neighbors. Children graduate from village school and continue their education at Jewish schools.
They learn Hebrew, English, and Circassian at school. The National Circassian Alphabet of Caucasus is used in teaching Circassian. Reyhaniye is closer to Arab settlements and children are able to go to both Arab and Jewish schools.
Circassians serve in the army and are employed in the border and regular police forces. Municipal and public services are wide open to the Circassians. Circassians living in these two villages communicate in their own Circassian language.
The Circassian Law (Khabza) regulates the conduct of the Circassians and settles all matters among themselves.

But if my memory serves me right, they came from the Caucuses and not the Balkans. Ah well that is for another time to find out.

When asked by a visiting Jewish teenager: what do you think of the Israelis, her teenage friend replied, you mean Jewish Israelis, thus bringing home the point that not all Israelis are Jewish and you can be Israeli and something other than a Jew. Circassians and Druze minorities in Israel are a good example of good civic citizens of the Medinath Israel.

I suppose, I am writing this from the USA which states they are a Christian Country. John Howard, the former PM of Australia told the sharia mongering immigrants: we are a Christian country. But Jews have flourished in both countries, and now in the USA, the most diverse nation on earth, there are more people speaking variations of hundreds of languages some of which are extinct in their countries of origin. So tolerance is the key, tolerance of the other… so that the other may flourish.

A nice lesson for the newly democratic nations of the Middle East. Indeed.