YUSUF NASR AL-DIN (left) speaks with Arieh Dulzin, then chairman of the Jewish Agency, in 1975. (photo credit: Courtesy)
The following condolence letter is from Yaakov Hagoel, the Chairman of the World Zionist Organization to which ARZA Australia is a member through ARZENU. The letter pays tribute to the Chairman of the Druze Zionist movement, Yusuf Nasr Al-Din Z’L, after his recent passing.
It gives generous and appropriate recognition to the Druze community in Israel, who make up some 2% of the Israeli population. Most Druze in Israel live in the northern regions of Galilee, Carmel and the Golan Heights. They are a unique people whose tradition dates back to the 11th century and incorporates elements of Islam, Hinduism, and apparently even Greek philosophy. Their number are spread across Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.
In 1957 the Israeli government designated the Druze, Arab speaking community a distinct ethnic community at their request. They serve in the IDF and their members have attained top positions in Israeli politics and the public service.
I had the pleasure of visiting a Druze community some years ago. I found them to be extremely welcoming and supportive of Israel as a Jewish State.
The Condolence Letter
Elul 5781 August 10, 2021 Yusuf Nasr Al-Din
With great heartache, we have received today, the sad news of the untimely passing of our colleague, our friend, and our brother Yusuf Nasr Al-Din. As Chairman of the Druze Zionist Movement, Yusuf worked to create the exemplary society that was spoken of in Theodor Herzl’s writings.
Yusuf worked until his last breath for the Zionist cause and to enhance the lives of the Druze community in Israel. He saw Israel as a diverse country where minorities could succeed. More than once I heard friends call Yusuf a man of vision who helped realize the development of the greater Carmel region and northern Israel.
Followers of the Druze faith believe in reincarnation and thus, it is not just an end but a new beginning as Yusuf is now starting on his next mission.
On behalf of the World Zionist Organization, I thank you, Yusuf, for your unwavering dedication and know that in the face of the challenges that lie ahead, your spirit will accompany us for many years to come.
I would like to offer our condolences to the Nasr Al-Din family. We will continue to stand by your side in all that is required for the fulfilment of the shared dream of Theodor Herzl and Zionism.
Chairman of the World Zionist Organization
Helen Shardey OAM
ARZA Australia President
UPJ Vice President