Druze Soldier Says He Was Attacked in Club for Speaking Arabic

Off-duty Golani Brigade fighter, 19, hospitalized with facial injuries; police detain two suspects for assault at nightspot in kibbutz near Haifa.

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
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Soldiers from the Golani infantry brigade on their graduation march at the end of training, May 30, 2013.
Soldiers from the Golani infantry brigade on their graduation march at the end of training, May 30, 2013.Credit: Nir Kafri
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

A Druze off-duty combat soldier in the prestigious Golani Brigade said he was attacked at a club in a kibbutz near Haifa by Jewish patrons after they heard him speaking Arabic.

Razi Asisi, 19, from the Druze village Daliat al-Carmel, was in fair condition at Rambam Medical Center after undergoing surgery for facial injuries.

Asisi’s cousin, Amir Asisi, said that on Thursday night, Razi went with another soldier from Daliat al-Carmel to a soldiers’ party at a club on Kibbutz Yagur. During the party, there were some arguments between the two Druze, who were speaking Arabic to each other, and a group of Jewish young men.

The two decided to leave the club, and after they got into their car, some members of the other group approached the vehicle and smashed the car’s windshield with a rock, injuring Razi’s face. “Razi told me that the only reason he got a rock in his face was because he spoke Arabic,” Amir Assisi said. Asisi’s friend took him to Rambam.

“The family is not angry at society as a whole, they know that this is a localized incident,” said Amir Asisi. “But if my wife and I would walk in the street, should we be attacked because we’re speaking Arabic? Forget that he’s a combat soldier, these are things that shouldn’t happen. Today it’s him, tomorrow it’s someone else.”

Police said no formal complaint had been filed and that Razi Asisi had not cooperated with police investigators, who pursued a report they had received about the incident. Two suspects were detained and released with restrictions on their movements, police said.

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