For the Druze in the Golan Heights, the Syrian Civil War Opened a New Door to Israel

Ten years after the Syrian civil war began and with their motherland lying in ruins, young Druze in the Golan Heights are increasingly shifting their focus, if not always their allegiance, to Israel

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Syrians looking at Majdal Shams from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights two years prior to the start of the civil war.
Syrians looking at Majdal Shams from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights two years prior to the start of the civil war. Credit: AP
Jonathan Shamir
Jonathan Shamir
Jonathan Shamir
Jonathan Shamir

A recently unveiled statue perched on a plinth under the towering Mount Hermon holds a secret. When approached from the side facing Israel, the single eye on Aiman Halabi’s artwork is firmly shut. But when seen from a second angle, facing toward Syria, the eye is wide open. Any passerby would likely see both profiles in a single day, and this Janus-like sculpture perfectly encapsulates the predicament among the Druze community of Majdal Shams and four smaller “Syrian” villages in the Israeli Golan Heights.

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