Arab–Israeli Military/Political Relations. Arab Perceptions by John W. Amos II

By John W. Amos II

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An Arab is he whose language is Arabic, who has lived on Arab soil, or who, after having been assimilated t o Arab life, has faith in his belonging t o the Arab nation... Constitution of the Arab Ba'th P a r t y The nationalism for which we call is love before anything e l s e . It is the very feeling t h a t binds t h e individual t o his family, because the fatherland is only a large household, and t h e nation is a large family. and as love is always linked t o sacrifice, so is nationalism. Nationalism is Love Before Anything Else.

34) b) Between t h e 'Alawi and t h e Druze c o m m u n i t i e s . For a variety of reasons relations between t h e two communal groups began t o d e t e r i o r a t e rapidly in t h e middle sixties. The Druzes appear t o have been particularly incensed by government/'Alawi measures designed t o reduce Druze autonomy, and by 'Alawi domination of senior officer ranks. Bitter jokes circulated through t h e Druze population t o t h e effect t h a t things were so bad t h a t 'Alawi women could order Druze men about a t will.

Each feels t h a t the other is slightly less than human, and the savagery of the 1970 civil war bears witness to this feeling. On a more subtle level, t h e r e a r e other tensions. The urbane and polished Egyptian leadership is slightly uneasy in the company of Arabian Peninsula leaders; while men brought up in nomadic tradition look upon their city brethren in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq as not quite up t o snuff, not quite "real" Arabs, merely imitations. Old line Sunni families in Damascus can r e m e m b e r when the 'Alawis, who currently run the government, were the chief source of domestic servants.

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