A Druze Hero in the IDF
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Major Rushdi Bader is a Druze officer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
82% of Druze men enlist in the Israeli army and nearly all of them face difficulties in social and cultural integration when they leave. That's why our Cleveland community invests in training programs to help people of all backgrounds succeed in Israeli society. In just one year, our intervention and training programs for at-risk Israeli men and women have helped change more than 6,000 lives.
Rushdi joined us in Cleveland this year to share his personal and powerful story. Read about his experience, in his own words.
by Major Rushdi Bader
My name is Major Rushdi Bader, and I am an officer in the Israel Defense Forces. I want to tell you about my brother, Zedan, while I am here in Cleveland and far away from our holy country.
“You lost your life, but we, the people of Israel, are strong. We are strong!”
In November 2014, two Palestinian terrorists attacked Har-Nof Yeshiva in Jerusalem and killed four worshippers during their morning prayer service. Innocent Jewish blood was spilled.
Zedan, a Druze police officer, approached the scene and with no hesitation, confronted and attacked the terrorists. The fight was short and vicious. The terrorists were killed, but Zedan also lost his life. Zedan’s blood was mixed with the blood of the Jewish worshippers.
For the past hundreds of years, the Druze and the Jews have had a pact of blood between them – to live together, to fight together, and to prosper together. I believe it will stand forever.
Just as our ancestors, King David and King Solomon, who were holding the sword in one hand, protecting the kingdom of Israel – and a book of peace in the other hand, carving a path of kindness, prosperity, and peace; it is my belief that we, the soldiers and officers of the IDF, are following in their footsteps.
Together, just as Zedan did, we are ready to sacrifice our lives and defend our people and country, while at the same time seeking peace and freedom to create a better world for our brothers and sisters, and for future generations to come.
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