TEL AVIV — Israel “is the best place to live for the Druze minority,” declared Shachiv Shnaan, a member of Israeli’s Druze community and a former Israeli Knesset member in an interview with Breitbart Jerusalem.
Shnaan lost his son, Kamil, a police officer, in last Friday’s deadly terrorist attack at the entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Kamil Shnaan was one of two Druze police officers killed in the attack.
“Those who seek peace and look to live in peace in the Middle East and in the world in general need to learn from our life inside Israel – they need to learn what mutual respect and mutual responsibility are,” Shnaan said.
According to the former Knesset member, who served as a member of the Labor Party, “Thousands of visits and statements of solidarity from Jewish citizens simply warmed my heart. Jews came to comfort me from across the country, almost all of whom are people I don’t know.”
“I saw this gathering around me and around the family, which is not to be taken for granted,” he continued. “This shows that people appreciate the relations between the Druze and Jewish communities, between the Druze and the State of Israel.”
In his eulogy at his son’s funeral, Shnaan said he was proud that his son was wrapped in the Israeli flag and that he hoped his son will be the last victim of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“After the loss I’ve endured, I didn’t stop receiving messages of support and visits from all across the country,” he said. “Five-hundred-fifty-thousand people watched the video of the funeral in addition to the millions who saw it on the news and I hope that our model as expressed in my words will be a model that people will think about. Enough with the wars, enough with the death. Extremists can’t be allowed to kill the shared life that exists in the State of Israel.”
Shnaan cautioned against making “generalizations.”
“Thousands of Muslims visited and consoled me,” he stressed, “so I don’t think responsibility should be placed on all Muslims for this murderous attack. The murdering terrorists don’t represent all the Muslims and I call for preserving the fraternal and respectful relations that exist between the various communities in the State of Israel.”
Shnaan said, “There is nothing more difficult than losing a son. When he was wrapped in the flag and buried, that was the moment I understood that I lost one of my children – that that’s it, this chapter in family life is over. I want to say to my son that I love him, I ask his forgiveness and I forgive him and love him.”
“This is a significant change in the family’s life,” added the former Knesset member. “The family will need to deal with this tragedy, but Kamil will remain forever in my heart. I am a person of faith. I thank God for everything, even for the fact that Kamil is no longer with us. But I really expect that he will be the last victim.”
Shnaan said that when looking at developments in the Middle East “and especially when we see what’s happening to the Druze in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, we understand that Israel is the best place for minorities to be, definitely for the Druze minority. Here, we feel the safest and the most equal. For the sake of truth, the situation of the Druze in Jordan is also fairly safe, but in Israel our situation is the best and the safest.”