Rothschild campsite is voice for demobilized Druse soldiers

Press release says camp set up so “people would hear the cry from our community, who need to find a suitable solution to the housing crisis."

By
August 11, 2011 02:34
1 minute read.
Druse protest on Rothschild

Druse 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

 
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The Rothschild Boulevard tent city’s first Druse campsite was set up Wednesday evening by an organization looking to draw attention to the problems facing discharged Druse soldiers.

The campsite included five tents and several large speaker stacks set up for a concert later in the night. Though the Druse are often celebrated in Israel for their cuisine, there was no traditional food available at the campsite.

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In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Association for the Advancement of Druse Soldiers said that the camp was set up so that “people would hear the cry from our community, from the discharged soldiers and officers, who need to find a suitable solution to the housing crisis in Druse communities, and to advance government promises to advance vocational education programs in Druse communities.”

Kuftan Halabi, a Druse activist from the Galilee village of Daliat al-Carmel, said that the protest tent was set up because “soldiers who get out of the army aren’t given benefits or land by the housing ministry in order to build houses.”

He said that the soldiers’ difficulties receiving land rights means that they have trouble starting the next phase of their life after the army, and he expressed his hope that a solution is found because “the Druse are an integral part of Israeli society.”

He added that the Druse community is supportive of the social issues protests, but that since they live in the north in rural villages they rarely – if at all – take part in the protests around Israel.

Social issues aside, the Druse campsite also seemed to present a healthy opportunity to promote the career of a young Druse singer named Ronen Muadi, who will be drafted into the IDF in the coming months. Muadi’s CDs were on sale at the campsite, and a banner advertising his album was on display next to the association’s mission statement.

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Shortly after the finishing touches were put on the campsite, a concert began featuring Muadi and two other Druse youth playing the keyboard and the bongos, whose music thundered out of the speaker stacks down the Boulevard.

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