(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.