Summer camp spirit at Camp David

NEW YORK, July 20 (JTA) — Some Jewish activists are bringing a bit of summer camp — and optimism — to Camp David.

Banners line the sides of the World Labour Zionist Movement’s “sukkat shalom,” which they hope will convey their support to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak for a peace agreement at the tense Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

The sukkah, supported by four poles staked in the ground, stands an estimated 10 feet high, and holds 30 to 40 people, said Michael Landsberg, secretary-general of the organization. A blue tarp rests over the top.

One banner asks Barak to bring peace for future generations.

“We want to carry a message,” Landsberg said, “that Barak is not alone, and also carry to Barak a message that people are willing to put time and money, to stop working, to come here to support what he’s trying to do.” A stream of curious bystanders have come to inspect the structure, said Landsberg, including a group of drummers.

Participants, including representatives from the movement’s youth division, Habonim-Dror, “sang songs of peace” in the Maryland woods.

It is a scene that evokes summer campfires, but at Camp David a lot more is at stake.

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