Kibbutz: Final Breaths?
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One of the most peculiar and atrocious inventions of the Zionists was the kibbutz. I grew up in one of them in the Jordan Valley and could study the aberration in detail; important parts of The Cross of Bethlehem take part in a kibbutz. Humanity was denied there; people were reduced to working slaves for the cooperative which was run by an exclusive oligarchy. Children were kept away from their family, so that their young minds won’t be polluted by reactionary ideas. Money wasn’t introduced there until well into the 1980s. No God, no traditions. The only right of the members was to work until death. That led me to Christianity.
At first, these thinly disguised concentration camps played an important role in the occupation of land. The agriculture was not important. A good testimony of that was the ongoing attempt to grow up cotton – a water thirsty plant – in deserted areas were water is at a premium. Early governments wanted someone to fill up the lands confiscated - or bought under threats – from Palestinians. Later, their importance decreased and their lost the government support. Eventually they collapsed financially in the 1990s and were forced to recognize the right to property, the use of money and human rights in general. Many members left them. Yet they are still out there, though their survival is not assured. In the last days a new disaster hit them; this time it may be the fatal blow.
Technically, the kibbutzim do not own their land; they rent it from the state. One of the ways the kibbutzim attempted to cope with the diminishing membership and workforce was by renting rooms to people living in nearby towns. That could work for many kibbutzim occupying premium spots near Tel Aviv and other large cities. However, regular buildings in kibbutzim are not suited for humans living in normal societies. They lack a proper kitchen – since members ate at a communal dining room – and lack rooms for children; the last grew up in communal dormitories. The solution was to build new buildings designed for the few freaks out there living in highly reactionary family units.
The Land Authority of Israel – the Israeli Administration organization responsible of the state lands – had forbidden the construction of such new buildings, since the kibbutzim are rural in nature. As of June 2010, it is leading 150 legal processes against the 273 kibbutzim still existing.
Empty rooms, ever decreasing membership and now a legal battle against the state for their only chance to survive economically; are these the kibbutzim last breaths?
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