Yehuda Benin, landscaper

"After the very, very early beginnings, kibbutzim weren't the spontaneous bodies that popped up. They very quickly became very keen tools in the Zionist movement toolkit to get a hold of the land. "

 

Yehuda Benin
4:16 minutes
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That evening, Yehuda came over for dinner. His family was on a visit to the US, so he was "batching" it.

Yehuda comes from a Hashomer Hatzair family. That's a left wing Zionist movement responsible for developing many kibbutzim, including Shumrat, so he was well within his family's tradition when he made aliya and joined the kibbutz.

It was a very interesting discussion that covered a lot of ground, but since I was relaxing and eating instead of paying attention to the camera, which I left running, mounted on a tripod, the video is pretty pathetic, even by my low standards!

In this brief segment, he gives an interesting perspective on the movement.


Transcription (edited) of video clip:

Yehuda: I think that to understand what the kibbutz is about, to understand things that happen on the kibbutz, I think it's important to understand about the background. After the very, very early beginnings, kibbutzim weren't the spontaneous bodies that popped up. They very quickly became very keen tools in the Zionist movement toolkit to get a hold of the land. To settle the land. And it was a very effective tool, because what happened is that young people with socialist ideals settled the land in places where no in his right mind would invest his money. And today everybody recognized that the borders of the state of Israel are defined by the line of the kibbutz settlements. Shamat was the first kibbutz founded in 1948 where the border of the partition plan was the Aqua Stava Road . And we're on the north side of that road. So as soon as the Sahah liberated the Galilee they popped in these settlements, including Shamat. So it was very mission oriented.

Peter: So, in the original partition this would have been Arab land, but after the War of Independence it became Israel ?

Yehuda: Became? They went and they conquered it. There was Jewish settlement in the upper Galilee and in the Jordan valley and there are a few pre-1948 settlements Naharia, and a couple of kibbutzim near the Lebanese border, but by in large, all the Jewish settlements in the western Galilee are after 1948. With the exception of Naharia.

So then you have the nature of the people who came to settle here. So, Shamat was settled by a combination of people some of whom were partisan fighters during World War II in Europe . The bulk of the people who came were concentration camp graduates. And still others were fighters of the Hamas (Haganah? -pr) . So this is the human material that the kibbutzim.

It would not be correct to define Shamat as a socialist community, but more of an anarchist community. Anarchist in the positive naïve sense of the word not the negative connotation.

Srul: In BOTH connotations!


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