DEGANYA ALEF, Israel (AFP) - Much has changed since Riva Kippins, 84, was a young child in Israel's oldest kibbutz, where the socialist utopia is long gone. She says it is still paradise — but tainted by money.
The socialist ideals that once ruled every aspect of life in Deganya Alef, founded in Ottoman Palestine in 1910 by a group of young and idealistic east European Jews, are today deeply imbued with capitalist concepts.
"My childhood was an elated paradise. Today this is still paradise, but less so," says Kippins, one of the first children born in what was a unique social experiment.
"Today things have changed. The second you introduce money it ruins life," she grumbles, food tray in hand by the common dining room's cash register.
Until 15 years ago, the meals prepared in the communal kitchen were free. But today kibbutz members have to pay 15 shekels (four dollars) for the food.
In the past, kibbutz members would not earn salaries and the kibbutz provided for their every need. Today Deganya members working in the kibbutz or outside earn salaries like anyone else in Israel.
For one thing, all kibbutz property — including homes, communal buildings, its dairy farm and its successful stone-cutting blades factory — are owned by the community.
And many expenditure and policy decisions are still made at meetings attended by the entire community.
While the "Deganya model" is being adopted by several other kibbutzim across the country, some still stick to more traditional ways.
Out of 256 kibbutzim, the 74 that still have an entirely communal system and no individual salaries are also the wealthiest, Getz says.
"Kibbutzim are still trying to maintain a small part of their basic ideals. They are still unique in certain ways that can't make them a normal village — mainly the principle of solidarity and communal property," he says.
According to a poll conducted by his centre, 80 percent of kibbutz members still hold extremely socialist views.
But although kibbutzim today are turning a profit, their members have lost the influence they once had on Israeli society.
"Kibbutzniks" who used to be disproportionately represented in Israel's military and political leadership in the first three decades of the Jewish state's existence have now been pushed to the sidelines of public life.
The popularity of the kibbutz plummeted after the nationalist Likud party was elected in 1977 following nearly 40 years of hegemony by the socialist Mapai, which was reluctant to reform financially ailing kibbutzim, Getz says.
RLCC Comment: The fascist Likudniks killed the spirit. It was at the same time that Thatcher and Reagan came along ruining the direction. We're all paying for it now with global warming and a global recession that is really a depression where food is concerned.
Out of 256 kibbutzim, the 74 that still have an entirely communal system and no individual salaries are also the wealthiest.
Jesus was and is a small-c Communist. It's the right way. It's the unselfish way. The selfish spirit brings death and destruction. Watch.
Yahoo! News: Mideast Conflict, April 18, 2008, 9:18am, obtained via:
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)