Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Ellul 5760 - September 27, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Kibbutzim Hold Land for Private Housing Rather than Farms
by S. Yisraeli

The argument over the hetter hamechirah has aroused an outcry among the representatives of the kibbutzim, especially among Meretz politicians. The outcry focuses on the "affront to the value of agriculture."

However, that same week, the media aired an interview which dealt with an affair that is not linked to the issue of shmita, but which casts light on the hypocrisy of the "defenders of agriculture."

The mayor of Kiryat Shmoneh, Chaim Barbibai was interviewed in the wake of the occurrences in the south, where tension increased between the kibbutzim and the Shderot municipality.

At a demonstration, Shderot's mayor, Eli Moyal said that Shderot would go to war against the arrogant kibbutzim who treat the residents of Shderot as water carriers. The mayor of Kiryat Shmone was asked if in the north there is also tension which is liable to burst out one bright day.

Chaim Barbibai replied: "To my great dismay, if the situation continues, I assume that in the north there will be a bigger outburst than the one which occurred in Shderot."

He said that the argument would grow more heated, especially given the fact that the kibbutzim are holding State lands without justification.

"Let us take Kiryat Shmoneh, which exhausted its lands," Barbibai said. "Now we are trying to build a bit. Only now have we restored the ruins from a security point of view. Today we are trying to bring residents back from the center of the country to Kiryat Shmoneh, and we have no possibility to build homes, because there isn't a piece of available land, and the lands today are owned by a very small sector of the populace. Three percent of the populace in the country holds 97% of the lands."

Barbibai claimed that the kibbutzim which surround Kiryat Shmoneh, have long ago forgotten the farming vision, but insist on holding the lands due to their financial value.

"The lands were given to kibbutzim in order to work them. What is happening now is that agriculture barely exists. All of the kibbutzim are planning to set up private neighborhoods within the kibbutzim. That means drawing the stronger people from Kiryat Shmoneh into the kibbutzim.

"But the result will be that only those who have no choice will remain in Kiryat Shmoneh, and the provocation will come for them. That's the whole story," he said "The kibbutzim have to transfer the lands to Kiryat Shmoneh. Are those lands theirs? No one in the state can get lands as a gift. The lands are in the possession of the kibbutzim, and it is time that they returned them."

In the name of "agriculture" the kibbutzim seek to become rich, and to accrue real estate, even when the agriculture barely exists on many kibbutzim. For them, the "banner of agriculture" has become a means for amassing large sums of money, and for the incitement against the halocho and those who observe shmita.


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