Tagged ‘Palestine’

Inadmissible Crimes Against Humanity

The Division at the Heart of the Israel/Palestine Conflict

For decades Palestinians have lived on the edge of annihialation, their homeland steadily annexed until just a slither of the original remains. It’s a story that just won’t go away, even for those thousands of miles away, who try to cover their ears and eyes from the shame which has befallen the ruthless oppressor of this now tiny peninsular of land and its battle weary people.

In 1975, I worked on a kibbutz called Rosh Hanikra, in Northern Israel. It’s main income was derived from intensive commercial avocado pear production. There were maybe four hundred inhabitants. The social experiment known as kibbutziem grew up after World War Two, when thousands of European Jews,who had survived Hitler’s pogroms, moved to Israel, with the intent of making it their new home.

The kibbutziem movement was developed as a series of agricultural land-based settlements, often established on very poor land which was gradually worked into productivity. At Rosh Hanikra we all ate together in a large dining hall and slept in small houses dotted around the central area. No one ‘owned’ the land or homes, the kibbutz was established as a collective, and those who remained part of the movement for the longest acquired certain privilidges.

That is how it worked, and I was there as a volunteer for a brief period, my interest being directly connected to an exploration of alternative models of land settlement, with a view to the future of the UK country estate I had inherited on the death of my father some years earlier. (more…)