This raises the one minor quibble that I have with the narrative Horrox presents. While the seeds of "revolution betrayed" were inherent in even the pacific Zionism embraced by the early settlers, there were numerous additional clues to the coming cooptation that were part and parcel of life on the kibbutzim. Horrox alludes to some of these harbingers without explicitly connecting them to the martial and domineering values oftentimes associated with Israel today. Included among these are the depictions of the first communards as rugged pioneers seeking a rough-hewn self-sufficiency in harsh environs; the high levels of camaraderie and "esprit de corps" (p. 68) common to nearly every kibbutz; the pervasive impetus among members to "be part of something larger than oneself " (p. 77); and the increasing levels of bureaucratization and regimentation that came with economic diversification. These inherent values lend themselves straightforwardly to a militaristic mindset, especially in a nation where service is mandatory and is perceptually intertwined with both national identity and historical necessity. Despite these significant challenges and delimitations, Horrox admirably resists the temptation to conclude that the kibbutzim are an abject failure. In fact, he suggests precisely the opposite, indicating that the creative,
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Jun 1, 2011
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