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The Political Economy of Communal Life: Zionist Settlement Policy and Kibbutz Collective Practices, 1920-2010.

I. Introduction

Kibbutzim in Israel continually pose challenges to the social study of communal life. At the end of World War II, Martin Buber presented the kibbutz as a potential model for the organization of society worldwide, a socialist alternative to the Soviet model. (1) Instead, during the following two decades the kibbutzim suffered an economic and demographic crisis. While they still retained extensive collective practices, most scholars agreed that modernization threatened their future. (2) Their view was in line with Kanter's claim that the longevity of communes depends upon commitment-building mechanisms based on sacrifice, religion, and hierarchy. (3)

During the 1970s, however, the kibbutzim prospered demographically and economically, while their collective practices still remained relatively stable. The reaction of most kibbutz scholars was to substitute the theoretical focus on the necessity of commitment building for the endurance of communal sharing, with emphasis on the need for maintaining a balance between rigid adherence to ideology and uncontrolled adoption of norms from the surrounding society. (4)

Since the 1990s, following an intensive decollectivization process at the kibbutzim, the theoretical focus has returned to the failure of communal sharing in voluntary, democratic communes. Some authors consider the recent kibbutz "privatization" as the last stage in a unidirectional process that had begun during the 1960s or earlier. (5) Other present it as evidence of universal social processes. Thus Sosis learns from it about the indispensability of religious motivation in the preservation of communal living practices, Abramitzky about "the limits of equal sharing," and Spiro about "the strength of the individualist constellation... most likely a characteristic of human nature." (6) These claims are nevertheless difficult to reconcile with the extensive diffusion of kibbutz communal sharing practices in the past.

In an attempt to escape this theoretical seesaw, this paper presents a preliminary analysis of the long-term diffusion and decline of kibbutz collective practices from a political economy perspective. I look at these practices as an instrument and more specifically, an instrument of Zionist settlement. The explanation I offer for the shifts in their diffusion and decline is therefore focused on the impact of changing Zionist settlement policies in Israel/Palestine.

The paper proceeds as follows. Section II provides a theoretical framework for the study of the diffusion of kibbutz collective practices. Section III presents the historical context in which the kibbutz movement was formed, stressing its role as the spearhead of the Zionist settlement project. Section IV describes the diffusion and decline of kibbutz collective practices since 1920, followed in section V by a tentative explanation of these processes, based on the impact of changing settlement policies. Finally, section VI reviews the findings and discusses their implications for the study of communal life.

II. Theoretical Framework

Communal sharing is a recurrent phenomenon in world history that has attracted public attention at least from early Greek times (e.g., in Plato's Republic). Weber addressed it in the context of his general analysis of social action, treating communal consumption ("communism" in his terminology) as the embodiment of an action based on "direct feeling of solidarity" rather than on "consideration of means for obtaining an optimum of provisions." He observed that this solidarity could rest on traditional, emotional, or charismatic foundations. Weber observed that nonpatriarchal "communism" was characteristic of field armies and religious communities. (7)

Weber's comments have had little impact on the extensive social research about communal life and collective economies that developed during the late 1960s and the 1970s. Most social scholars have approached the subject in terms of "utopian" or "intentional" communities. Accordingly, they have focused on internal processes that promote communal sharing, rather than on external influences, and on the cultural and ideological development of the communal idea, rather than on the political and economic circumstances in which communal sharing was adopted. Thus Kanter's influential study was founded on the assumption that "the ideal of social unity has led to the formation of numerous communes and Utopian communities." Similarly, Abrams et al. described the goal of communes as "the institutionalization of friendship on the basis of place-making," and Zablocki described it as "the achievement of community." (8) The emphasis on culture and the internal dynamics of communes is pervasive in recent studies also. In 2013, leading scholars of communal life contributed new essays to a volume devoted to the "the communal idea in the 21st century." (9) Steven Brint characterized communes and collectives as "belief based" communities in contrast with "activity based"; Martin and Vaisey returned to the set of communes explored by Zablocki to focus in turn on "belief systems" in "naturally occurring communities," or "the role of shared moral order" in sustaining "the experience of community." (10)

The cultural and internal approach to the study of communal sharing has had a great impact also on the study of kibbutzim. They have been usually treated in sociological research primarily as organizations or communities striving to fulfill the ideals of communal sharing, equality, and democracy. (11) Sure enough, their role in the Zionist settlement project prior to 1948 was nowhere denied, and in some works was even placed at center stage. (12) Thus Gershon Shafir described the kibbutz as "the most salient expression of the land- and labor-conquest strategy of the Jewish settlers-workers in Palestine. (13) Nevertheless, with regard to the period after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, kibbutz research was focused almost exclusively on the effort of the kibbutzim to maintain their communal sharing ideals in the face of a hostile or an indifferent social environment, at best. Simons and Ingram went so far as to describe the post-1948 kibbutzim as rivals, or "enemies" of the state. (14)

In contrast with theoretical emphasis on the role of culture and beliefs in the adoption and maintenance of communal sharing norms or practices, detailed historical accounts challenge the claim that the origin of such practices lies first and foremost in abstract ideals. They show instead that collective practices have been developed in trial-and-error processes that were not necessarily aligned with any predetermined plan or consistent communal ideology. (15) Experimentation with a wide range of organizational arrangements characterized the adoption of communal sharing at the first kibbutzim also. (16)

Donald Pitzer suggested an alternative--or at least complementary--approach to the study of collective practices, similar to Weber's. Writing about "developmental communalism," Pitzer focused on the adoption of communal practices rather than on communes or intentional communities per se. He described communalism as an emergent phenomenon, characteristic of initial stages of social movements or other entities and stressed its instrumental value in promoting other objectives:
First, communal living and collective economies are universally
available to peoples, governments, and movements. Second, communal
practices are often adopted out of necessity for security, stability,
and survival during the emergence of a people, a culture, a political
program or a religious or a secular movement. Third, and possibly most
important, communal usage is sometimes altered creatively or abandoned
altogether for more relevant organizational strategies as new
circumstances or opportunities arise. (17)


A collection of studies about American communes edited by Pitzer showed that communal living practices were indeed adopted by social movements to promote a wide range of missions and tasks. (18) Following his insights, in this article I look at kibbutz communal sharing practices as an instrument for expanding and consolidating Zionist hold on land. Adopting a political economy perspective, I demonstrate that the financial, legal, and political support provided by the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and the State of Israel were key factors in the kibbutzim's ability to maintain a positive demographic balance and avoid the erosion of communal sharing practices.

Pitzer has not elaborated on the circumstances under which collective practices are used instrumentally to promote security, stability, and survival. My simple assumption here is they are adopted and maintained when people are confronted with collective challenges or threats while at the same time perceiving limited opportunities for personal economic gain. (19) Thus, political and economic resources allocated to the kibbutz movement may be expected to grow in proportion to Zionist authorities' efforts to promote settlement in peripheral areas. The diffusion of kibbutz collective practices, in turn, would depend mostly on that support. Note that this perspective does not deny the impact of external cultural factors on the diffusion of collective practices or the importance of the internal dynamics of the kibbutz movement. Rather, it seeks to add a key factor largely overlooked in previous studies.

III. Zionist Settlement in Israel/Palestine and the Birth of the Kibbutz Movement

The modern Zionist colonization project in Israel/Palestine started at the end of the nineteenth century and was oriented since its beginning to the establishment of exclusive Jewish settlements. After World War I, Jewish settlement was recognized as an official goal of the British Mandate for Palestine and became the focus of WZO activity. The Zionist settlement effort continued after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, now organized and controlled by its authorities. Israel's borders had never been drawn in a final agreement and Jewish settlements have always served to affect their extent. Thus, the effort to promote Jewish control of land has been going on for already more than a hundred years. (20)

The kibbutzim were born as part of the Zionist settlement project. The first kibbutz, Degania, was founded following the WZO's decision to adopt a cooperative settlement plan prepared by Franz Oppenheimer. (21) Its small group of young founders settled in 1910 on WZO land as a "Conquest Group" (Kvutzat Kibush), combining collective consumption and production. In the following years, Degania's members gradually committed themselves to permanent settlement on the basis of "self-labor" (avoiding the employment of hired hands) and expanded their collective practices beyond Oppenheimer's plan by insisting on equal pay, democratic management, and collective education. In 1921 they decided to abolish private property. Degania's membership was deliberately limited at that time to about two dozen members, in order to promote close personal ties. (22)

In 1920 new Jewish immigrants from Europe joined veteran workers to establish the Work Legion (Gedud Ha-Avoda), also based on equal sharing and the avoidance of private property. Unlike Degania, however, the Legion sought to incorporate as many Jewish workers as possible in a single commune. Over the next few years the kibbutzim's organizational structure crystallized out of ideological and political struggles centered on the contrast between those two organizational forms based on equal sharing: the exclusive, cohesive Kvutza of Degania and the inclusive Work Legion. By 1923 dozens of new communal groups, calling themselves "Kvutza" or "Kibbutz" settled on land owned by the WZO. Others were formed in towns and cities, hoping to settle later. Thus, from the 1920s we can already talk about a kibbutz movement. (23)

As Near explains, the kibbutzim received extensive support from the WZO because of their instrumental value for the Zionist Project:
Land for settlement, startup capital, cattle and machinery and legal
support were all part of the infrastructure without which the settled
Kvutza would never have come into existence, and certainly would never
have lasted. None of these things was given simply out of sympathy
with the Kvutza and its objectives, but because it was seen as the
best--frequently indeed the only available--instrument for carrying
out the declared aims of the Zionist movement: settlement, absorption
of new immigrants, and the establishment of Hebrew-speaking colonies,
which would promote the revival of Jewish culture. (24)


The advantage of the kibbutzim from the Zionist point of view was most prominent in the struggle to entrench and expand Jewish control of land. Their collective practices enabled them to better confront the security threats posed by the Palestinians, who often resisted the transfer of land to Jewish control. (25) This advantage was succinctly described in a semiofficial military history of Israel:
Of all types of settlements, the kibbutz is... closest to a military
formation. ... It has an advantage over the military work since the
kibbutz member does not spend his life in the same atmosphere of
boredom, which makes even the best armies deteriorate in peacetime or
times in which there is no intensive training. (26)


The suppression of personal economic motives gave the kibbutzim other advantages in the struggle for Jewish control of land. Their members were willing to settle even when public capital was scarce and the land available for settlement was composed of small parcels of poor quality land. (27)

From their first days, the kibbutzim competed with other agricultural settlements for WZO economic and political support. Especially significant was the competition with the cooperative moshavim, whose basic unit of production was the family. The moshavim were also committed to Jewish settlement based on "self-labor" that served to exclude the Palestinians but were less successful in confronting military threats and economic risks. The kibbutzim, on the other hand, were considered more prone to accumulate debts. (28) They were also inferior to the moshavim in attracting and retaining settlers, since willingness to give up any opportunity for personal gain was not easily achieved or maintained.

In order to attract new members, the kibbutz movement devoted considerable energies to the development, promotion, and diffusion of its ideology. Since the early 1920s, its members were sent abroad to train prospective settlers. The Jewish youth movements, which they fostered and controlled, established "training kibbutzim" in Europe. Their "graduates" were given preference in the allocation of immigration permits and directed to specific kibbutzim by kibbutz federative organizations. The latter were empowered in the process and developed financial institutions that could obtain credit by virtue of the mutual guarantee between the kibbutzim. By the end of the 1930s, all kibbutzim acknowledged the contribution of the federative organizations to their success and each of them joined one. They were divided on political and ideological issues, such as the degree of commitment to Zionist goals beyond agricultural settlement and their authority over individual kibbutzim. Nevertheless, since the late 1930s, all federative organizations have favored the absorption of new settlers and exercised their authority to maintain kibbutz commitment to communal life and self-labor. (29)

IV. The Diffusion and Decline of Kibbutz Communal Life, 1920-2010

The internal organization of kibbutz communities was relatively uniform and stable during the movement's first 70 years. Some changes in the scope of communal sharing practices occurred between the mid-1920s and late 1980s, among them a reduction in the scale of communal consumption through the introduction of a limited "personal budget" and the abandoning of children's dormitories in some kibbutzim. Nevertheless the basic collective practices of equal sharing, communal mess halls, collective education, direct democratic decision-making, and limiting hired labor remained relatively stable and uniform. The size of kibbutz population may therefore serve throughout the decades from 1920 to 1990 as an indicator for the diffusion of kibbutz collective practices. Later, however, many kibbutzim adopted new organizational practices that significantly reduced the scope of their communal sharing. Therefore, the size of the kibbutz population cannot serve as an indicator of the diffusion of collective practices beyond the 1980s.

During the first decade of the movement, the kibbutzim's population rose from about 500 to more than 2,500, representing about 2 percent of the Jewish population in Palestine at the time. These figures nevertheless conceal considerable annual fluctuations. The kibbutzim population declined in 1923 and 1925 and was lower in 1928 than in 1924. (30)

After 1930, the kibbutz movement enjoyed a long period of uninterrupted population growth that lasted for almost thirty years. This growth was especially intense between 1935 and 1949, when kibbutz share in the Jewish population of Israel/Palestine reached a peak of more than 7 percent. In the following years, population growth slowed down. A short recovery during the years 1954-1957 could not reverse the trend, and in 1958, with a 4 percent share of Israel's population, the demographic growth of the kibbutz movement came to a halt (see Figure l). (31)

The years 1959-1967 were marked by relative stability in kibbutz population. Its share in the Israeli population dropped from 3.9 to 2.8 percent, with a negative migration balance. Population decline was avoided only thanks to high natural growth of the relatively young population. (32) Bruno Bettelheim noted at the time that the most talented kibbutz offspring were more prone to leave. (33) Thus, many observers interpreted the stability of kibbutz population as stagnation, placing the movement's future at risk. (34) Since 1968, however, the kibbutzim population entered a new period of uninterrupted growth. In 1984, it reached 122,000, still about 2.9 percent of the Israeli population. Commitment to collective communal practices was maintained during the 1970s and early 1980s, and doubts about the kibbutzim's future were set aside. (35)

The vigorous growth in the kibbutzim population was again reversed during the late 1980s. (36) Shortly afterwards, a far-reaching decollectivization process began in most kibbutzim. The first organizational changes introduced were mostly limited to increasing members' choice by combining different sums allocated to specific targets into a "comprehensive personal budget." Nevertheless within a short time most other areas of communal life were also drastically transformed. Commitment to self-labor declined if not disappeared, nonmembers were admitted as residents, and democratic management was substantially reduced. In 1992, one kibbutz decided to allocate differential salaries to its members, formally breaking with the collective ownership and equal sharing norms, which had been considered the movement's defining characteristics. (37) In the next fifteen years, more than 75 percent of the kibbutzim followed suit. Today the few dozen kibbutzim that are still committed to equal sharing are mostly located in the periphery or are exceptionally well off. The decline of kibbutz collective practices required changing the kibbutz's legal definition, and the decline has reached such proportions that the future survival of these practices in any kibbutzim is in doubt. (38)

Taking into consideration both the changes in the population of kibbutzim described above and their commitment to equal sharing, the diffusion of kibbutz communal sharing practices in Israel/Palestine may be summarized in terms of five distinct periods: (1) hesitant diffusion (1920-1929), (2) consistent diffusion (1930-1958), (3) relative stability (1959-1967), (4) recovery and intensive diffusion (1968-1985), and (5) decline (1986-2010).

This diffusion history may be seen as a series of challenges for the social study of communal life. First, the share of kibbutz members in the population of Israel/Palestine was much higher than that of communards in any other country, and this should be accounted for. A second puzzle is the persistence of kibbutz collective practices despite the limited use of strict commitment mechanisms based on hierarchy, isolation, and renunciation. Third, the diffusion of kibbutz collective practices during the 1930s and 1970s is not easy to account for. Renewed momentum of collective practices was rarely addressed in the social study of communal life. Fourth, the drastic decline in kibbutz collective practices since the late 1990s is not easy to explain, especially if it is compared to prior decades. These challenges are addressed in the following section.

V. Changing Zionist Settlement Policies and Their Impact on the Diffusion of Kibbutz Collective Practices

The diffusion and decline of kibbutz collective practices is examined in this section in the context of changing Zionist settlement policies. More attention is devoted to the last decades, since the link between settlement policies and kibbutz practices was much less investigated in regard to this period.

1921-1929: Hesitant Support in Times of Declining Military Threats

The initial diffusion of kibbutz communal sharing was part of the WZO settlement effort to which the British Mandate was also committed. It was facilitated by a wave of Jewish immigrants in 1920-1923, which increased the Jewish population in Palestine from 56,000 to 90,000. Twenty-four new kibbutzim were established during that period. Dozens of urban collective groups were also formed thanks to the Histadrut (Jewish Labor Federation), which contracted large-scale public works financed by the British authorities. These were subcontracted to communal worker groups, which by 1922 already numbered almost 2,000 communards (including Work Legion groups), about twice the number of settled kibbutz members. In 1923 these public works were discontinued. The non-settled collective groups were left with very limited employment opportunities, and most of them disbanded. Settled kibbutzim, on the other hand, proved much more resistant to the crisis, thanks to WZO support. (39)

After a short economic boom, following a new immigration wave in 1924-1925, the economic and employment situation in Palestine deteriorated during the years 1926-1928, while WZO funds shrunk. Given the improvement in the security situation since 1924 at least, the WZO leadership adopted an increasingly skeptical approach toward the kibbutz settlement model. The recommendations of the so-called Report of the Experts submitted to its executive board in 1928 stated that in order to use Zionist resources more effectively, all new agricultural settlements should be established as moshavim rather than kibbutzim and preparations should be made to transform the latter into the former. (40) The establishment of kibbutz federative organizations during that period reflected increasing awareness that the kibbutzim's future depended on Zionist settlement policies and that they should organize in order to gain political clout. Their efforts were largely successful. First, great effort was made to avoid the abandonment of any settled kibbutz even under economic and demographic crisis. Second, the character of the kibbutzim remained unchanged. New recruits were sent by the federative organizations to these kibbutzim, while members, or even groups, who supported more lenient, moshav-style practices, had to leave. (41) Kibbutz communal sharing practices were thus institutionalized during the next years despite the high turnover rate--50 percent between 1927 and 1937. (42)

1930-1948: Growing Support with the Intensified Struggle over Lands

Jewish immigration to Palestine was renewed in 1930. During the following decade, the Jewish population more than doubled with the arrival of nearly 300,000 immigrants. Many of the newcomers were already committed to communal sharing, having been in "training kibbutzim" abroad. Upon arrival in Israel, many of them were sent by kibbutz federations to reinforce existing kibbutzim or work in towns and cities, waiting for an opportunity to establish new settlements. Following the Palestinian riots in 1929 and the Hope Simpson report that was interpreted as hostile to Jewish colonization, the WZO was determined to renew the momentum of settlement. The security situation during the years 1930-1935 was nevertheless stable. Therefore, Zionist settlement policy was still oriented mostly to economic considerations, and until 1935, priority was given to the establishment of moshavim. (43)

Zionist settlement policy was transformed in 1936 in consequence of the Arab Revolt and the Peel Commission Partition Plan. The settlement budget of the WZO increased threefold between 1935 and 1940, and political considerations replaced economic ones. (44) Top priority was given to the settlement of areas whose inclusion in a future Jewish State was in question. Most of the settlements in these areas lacked arable land, and many faced serious security threats. Under these circumstances, the merits of kibbutz collective organization proved invaluable. Thirty-six new kibbutzim were established in 1936-1939 alone. The prestige of the kibbutz movement soared and enabled its population to keep growing. (45)

With the outbreak of World War II, Jewish immigration stopped, the WZO budget shrank, and British authorities placed new legal barriers on Zionist settlement and land acquisition. Consequently, only few kibbutzim were settled during the first years of the war. Later, however, the legal obstacles were circumvented, and kibbutz settlement resumed. The kibbutzim enjoyed economic prosperity during the war, exploiting the rising demand of the British army for agricultural products. Meanwhile mobilization of their members to the British Army and local military units of the Palmach further enhanced the reputation of the kibbutzim and contributed to their success in attracting new members. (46)

In the aftermath of the war, the future of Palestine again became a subject of internal and international dispute. The Zionist settlement effort was reinvigorated, and security risks escalated. Under these circumstances, the kibbutz movement recieved the economic support it needed to lead the settlement, immigration, and military buildup efforts of the Zionist Movement. (47) During the 1948 War, each kibbutz served as a military outpost, and the advantages of collective organization were more evident than ever. The kibbutzim's resulting prestige may explain why during that period they attained their highest rate of population growth ever (see Figure 1). (48)

1949-1966: Stable Borders, Stable Support

The establishment of the State of Israel was clearly a turning point for the kibbutz movement, but its effect on the spread of kibbutz collective practices was not immediate or simple. Following the 1948 War, large tracts of land previously owned and inhabited by Palestinians were expropriated by the new state. The government's interest in rapid settlement to prevent the return of Palestinian refugees was in line with the aspiration of kibbutz communal groups in towns and cities, whose settlment had been delayed for years due to land shortage. Consequently, no fewer than sixty-two new kibbutzim were established in 1948-1949, based as before on WZO economic support. Soon afterwards, in 1949-1950, 149 moshavim were established.

The number of willing settlers was limited, however, and threfore part of the formerly Palestinian land was not immediately settled. Accordingly, the early 1950s saw intensive efforts by the Israeli government to fill the gap. Under the protection of the Israeli army, the military superiority of the kibbutzim was less significant. Therefore few kibbutzim were established during the 1950s, and priority was given to the moshav settlements that were more attractive to immigrants because they allowed more individual freedom. (49)

Nevertheless, the kibbutzim remained major players in the agricultural sector and were still indispensable for settlement in areas that presented special economic or security hardships. (50) The government and the WZO therefore continued to provide them extensive economic support. (51) It also designed new methods to attract youth to the kibbutzim. The most important aspect of these new efforts was the establishment of the army's Nahal corps, which combined military and settlement activity, enabling the movement to continue educating significant youth sectors in kibbutz ideology. The corps thus served in some ways as a substitute for the training kibbutzim of the British Mandate period. (52)

The settlement of Palestinian land evacuated in 1948 was largely complete by the late 1950s, substantially reducing Jewish settlement activity. The halt and even reversal of kibbutz population growth in the following years reflected the normalization atomosphere that engulfed the country. The government was nevertheless still committed to the survival of all kibbutzim and moshavim in order to maintain Jewish control of land. Thus, in 1958 it established a public committee headed by the governor of the Bank of Israel to promote profitability in agriculture. The committee recommended debt relief for the kibbutzim and central control and regulation of agricultural production and marketing. The implementation of these measures enabled the kibbutzim to achieve certain economic progress in 1962-1966. (53) This is the context of their success in stopping and even reversing somewhat the population decline of the late 1950s (see Figure 1).

During the 1950s and the 1960s, Kibbutz federative organizations were empowered by the government and gained increased influence on the distribution of public resources among the kibbutzim. This enabled them to prevent or at least substantially limit the erosion of kibbutz collective practices. (54) Particularly intensive and effective was their effort to reduce the employment of hired farm hands. (55) This issue regained the attention of policymakers during the early 1960s when Palestinian citizens of Israel were incorporated into the Israeli labor market as the military rule imposed on them was gradually relaxed. (56)

1967-1980: Increased Support with the Settlement of the Occupied Territories

The 1967 War opened up new opportunities for Zionist settlement. During the subsequent decades, the Israeli government promoted agricultural settlements in the territories occupied during the war, in line with a plan formulated by cabinet member and kibbutz movement representative Yigal Allon By 1982, twenty-four kibbutzim (and fifty-two moshavim) were established in the (Syrian) Golan Heights, Jordan Valley, and the Rafah Salient south of the Gaza Strip, in an effort to expand Israeli territory. (57)

The renewal of the Jewish settlement effort during that period depended, as in the past, on government policy. A report published by the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture in 1976 explained that while the 1960s were marked by "efforts to balance production and demand by introducing economic considerations," during the 1970s, "emphasis is turning to the development of exports." (58) The expansive approach was still evident in a five-year plan issued by the ministry in 1980. It called for the establishment of 140 new settlements based on self-labor, set production, and export targets, without any reference to profitability. (59) Meanwhile the massive entrance of Palestinian workers from the occupied territories into the Israeli labor market was perceived as a threat to Jewish control of land and increased the tendency to compensate settlers that remained commited to to the self-labor principle. Financial resources allocated to agriculture by the WZO and the State of Israel therefore rose drastically, from 50 percent of agricultural produce in 1966 to 100 percent in 1980. The increase was particularly impressive because during the same period the large debts accumulated earlier by the kibbutzim and moshavim were almost erased by the rising inflation. (60)

The growth in financial resources allocated to kibbutzim and moshavim during the 1970s and early 1980s was interpreted by Israeli banks as evidence of state commitment to their financial viability. Accordingly, the credit extended to the agricultural sector grew threefold between 1969 and 1984, compared to only 30 percent increase in the credit to the manufacturing sector. (61) Some of it was used by the kibbutzim and others to manipulate bank shares that earned very high profits. (62) As a result of all these factors, the kibbutzim's financial condition improved dramatically during the 1970s, helping explain the vigorous population growth of these years that was achieved without "brain drain." (63) This economic and demographic prosperity reduced internal pressures to abandon communal norms and may therefore account for the relative stability of kibbutz organizational practices, despite the decline of collectivistic ideology. (64)

1980-2010: Dwindling Support Given Reduced Contribution to Jewish Control of Land

The right-wing Likud Party's victory in the 1977 elections heralded a new era in Israel's territorial aspirations and a complex change in its settlement policy. The new government agreed to return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt as part of a peace agreement. But at the same time, they began colonizing the entire occupied Palestinian territories and intensified the Jewish settlement effort in the Galilee, densely inhabited by Palestinian citizens. To facilitate Jewish settlement in the mountains of the West Bank and Galilee--where arable government lands were almost unavailable--for the first time in Israel's history the government promoted extensive nonagricultural rural settlement. At its center were the new "Community settlements," in which members' occupation was not limited in any way. Between 1980 and 1985, more than seventy settlements of this type were established on both sides of the "green line" (Israel's pre-1967 borders). At the same time, the settlements in the Sinai Peninsula, most of them kibbutzim and moshavim, were evacuated. (65)

Under the new circumstances, in which the promotion of Jewish control of land was less dependent on agricultural settlements, Israel's economic policy changed drastically. The effort to increase agricultural production fizzled, and the agriculture budget was cut by 60 percent between 1978 and 1984. Incentives for agricultural exports were canceled, and subsidies for farm products were cut drastically. During the early 1980s, Israeli banks still offered almost unlimited credit to the agricultural sector, but for the first time it carried real interest. Kibbutz (and moshav) settlers were reluctant to change their economic conduct. Consequently, while the rising standard of living enabled them to keep attracting additional members until 1985, most of the kibbutzim accumulated short-term debt during that period and lost most of their equity. (66) In the summer of 1985, credit in the Israeli market was sharply restricted by the government as part of a Stabilization Plan. (67) During the next four years interest payments consumed more than a third of the kibbutzim's net product, (68) and their debt burden reached $3.6 billion. (69) This was the context for the shift from kibbutz population growth to decline, exacerbated by a "brain drain." (70)

During the early 1990s, an additional shift in government policy occurred. Following the Palestinian uprising (First Intifada), Israel adopted a so-called closure policy, cutting most of the low-cost Palestinian labor force off the Israeli market. (71) Migrant workers were imported in their stead on the basis of temporary work permits. (72) The separation was enshrined in the 1993 Oslo Accords, which established the Palestinian Authority. The threat of Palestinian agricultural labor that could endanger Jewish control of land was thus removed. The government's efforts to promote self-labor in agriculture, which had been so central to its support of kibbutzim (and moshavim) for more than seven decades, came to an end. Production quotas, which had ensured stable and high prices for agricultural products, were abolished, and moshav members were allowed to sublease their lands. (73) Consequently, the number of hired hands in the Israeli agricultural labor force rose from 27,000 in 1990 to 41,000 in 1996, while the number of kibbutz and moshav members in it dropped from 43,000 to 26,000. (74)

Under the circumstances of the 1990s, the cause of Jewish control of land was not served anymore by kibbutz federative organizations that in the past had promoted commitment to self-labor and the establishment of new settlements. These organizations were therefore disempowered by the government. (75) Meanwhile the economic situation of the kibbutzim continued to deteriorate until 1995, when most of them were actually bankrupt. (76) That year a new debt rescheduling agreement was signed between the banks, the state, and the kibbutzim, under which the latter were pressured to abandon equal pay. Israel Oz, former head of the body established by the government to administer the agreement, summarized lately the process as follows: "All 135 kibbutzim in the agreement were actually behaving parasitically until they were told that the taps were closed for them, that they have to change... a change in people's lives, from being dependent upon the kibbutz and managed by it to being independent, managing their own life and making their own decisions." (77) The decollectivization processes of the last decades were therefore another instance of the far-reaching impact of Zionist settlement policy on the diffusion (and decline) of kibbutz communal sharing practices.

VI. Discussion

In the preceding sections, I presented a new perspective on the diffusion and decline of communal sharing practices throughout the history of the kibbutz movement. Without denying the role of culture--i.e., members' quest for community and equality--the focus here has been on political economy and on the use of collective practices as settlement instrument, part of an effort to entrench and expand Zionist control of land. This emphasis on the role of settlement in understanding the kibbutz movement is in line with the view of Tabenkin, leader of the HaKibbutz Hameuchad federative organization for many decades: "The kibbutz is a settlement body; this is its main quality, without which it cannot exist." (78) Kibbutz social scholarship has nevertheless almost entirely ignored the settlement context of the movement's development after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and therefore also its relation to the Arab-Jewish conflict. Developments like the expansion of Jewish settlement in the occupied territories following the 1967 war, the evacuation of Sinai Peninsula, or the Oslo agreements are seldom discussed in kibbutz social research.

My point of departure in analyzing communal sharing practices as a settlement instrument has been the simple claim that their contribution to the settlement effort increases when the settlers face security threats and experience limited opportunities for personal economic gains. As described above, Zionist policies towards the kibbutzim and their collective practices have shifted according to Zionist settlement targets. The more challenging settlement circumstances have been, the stronger has been also the tendency of the WZO and the State of Israel to provide the kibbutzim with political and economic support and encourage them to maintain their collective practices.

As shown here, the diffusion of kibbutz collective practices followed quite closely on shifts in Zionist settlement policy. During the early 1920s, the years 1936-1949, and the 1970s, Zionist settlement was focused on remote or isolated areas in which the settlers confronted risks that limited or even precluded personal economic gain. In these circumstances, public resources allocated to the kibbutzim and their federative organizations increased, new kibbutzim were established, youth were attracted to the movement, and communal living was practiced by growing numbers. Conversely, during the late 1920s, late 1950s and early 1960s, and since the late 1980s, the Zionist settlement effort was or has been limited to relatively secure areas. Settlement could be promoted during those periods through moshavim, and later also community settlements, which required less public expense and ideological zeal. Therefore financial and political resources allocated to the kibbutzim were reduced, and they experienced social and demographic crises that resulted in increasing internal pressures to discard communal sharing.

The extent of kibbutz collective practices depended not only on economic prosperity that enabled them to attract new members but also on the power of the federative organizations that limited the erosion of their collective practices. (79) The authority of these organizations rested upon their influence on the allocation of public resources. As we have seen, this influence has changed during the years in tandem with Zionist settlement policies. Thus during the crisis of the late 1950s and early 1960s, the government empowered kibbutz federative organizations in line with its determination to deny agricultural employment opportunities to the Palestinian workers. Kibbutz communal practices remained therefore stable despite economic and demographic crises. Conversely, during the 1990s, the state's concern to avoid or limit the hiring of Palestinians in agriculture abated, since they were anyhow segregated from the Israeli labor market by means of military closures. Kibbutz federative organizations were therefore disempowered, and the crisis precipitated a far-reaching process of decollectivization and decline of communal sharing.

Stressing the impact of political economy and external influences on the diffusion of kibbutz collective practices does not imply, of course, denial of the importance of the internal dynamics of the kibbutz movement or the role of external cultural influences. Kibbutz members, like most other communards, considered communal life an important end in its own right. For most of them, the communal ideal was the main reason for staying at the kibbutz. Moreover, many of them were skeptical or even cynical about the movement's contribution to the Zionist cause. (80) Since the ability of kibbutzim to attract and retain members depended upon their worldview, the political-economic explanation presented here, focused on Zionist settlement policies, should be considered complementary to rather than substitutive of other more internal and cultural accounts.

Although necessarily incomplete, the interpretation offered here to the diffusion of kibbutz communal practices is innovative in many respects. This is evident when we return to the aspects of the diffusion of kibbutz collective practices that were presented at the beginning of the article as begging explanation. The exceptional diffusion of communal sharing in Israel should be understood in the context of the extraordinary economic and political support that the kibbutz movement received: free land, generous economic support, and also recruitment assistance (during the Mandate period by allocation of immigration permits and later by recognition of participation in kibbutz life as part of the military service). This support is explained, in turn, by the exceptional Zionist determination to promote exclusive Jewish settlements at the expense of economic considerations and in face of security challenges. (81)

The political economy perspective sheds light also on the longevity of kibbutz collective practices despite the limited use of sacrifice, religion, and hierarchy. Kibbutzim's contribution to the Jewish settlement project enabled their members to function as a "serving elite," enjoying public prestige and exercising political power that exceeded by far their share in the population. (82) In Weberian terms, kibbutz communal practices were therefore based not only on "direct conflict with the rational or traditional economically specialized organization of their environment" --characteristic of "monastic communities... sectarian groups and Utopian socialists"--but also on "a budgetary organization of privileged persons," similar in some respects to the ruling strata of warrior societies like Sparta. (83)

The association documented here between communal sharing practices and settlement under harsh conditions does not seem to be limited to kibbutzim. From time immemorial peripheral areas have been inhabited by tribes, religious communities, and field armies, the three types of groups identified by Weber as practicing "communism." Diener observed that "for over four centuries, the Hutterites have occupied a unique evolutionary niche: the rural frontier regions of expanding capitalism." (84) European settlers in North America adopted communal sharing in their first colony in Plymouth in 1621, and during the next centuries, communal life was a recurrent aspect of their settlement, following the westward movement of the American frontier. (85) Other countries in which communal life was extensively adopted during the last centuries not on the basis of kinship are Australia and New Zealand, (86) both settler societies. If one accepts that in certain inhabitable areas the motive of personal gain cannot attract settlers, support to groups committed to communal sharing may be the only means available for governments and other collective entities to settle "modern" (i.e., nontribal) populations in new territories.

Settlement policies were rarely addressed systematically in communal studies, due to the theoretical focus on ideology and the internal dynamics of "utopian" or "intentional" communities and the neglect of political economy. Scholarly attention to the interrelation between these policies and the diffusion of communal sharing practices is therefore in order beyond the kibbutz context also--and may even hold the key to its understanding.

Accepting that communal sharing arises often in the context of collective threats, we can critically examine Pitzer's claim that they are necessarily limited to the initial stages of social movements or other entities. Collective threats are indeed often characteristic of the initial settlement; when a community is stabilized, new opportunities for personal gain may open up, and internal pressures for decollectivization often increase. Nevertheless, as shown here with respect to the kibbutzim, collective communal challenges may reappear and are sometimes recreated by states or other social entities. Decollectivization processes may therefore be delayed, avoided, or even reversed by mobilization for new collective tasks. The experience of the Hutterites is illuminating in this regard. When their colonies reach the maximum size considered desirable--about 50 families--they split, sending half of their families to found a new settlement. (87) The focus on political economy and settlement policies may therefore introduce to communal studies an "eventful sociology," as described by William Sewell. (88)

Daniel DeMalach is a lecturer in sociology at the Department of Administration and Public Policy at Sapir Academic College (Israel). His main research deals with the Zionist colonization project with special focus on the historical development of the kibbutz movement.

(1) Martin Buber, "An Experiment That Did Not Fail," in The Sociology of the Kibbutz, ed. Ernst Krausz (London: Transaction, 1983), 25-35.

(2) See Samuel Koenig, "The Crisis in Israel's Collective Settlements," Jewish Social Studies 14, no. 2 (April 1952): 145-66; Ivan Vallier, "Structural Differentiation Production, Imperatives, and Communal Norms: The Kibbutz in Crisis," Social Forces 40 (1962): 233-42; Joseph Ben-David, Agricultural Planning and Village Community in Israel (Paris: Unesco, 1964).

(3) Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Commitment and Community: Communes and Utopias in Sociological Perspective (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1972).

(4) See, e.g., John W. Bennett, "Communes and Communitarianism," Theory and Society 2, no. 1 (1975): 63-94; Amitai Niv, "Organizational Disintegration: Roots, Processes and Types," in The Organizational Life Cycle, ed. John R. Kimberley and Robert H. Miles (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1980), 354-94; Barry Shenker, Intentional Communities: Ideology and Alienation in Communal Societies (London: Routledge, 1986); Pierre M. van den Berghe and Karl Peter, "Hutterites and Kibbutzniks: A Tale of Nepotistic Communism," Man 23, no. 3 (1988): 522-39.

(5) For the changes at the kibbutzim as one-way process, see Yechezkel Dar, "Communality, Rationalization and Distributive Justice: Changing Evaluation of Work in the Israeli Kibbutz," International Sociology 17, no. 1 (2002): 91-111; Alon Pauker, "The Early Roots of a Later Crisis: The Kibbutz Crisis of the 1980s and Its Roots at the Time of the Establishment of the State of Israel," in One Hundred Years of Kibbutz Life: A Century of Crises and Reinvention, ed. Michal Palgi Shulamit Reinhartz (London: Transaction, 2011), 19-32; Alon Gan, "From 'We' to 'Me': The Ideological Roots of the Privatization of the Kibbutz," in One Hundred Years of Kibbutz Life: A Century of Crises and Reinvention, ed. Michal Palgi and Shulamit Reinhartz (London: Transaction, 2011), 33-46.

(6) Richard Sosis, "Religion and Intragroup Cooperation: Preliminary Results of a Comparative Analysis of Utopian Communities," Cross Cultural Research 34, no. 1 (2000): 70-87; Ran Abramitzky, "The Limits of Equality: Insights from the Israeli Kibbutz," Quarterly Journal of Economics 123, no. 3 (2008): 1111-59; Melford E. Spiro, "Utopia and Its Discontents: The Kibbutz and Its Historical Vicissitudes," American Anthropologist 106, no. 3 (2004): 556-68.

(7) Max Weber, Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978), 153-54.

(8) See Kanter, Commitment and Community, 2-3; Philip Abrams, Andrew McCulloch, Sheila Abrams, and Pat Gore, Communes, Sociology, and Society (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1976), 49; Benjamin David Zablocki, Alienation and Charisma: A Study of Contemporary American Communes (New York: Free Press, 1980), 7.

(9) See Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Yaacov Oved and Menachem Topel, The Communal Idea in the 21st Century (Boston: Brill, 2013).

(10) See Steven Brint, "Gemeinschaft Revisited: A Critique and Reconstruction of the Community Concept," Sociological Theory 19, no. 1 (2001): 10; John Levi Martin, "Power, Authority, and the Constraint of Belief Systems," American Journal of Sociology 107, no. 4 (2002): 861; Stephen Vaisey, "Structure, Culture, and Community: The Search for Belonging in 50 Urban Communes," American Sociological Review 72, no. 6 (2007): 851.

(11) See, e.g., Yoninah Talmon-Gerber, Family and Community in the Kibbutz (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1972); Menachem Rosner, "Social Research, Change and the Kibbutz," in The Sociology of the Kibbutz, ed. Ernest Krausz (London: Transaction, 1983), 7-25; Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Crisis and Transformation: The Kibbutz at Century 's End (New York: SUNY Press, 1997).

(12) See Dov Weintraub, Yael Azmon, and Moshe Lissak, Moshava, Kibbutz, and Moshav: Patterns of Jewish Rural Settlement and Development in Palestine (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1969); Gershon Shafir, Land and Labor in the Making of Israeli Nationalism (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 184; Tal Simons and Paul Ingram, "Enemies of the State: The Interdependence of Institutional Forms and the Ecology of the Kibbutz, 1910-1997," Administrative Science Quarterly 48, no. 4 (2003): 592-621.

(13) Gershon Shafir, "Land, Labor and Population in the Zionist Colonization," in Israeli Society: A Critical Perspective, ed. Uri Ram (Tel Aviv: Breirot, 1993), 112 (Hebrew).

(14) Simons and Ingram, "Enemies of the State," 592-621.

(15) See, e.g., Yaacov Oved, Two Hundred Years of American Communes (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1988); Donald E. Pitzer, ed., America's Communal Utopias (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997); Olive Jones, Keeping It Together: A Comparative Analysis of Four Long-Established Intentional Communities in New Zealand (PhD diss., University of Waikato, 2011).

(16) Henry Near, "Experiment and Survival: The Beginnings of the Kibbutz," Journal of Contemporary History 20, no. 1 (1985): 177-97; Shafir, Land and Labor in the Making of Israeli Nationalism, 165-81.

(17) Donald E. Pitzer, "Developmental Communalism: An Alternative Approach to Communal Studies," in Utopian Thought and Communal Experience, ed. Davis Hardy and Lorna Davidson (Enfield, UK: Middlesex Polytechnic, 1989), 68-9. For a recent presentation of developmental communalism, see Donald E. Pitzer, Donald E. Janzen, Docey Lewis, and Rachel Wright-Summerton, "Communes and Intentional Communities," in Martin Parker, George Cheney, Valerie Fournier, and Chris Land, eds., The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization (London: Routledge, 2014), 89-104.

(18) Pitzer, America's Communal Utopias.

(19) This tentative hypothesis is in line Weber's approach described above as well as with the rational choice perspective. In the words of Michael Hechter, "The threat posed by outsiders can provide a motive for increased solidarity among members of any group," and "the solidarity of any group increases to the degree that members are dependent on the group." Michael Hechter, Principles of Group Solidarity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), 52-56. For a systematic application of this perspective to the analysis of communes' longevity, see Michael Hechter, "The Attainment of Solidarity in Intentional Communities," Rationality and Society 2, no. 2 (1990): 142-55.

(20) For Jewish settlement as part of the struggle for land control in Israel/Palestine, see Baruch Kimmerling, Zionism and Territory: The Socio-Territorial Dimensions of Zionist Politics (Berkeley: University of California, 1983); Shafir, Land and Labor in the Making of Israeli Nationalism; Aharon Kellerman, Society and Settlement: Jewish Land of Israel in the Twentieth Century (New York: SUNY Press, 1993); Oren Yiftachel, Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).

(21) Shafir, Land and Labor in the Making of Israeli Nationalism, 178-79.

(22) Henry Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History Vol. 1: 1909-1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 31-54.

(23) Ibid., 93.

(24) Ibid., 55.

(25) Kimmerling, Zionism and Territory; Simons and Ingram, "Enemies of the State," 592-621.

(26) Cited in Kimmerling, Zionism and Territory, 87.

(27) See Weintraub, Azmon and Lissak, Moshava, Kibbutz, and Moshav, 30-31.

(28) Joint Palestine Survey Commission, Reports of the Experts Submitted to the Joint Palestine Survey Commission (Boston: Daniels Press, 1928), 443-46; Eliyahu Kanovsky, The Economy of the Israeli Kibbutz (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966), 87-118.

(29) Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History, Vol. 1: 1909-1939, 191-94, 393-99.

(30) Ibid., 137-39.

(31) Avraham Pavin, The Kibbutz Movement in Numbers 2004 (Ramat Ef al: Yad Tabenkin, 2004) (Hebrew).

(32) Ibid.

(33) Bruno Bettelheim, The Children of the Dream (New York: Macmillan, 1969), 287.

(34) See Ben-David, Agricultural Planning and Village Community in Israel; Vallier, Structural Differentiation Production, Imperatives, and Communal Norms; Eric Cohen, "Progress and Communality: Value Dilemmas in the Collective Movement," International Review of Community Development 15, no. 16 (1966): 3-18.

(35) For confidence that the future of the kibbutz is secure, see, e.g., Eric Cohen, "The Structural Transformation of the Kibbutz," in Social Change, ed. George Zollschan and Walter Hirsh (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1964), 739.

(36) A short-lived population growth during 1989-1991, evident in Figure 1, reflected temporary absorption of immigrants from the Soviet Union as residents, rather than renewed diffusion of communal sharing practices. See Henry Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History, Vol. 2: 1939-1995 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 348.

(37) See Ben-Rafael, Crisis and Transformation; Raymond Russell, Robert Hanneman, and Shlomo Getz, The Renewal of the Kibbutz: From Reform to Transformation (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2013).

(38) Eliezer Ben-Rafael, "Kibbutz: Survival at Risk," Israel Studies 16, no. 2 (2011): 81-108; Michal Palgi and Shlomo Getz, "Varieties in Developing Sustainability: The Case of the Israeli Kibbutz," International Review of Sociology 24, no. 1 (2014): 38-47.

(39) Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History, Vol. 1: 1909-1939, 58-75; Ran Hakim, The Kibbutzim in Israel: An Economic and Historical Overview (Giv'at Haviva: Yad Yaari, 2009), 39-52 (Hebrew).

(40) Joint Palestine Survey Commission, Reports of the Experts Submitted to the Joint Palestine Survey Commission, 443-46.

(41) Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History, Vol. 1: 1909-1939, 148-65.

(42) Siegfried Landshut, The Kvutza (Jerusalem: Zionist Education Institute, 1944), 58-62 (Hebrew).

(43) See Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History, Vol. 1: 1909-1939, 172-175; Weintraub, Azmon, and Lissak, Moshava, Kibbutz, and Moshav, 30-31.

(44) Nahum Gross and Jacob Metzer, "Public Finance in the Jewish Economy in Interwar Palestine," Research in Economic History 3 (1978): 87-159; Daniel DeMalach, "Control in Movement: A History of the Management of Hakibbutz Hameuchad" (PhD diss., Tel Aviv University, 2002) (Hebrew).

(45) Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History, Vol. 1: 1909-1939, 299-328.

(46) Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History, Vol. 2: 1939-1995, 10-31, 53-65; American Zionist Emergency Council, A Report of Activities 1940-1946 (New York: American Zionist Emergency Council, 1946).

(47) Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History, Vol. 2: 1939-1995, 98-103.

(48) Ibid., 108-50.

(49) Ibid., 180-87. Moshe Schwartz, "The Rise and Decline of the Israeli Moshav Cooperative : A Historical Overview," Journal of Rural Cooperation 27, no. 2 (1999): 129-66, 133-40.

(50) Yoninah Talmon-Garber and Eric Cohen, "Collective Settlements in the Negev," in Agricultural Planning and Village Community in Israel, ed. Joseph Ben-David (Paris: UNESCO, 1964), 58-95.

(51) Kanovsky, The Economy of the Israeli Kibbutz, 23; Daniel Rosolio, System and Crisis: Crises, Adjustments and Changes in the Kibbutz Movement (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1999), 103-9 (Hebrew).

(52) Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History Vol. 2: 1939-1995, 126-28, 231-33.

(53) See Kanovsky, The Economy of the Israeli Kibbutz, 119-20; and Rosolio, System and Crisis, 114-25.

(54) Rosolio, System and Crisis, 133-39, Kanovsky, The Economy of the Israeli Kibbutz, 142.

(55) Kanovsky, The Economy of the Israeli Kibbutz, 26-30; Abraham Daniel, "The Kibbutz Movement and Hired Labor," Journal of Rural Cooperation 3, no. 1 (1975): 31-40.

(56) Ahmad Sa'adi, "Incorporation without Integration: Palestinian Citizens in Israel's Labour Market," Sociology 29, no. 3 (1995): 429-51.

(57) See Gershom Gorenberg, The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of Settlements 1967-1977 (New York: Times Books, 2006); Kimmerling, Zionism and Territory; Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History Vol. 2:1939-1995, 233-35, 342-44; Daniel DeMalach, "The Kibbutz Movement and the Struggle for Jewish Control of Land," Teoria UBikoret (Theory and Criticism) 45 (2015): 17-45 (Hebrew).

(58) Israeli Ministry of Agriculture, Economic Report on Agriculture and Rural Areas 1976 (Jerusalem: Israeli Ministry of Agriculture, 1976), 62 (Hebrew).

(59) Shmuel Fuhurilis, Five-Year Plan for the Development of Agriculture 1980-1985. (Tel Aviv: Israeli Ministry of Agriculture, 1980) (Hebrew).

(60) Moshe Schwartz, Unlimited Guarantees: History, Political Economy and the Crisis of Agriculture in Israel (Beer Sheva: Ben-Gurion University, 1995), 35-39 (Hebrew); DeMalach, "Control in Movement," 141-42.

(61) For the credit to agriculture, see Yoav Kislev, Zvi Lerman, and Pinhas Zusman, "Recent Experience with Cooperative Farm Credit in Israel," Economic Development and Cultural Change 39, no. 4 (1991): 773-89.

(62) Moshe Bejski, The Inquiry Commission's Report on the Bank-Share Regulation (Jerusalem: The Commission, 1986), 85-103 (Hebrew).

(63) For the economic improvement, see Hakim, The Kibbutzim in Israel, 121-22. For the lack of "negative selection," see Uri Leviatan and Elliette Orchan, "Kibbutz Ex-Members and Their Adjustment to Life outside the Kibbutz," Interchange 13, no. 1 (1982): 16-28.

(64) For the decline of commitment to collectivistic ideology by that time, see Eric Cohen, "The Structural Transformation of the Kibbutz," 703-42.

(65) Gershon Shafir, "Changing Nationalism and Israel's 'Open Frontier' on the West Bank," Theory and Society 13, no. 6 (1984); David Newman, "Functional Change and the Settlement Structure in Israel: A Study of Political Control, Response and Adaptation," Journal of Rural Studies 2, no. 2 (1986): 127-37.

(66) Hakim, The Kibbutzim in Israel, 125-40.

(67) Kislev, Lerman, and Zusman, "Recent Experience with Cooperative Farm Credit in Israel"; Schwartz, Unlimited Guarantees, 39.

(68 )Rosolio, System and Crisis, 141.

(69) Ayal Kimhi, "Has Debt Restructuring Facilitated Structural Transformation on Israeli Family Farms?" Discussion paper 5.08 (Jerusalem: The Center for Agricultural Economic Research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2006).

(70) For the brain drain, see Abramitzky, "The Limits of Equality."

(71) Neve Gordon, Israel's Occupation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008), 184-96.

(72) David V. Bartram, "Foreign Workers in Israel: History and Theory," International Migration Review 32, no. 2 (1998): 303-25.

(73) OECD, "Review of Agricultural Policies: Israel 2010" (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, 2010), 80-84; Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Economic Report on Agriculture and Rural Areas 1997 (Jerusalem: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 1997), 5-7 (Hebrew).

(74) OECD, "Review of Agricultural Policies: Israel 2010," 54-56.

(75) Rosolio, System and Crisis, 95-204.

(76) Hakim, The Kibbutzim in Israel, 152-60.

(77) For the Debt Agreement, see Rosolio, System and Crisis, 179-204; for Oz's comments, see Amir Kurz, "Ha-Hesdernik shel ha-Kibbutzim" (The Dealer in Charge of the Kibbutz Agreement), Calcalist, 22 March, 2012 (Hebrew).

(78) Itzhak Tabenkin, On the Road of Hakibbutz Hameuchad and the Principles of the Commune (Ramat Ef' al: Yad Tabenkin, 1974), 16 (Hebrew).

(79) Kanovsky, The Economy of the Israeli Kibbutz; Daniel Rosolio, "The Kibbutz Movement and the Way It Functions as a Cause of the Kibbutz Crisis: A Study in Political Economy," Journal of Rural Cooperation 22, nos. 1-2 (1994): 63-78; Rosolio, System and Crisis, 36-50, 249-50.

(80) For members 'skepticism about the kibbutzim's contribution to Zionist goals, see Melford E. Spiro, "The Sabras and Zionism: A Study in Personality and Ideology," Social Problems 5, no. 2 (1957): 100-110; Talmon-Gerber, Family and Community in the Kibbutz, 203-39; Menahem Rosner and Joseph R. Blasi, The Second Generation: Continuity and Change in the Kibbutz (New York: Greenwood Press, 1990), 29-103.

(81) For this determination, see Kimmerling, Zionism and Territory, 8-12.

(82) Shmuel Eisenstadt, "Some Observations on Historical Changes in the Structure of Kibbutzim," in The Sociology of the Kibbutz, ed. Ernest Krausz (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1983), 149-53.

(83) Weber, Economy and Society, 153-54.

(84) Paul Diener, "Ecology or Evolution? The Hutterite Case," American Ethnologist 1, no. 4 (1974): 615.

(85) Robert V. Hine, Community on the American Frontier: Separate but Not Alone (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980); Oved, Two Hundred Years of American Communes.

(86) Bill Metcalf, "The Communal Idea in 21st-Century Australia and New Zealand," in Ben-Rafael, Oved, and Topel, The Communal Idea in the 21st Century, 189-204.

(87) John A. Hostetler, Hutterite Society (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), 185-89.

(88) William H. Sewell, "Three Temporalities: Toward an Eventful Sociology," in Logics of History, ed. William H. Sewell (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), 81-123.
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