Here’s an informative (if dry) news report from the Associated Press about the 100th anniversary of the kibbutz movement—and the shift from communalism to capitalism—that has been widely republished in other papers. It also notes the sale of 50% of Shamir’s Optical operations to an outside company.

Even more fascinating is this snippet from an interview with social critic Noam Chomsky, in which he reminisces about his own time, many decades ago, on a kibbutz. (It was Kibbutz HaZorea, which I passed many times while staying at a nearly kibbutz last summer and which was documented in the film of the same name.)

Chomsky makes an interesting observation about the paradox that the early hardcore socialist kibbutzniks found themselves in, between the ideals of founding a bi-national Arab-Jewish state and of not wanting to employ Arab labour in their communities for fear of becoming just another capitalist overlord:

If you know the history, you know that most idealistic anti-nationalist settlers insisted on a closed Hebrew society, you can’t hire outside labor, that sort of thing. You could see the motivation. They didn’t want to become what the first settlers were: landowners who had cheap Arab labor. They wanted to work the land. Nevertheless, there’s an exclusionary character to it. Which then led into the policy of the state and became quite ugly later. So it was kind of an internal conflict that was never resolved.