Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 15, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
___Tueiday, February 15, 197J THE ItTHBRIDGE HtRAlD 3 Eva Breivster A new look at Israel: the kibbutz LSTLFIJ CARID, Israel This Is- raeli kibbutz is the one place in the world where I leel equally welcome and at home with a cabinet minister and the mentally retarded young wom- an I knew since she was a path- etic little girl. She is as much a member of the kibbutz as the former and, working hard, has become a useful ir.ember of her society. Nobody holds it against her if she receives a very im- portant and influential visilor who wants to see the leading economist, for example, with the words: "The economist is on holiday and her second in command doesn't know a thing anyway. You are wasting your time. In spite of her intellec- tual handicap, she knows a lot more of what is going on than most 'people would give her credit for. In one respect, nolhing has changed since I visited here first nearly 20 years ago. It is still sufficient to knock at the door of a member of lira gov- ernment, home for the week- end, and ask: "May I talk to The answer is invari- ably: "Of course, come in. Book Reviews Lovely to see you. Would you like coffee or Or, if he happens to be engaged at the time: "Would you mind com- ing back in half and hour? But if you are busy then, I could always ask my present visitor to see me later." Would I get the same individual welcome and attention, I wonder, if, as an anonymous member of the public, I visited Ottawa and knocked at the door of any of our cabinet ministers if. indeed, I ever got that far? This was my introduction to social equal- ity in a kibbutz. "What do you think of all the changes and improvements we made since you visited us Friends and neighbors aslr'xi barely concealed pride -s thej -rowded into our living ro...- 1 the nowly built-on adjoining si... V for af- ternoon coffee to welcome me. Everything is relative. Less than 20 years ago, when lived here in a primitive wooden hut and, like everybody else, walk- ed through mud and dust to ihe nearest communal washroom, I was bewildered at the unex- pected beauty and ''luxury" of my abode, the hospitality and generosity of the kibbutz. After the holocaust in Europe, years of concentration camp and the apparent indifference of people all over the world to human suffering, the love and care for every individual, the privacy aiid rugged beauty of this place seemed like heaven to me then. Now, everybody has a com- fortable, solidly built two or three room house, a small kit- chenette with sink, a one or two ring electric cooker, a small refrigerator, a bathroom with shower, hot and cold wa- ter, a veranda and their own individual gardens where their imagination and creativity can run riot. Yet, they all laughed out loud when I produced an article which appeared, some time ago, in our Canadian news- papers, claiming "air condi- tioners and TV were standard equipment" in kibbutz houses. Young and old were unanimous in their rejection of this parti- cular type of "comfort." Meals are taken in the new, centrally heated dining hall, as a rule, but often, on holidays and weekends, the people col- lect food from the kitchen and cook at home. Their children are raised in childrens' houses although some younger settle- ments now prefer to keep their babies at home. The former arrangement is, on the whole, still thought to be better for parents and children as all adults work full time. Get- ting a good night's sleep and peace at meal times, parents can devote their free hours to the children in a more relaxed and happier atmosphere. For the children there is never the problem of loneliness of an only child nor the rivalry bctweei too man y of different age groups as each child se- cure in its own group, yet has his parents to turn to for in- dividual attention. At my suggestion that the or- iginal pioneers must b? as amazed as I was at the pros- perity they now enjoy, one of the founder members said gent- ly: "My dear child, surely you must realize that this is what we have been working for. In those days, when we grew cit- rus fruit but could not afford Romanovs made poor leaders for Russia "The Romanovs" by Vir- ginia Cowles, Photos by Vic- tor Kcnnelt (Collins, S15, 288 "BASIC Russian characteris- tics seem almost as much a mystery today as they were in the days of the Tsars. Part of this is due to their geograph- ic position, but in the 20th cen- tury most of if: is due to their self appointed alienation which is thrust upon the populace by tlie hierarchy in the Kremlin. For centuries the Russian people were throttled by their leaders. Ivan the Terrible, in the 16th century headed a mil- itaristic reign which was cruel and dedicated to the Divine Rights of Kings. He not only strangled the individualism of his subjects, he was so com- pletely barbaric that foreign a m b a s s a dors on diplomatic missions to Russia quite often were done extreme violence for the silliest reasons. Conse- quently Russia was not high on Hie list for ambassadorial ap- pointments by any eastern countries. Following the death of Ivan, Russia was constantly set upon by Sweden, Poland and the Tartars to .such an extent that the beleaguered peasantry of Russia never knew a year's peace. Eventually a respected patriarch issued a plea for the masses to assert themselves, appoint a new and just ruler and get on with the business of growing and developing their country. Thus, somewhat sketchiiy I admit, was born the rule of the Romanovs (through Ivan's first wife who had been a lioma- In her book Mrs. Cowles says, "17th century Moscow was a bastard child of Gast and West, a bizarre mixture of chanting priests and torture chambers, of gilded icons and oriental seraglios. Although the Russians had ber.n converted to Christianity at the end of the 10th century, the Mongo- lian invasion 250 years later had turned pieiy into su- perstition, introduced aristo- cracy in the most despotic forms and left behind a society both savage and perverse." Michael, a IB-year-old lad, was elected the Romanov to the throne in Kill) by popu- lar acclaim. A mild monarch, he was not especially notable. Succeeding him was Tsar Alexis who was much influ- enced by his chief minister's wife, a Scottish lady who pres- sured Alexis to import crafts- men from the West. Copper- smiths, goldsmiths, agricultur- ists, architects, all were im- ported with the purpose of edu- Books in brief "The Bible Story" by Wil- liam Neil (Collins, 272 pages, TVfANY people have tried to read the Bible only to get bogged down in bewilderment. A man who has been helpful to the perplexed is the Scottish scholar William Neil. His little book. The Plain Man Looks at the Bible (Fontana was a very successful venture in answering some of the ques- tions commonly raised about the Bible. Now he offers an adult story of the Bible which should prove to be equally as popular. William Neil is not a literalist; he recognizes the pre- sence of myth and legend as well as embellishment in the Bible. He does not just recount the developing story in the Bible, he brings out the theolo- gical significance as well. There are 43 full-page drawings by Gyula Hincz in the book which is a feature I did not ap- preciate. DOUG WALKER "Chagall" by Jean Paul Crcspelle (Coward-McCann, .175 pages, S10.00, distributed by Longman Canada book intimately por- trays the life of Marc Cha- gall, one of the most prominent artists of all time. The author, over a period of 10 years and countless interviews, grew to know Chagall well, interpreting his moods, listening to nis thoughts on 20th century art, and his own contribution as a forerunner of Cubism. Also dealt with, with surprising in- sight, is the artists Jewishncss, his marriage, and his thoughts on aging. Well illustrated, this book will be of interest to those who like to know the personal lives of the artists they ad- mire. MARGARET LUCKHURST eating local artisans. Alexis was a religious man, but he could, without a qualm, order the slaughter of starving peas- ants if he felt they were push- ing him for improved condi- tions. The succeeding Romanovs seemed to become more auto- cratic, more singularly dicta- torial. Peter the Great's split per- sonality, his curious rejection of his 'Tsarship' while at tlie same tune clinging to his au- thority, cannot be condensed here. Suffice it to say that while he did much to open Rus- sia's seaports and introduce trade, he had the Romanov predisposition to violence and massacre, even to killing his own son in a most hideous fashion. In the first century of the Romanovs, palaces were built in abundance, but while tne rich got richer the poor got poorer. There was no middle class, very little in the way of culture arts, literature, dra- ma, etc., and while more Rus- sian elites toured western Eu- rope they seemed not to be able to transport the high level of cultural activity of these countries back to Russia. Peter was followed by Anna, Elizabeth and another Peter, all exhibiting strange traits and doing little for Russia. Catherine the Great, who reigned from 1762-17% was probably the most intellectual of the early Romanovs al- though she was tremendously assured of her sense of sover- eignty. Violent, corrupt and vicious as former Tsars, siie did nonetheless, admire the culture of the west, particular- ly France and tried to intro- duce, some measure of culture in Russia, rough though it was. Of a population of some 20 million, about half a million persons were nobles who lived a life unheard of elsewhere in the world. These nobles used their serfs to build houses or triumphal arches, to divert a river or anything else that took their fancy. "The number of servants is dreadful" a western observer wrote, "think of three and four hundred servants to attend a small family. Following Catherine were Paul, Nicholas I, the Alex- anders, then the last, Nicholas II, who with his family was murdered in the revolution of The intervening Romanovs were all of a diabolical nature interested in developing Russia to a level of culture equal to the vest, but incapable of knowing how to do so. They spent decades on wars with anyone who would fight. It's no .vender Napoleon figured them to be an easy mark as their armies were usually inefficient, their arms outdated and their spirits w e a k. Surely it must have been only the cold that turned Napoleon back. I've always felt sorry for Nicholas II because he was so weak. He couldn't take hold al- though he was well educated and married to a westerner of intelligence but of extreme un- popularity. Their son the Grand Duke followed four daughters and instead of rais- ing Russia's hopes for a Tsar who might in time prove his mettle in compassion and de- cency they were kept unaware of the fact that the child (through his Grand mother Queen Victoria) was a hae- mophiliac. It was during Nicholas' reign (1894-1917) that Russian peas- antry began to assert itself. Splinter parlies working against the Tsar kept forming. In two large parties dom- inated the country. The Social Democrats, who embraced Marxism, then being propagan- dized by Lenin, and the Social Revolutionaries. It was the be- ginning of the end for the Ro- manovs. To add to the ircpoou- larity of Nicholas and his wife was "the hush hush about their son and Alexandra's depen- dence on Rasputin, a n early type mystic who claimed he could cure the child. After growing resentment on the part of the anarchist parties which grew by leaps and bounds, the revolution was merely a step away during the First World War. Since the death of the Romanovs who were replaced by dictators, the situation in Russia, to the rest of the world, did not appear to change for the better. Even to- day, Russia for the most part, is still an enigma. MARGARET LUCKHURST. QGSlQr all year-round The Ornate Milkers" P.O. 1900, Calgary 2, Alhcrta Please mail to me the FREE illustrated booklet on tlie electric 'Climate Makers'. T nni interested in breathing easier itlthi Air Conditioner fj Supplementary Kloctric llcafcni F.lcctronic Air Cleaner rj Continuum Furnace Fan Operation Q Humidifier Name V.'iih the electric 'Climate Makers' your house is always a joy to come home to. The 'Climate Makers' will cool, heat, clean and con- stantly refresh the air in your home plus provide the correct level of humidity. That's complete climate control... and electricity docs it all. Hail coupon today fnr FREE booklet an lilt tlcclric 'Climaic Makm'. ELECTRIC SERVICE LEAGUE OF ALBERTA Address to eat them, when we first ac- quired dairy cattle and made butter, just to send every last ounce to the city market, we overcame our craving for these things telling ourselves that our children would not be deprived of anything. We dreamed and p'anned for then: and now you see the results: Gardens, beau- tiful lawns, paved roads shad- ed by tall trees, have replaced dust and mud. Good houses, first class schools, a sports and recreation hall, swimming pools and all other amenities our new generation can enjoy, have surely justified our early hard- ships and sacrifices. "The main thing is that aur ideology has survived and will continue. As in the old days, we live on the principle of ab- solute equality among our mem- bers. Nobody is paid for work- ing but gets everything re- quired for living: housing and furniture, clothes and :ood, medical services and books, child and adult education, en- tertainment and pocket money. As we once shared all our re- sources in poverty, we now take equal shares in prosperity. Those of our young people who volunteer to open up new collective settlements in the desert or along our borders, have to go through similar hardships we had to contend with but, like parents any- where, wre can now extend a helping hand, send experts to advise them and material aid to get them started and, of course, they have the knowl- edge of c-ur experiences to spur them on to success without hav- ing to learn the hard wiy, by trial and error, as we had to do. Therefore, given peace, it should not take them quite so long to reach the same mea- sure of prosperity we have worked for so many decades to achieve." Some young people do leave the kibbutz, usually after com- pletion of their army service. Sometimes they feel, on re- turn, that their childhood world has become too narrow and re- stricted; sometimes they are simply attracted by the bright lights of city life or want to see what the rest of the world is like. However, even in the city, they stay in close contact or live with other young people from kibbutzim and form a group or society all their own. Even the few, like Golda Meir, the prime minister, who leave the kibbutz when they go into politics, retain their old friend- ships and sympathies. If you think, as I did once, that life in a kibbutz is ideal for the weaker members of so- ciety, those that would or could not'ir.ake a success on their own in a competitive world, take a second look at the peo- ple of Israel and their leadeis. Many of the cabinet, members of Parliament, prime ministers, generals, judges, envoys and technical advisers to foretg.1 countries, factory managers and union leaders are kibbutz members and return to Uieir homes whenever official duties permit. They are all people who could have done well anywhere if material gain had any mean- ing for them. Yet, when they rejoin their communities, tl.ey do the same menial labor PS any other member and listen with great interest, understand- ing and a sense of humor to the cooks, gardeners, cowhands or carpenters telling them now to run the country, fight a war, conduct a trial or how to im- prove foreign relations. The chances are that these people know what they are talk- ing about as most of them have hald public positions in rota- tion of duties or have been, be- fore they ever came to Israel, politicians, doctors, lawyers in Uieir lands of origin or officers and soldiers in the British or American forces during ihe Sec- ond World War. Natan Pt-lled, minister of immigration and ab- sorption of newcomers, me that he learns more from his people in Kibbutz Sarid over the weekend than he would in a whale parliamentary session of debates. Our young Canadians who are thinking of, or have al- ready embarked on, an experi- ment of communal living on the land should study the kib- butz movement in Israel, its frugal and perilous beginnings, successes and failures, the sac- rifices and adaptability of ils people who also had to battle against prejudices and mater- ialism. They should take a good look at the interdependence be- tween the generations, the love and respect for tlie old and the t rust and hope parents invest in their young. If our young peo- ple approach this kind of life merely as n means of cscapo from society and parental con- trol, the experiment is doomed to failure. Israel's communal settlements, now well establish- ed and there to slay, have proved that it takes all genera- tions to work together for the Utopia of o pure democracy. James Buy: thorny issue Sherljroolic La Tribune rprfE development of James Bay, Robert Bourassa's new weapon U> increase his prestige that dimmed with his failure to create new jobs in the province, risks provoking debates and lively discus- sions for many months to come. Launched like a spectacular balloon eight months ago at a meeting marking the first anniversary of the Bourassa government in power, the project was at that time pre- mature. Premier Bourassa, who probably had sensed the impossibility of considerably de- creasing unemployment figures, spoke vic- toriously of an investment of between S5 and billion and the creation of KU.OOO jobs, if not more. However, we did not know how many rivers would be harnessed, when the work would start, what the effects on the en- vironment would be. We still don't know that today. Now they are speaking of investments of maybe billion, without even mentioning the number of jobs the project would create. A study undertaken by representatives of both the federal and provincial govern- ments, made public recently says it is un- able to be definite about the ecological effects of such a project. The premier of Quebec also said recently that the James Bay Development Corp. will not be able to determine until the end of March what direction the work will take and which river will be the first to be harnessed. And all this time the opposition parties are openly declaring that the Liberal gov- ernment is using the James Bay project to carry out the most spectacular pfironage operation in the history of Ca- nadian politics. Faced with all these facts and protests, several questions suggest themselves to the Quebec people. Is the government absolutely certain that this project is of prime importance? Has Quebec the resources to carry it out? Can this project IK considered to be really part of a economic de- velopment policy They speak of investing maybe or SG billion or even or 12 billion in the James Bay project, but what is being done for SOMA which had to close, lha CIP plant in Temiscaming, the decrease in jabs in the pulp and paper industry, the chemical industries As long as questions of this kind have not been answered, there is reason to doubt the consequences and the planning of the James Bay project, a project which will keep Quebecers in debt for many decades to come. One clear voice for Canada The Vancouver Sun most eloquent rebuttal yet given to the noisy chauvinists now infesting Canadian politics came recently from Ex- ternal Affairs Minister Mitchell Sharp in an address to the Vancouver Board of Trade. That's only our opinion, perhaps, so let the reader judge from the minister's own words: "It is not an unfriendly world for Can- ada, and Canada is fortunate to live next door to a democratic and friendly neigh- bor "I see no evidence whatsoever that the United States has designs on Canada's in- dependence, economically or otherwise. "On the contrary. I am more concerned that tlie U.S. iright turn inward, which could indeed have serious consequences for us and for the world as a whole, so we should do everything we can to encourage that great country to re-assume its posi- tion of leadership in the further liberaliza- tion of trade. "What I do see for Canada Is an oppor- tunity to continue to exploit our proximity to the greatest power on earth as a means of strengthening our own Canadianism. "We are a far stronger and (more) in- dependent nation today than we were at the end of the Second World War, because we took advantage of our proximity to the United Slates to become a modern indus- trial state. "Now, as the power centres of the world become more diversified, we can, without diminishing our friendship with the United States, extend our contacts East, West and North and thus reinforce our independence, and, I may add, our national unity. "This is the kind of nationalism I advo- cate for Canada. Not an inward-looking, fearful nationalism, but a confident out- ward-looking nationalism that welcomes contact with other nations, that use these contacts to enrich Canadian life, that makes Canada a livelier place in which to live and raise a family." As a healthy and positive statement of policy for Canada, Mr. Sharp's summation should appeal to those Canadians who re- sent efforts to manipulate their judgment by appeals to fear and hate. Ashes of Empire Tlie International Herald Tribune was gunfire in a Londonderry of young men wero carried to ambulances by crouching Sa- maritans: Fierce cries of rage and pain arose and the Irish Republican Army an- nounces that its "immediate policy is to shoot to kill as many British soldiers as possible." There is rioting in Rhodesia arrests and killings; in Addis Ababa, solemn dip- lomats denounced before the United Na- tions touring Security Council the British plan for peaceful separation of a former colony. In a news conference in Rawalpindi, President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto announced that his country, Pakistan, is withdraw- ing from the Commonwealth; that shadow of empire, because other Commonwealth members Britain, New Zealand, Aus- tralia recognize the breakaway govern- ment of Bangladesh. There is a certain quiet in Malta, now, where negotiations for the maintenance of British and NATO bases have been inter- rupted. But Prime Minister Dom Mintoff can be relied upon to give vent to more oratory soon, and it is likely to be inflam- matory. And in tiny British Honduras, British naval manoeuvers in the Caribbean, where Adm. Vernon's wooden ships once sailed, and his watered rum gave the Royal Navy the hallowed name of grog, seem clearly designed to protect that region from greedy neighbors. The British Empire, on which once sun never set, is, by common consent, in ashes. In its place are nations of varying strength and stability, most of them speak- ing English for convenience if not by right of birth, practicing their own versions of British law and British parliamentary democracy. In two great wars, the dissolv- ing empire rallied on its centre, the Uni- ted Kingdom (which itself now is less uni- ted, with various forms of Celtic national- ism at Could anyone count on such an alignment today? For some the Suez crisis of United Kingdom has adopteri a "low profile" in foreign affairs, and within the Commonwealth itself. Britain has turn- ed, if not inward, at least toward its con- tinental neighbors, and. it comes as some- thing of a shock to the world to realize that in three other continents, as well as very much closer to home, tlie legacy of empire can be quite so troublesome. True, the half regretful and quite polite departure of Pakistan from the Common- wealth is only a gesture, compared to the acute difficulties that preceded the in- dependence of the subcontinent; true, in tlie negotiations about Malta, nationalism has a highly commercial flavor. But the Rhodesian question is a one, of vast implications. There could be fighting over British Honduras. And Northern Ireland is repeating a historic tragedy, with no end in sight. Tlie empire may have burned away in the flames of nationalism, but for Britain there is still fire in tlie ashes. Scratch one Prairie The Hamilton Spectator ALBERTA cabinet minister Don Getty says Alberta doesn't want to be call- ed a Prairio province any more; it's a question of distinct identity. But Mr. Getly may be quarter-backing a long-winded precedent. "Alberta is not a Prairie province, but rather an industrial and parkland prov- ince with also high-level is how IK phrased it, in the manner of a politician not given to taciturnity. Mr. Getty explained the Prairie prov- ince label lumps Alberta in with two other provinces, suggesting the "industrial and parkland province with also high-level commerce" is just part of a region, rather than a provincial entity unlike any other. What Mr. Getty did not explain is how he proposes to fit the new tillc en a licence plate or make it popular with headline writers. Let us hope the trend doesn't spread eastward or, instead of three Mari- time provinces, Canada may have two Maritime provinces and one "vacation and potato province with also terrific rod beaches." Dead ones ii'on't do are afoot for n big United Church rally at the pavilion in April. Terry McColl asked Elspolh to have her CCilT department prepare some sort of ,1 display on CG1T activities. When she was passing on this request ny Doug Walker to her lenders and their girls, Elsprth mentioned that Terry wondered if Ihe dis- play could somehow include people. "Docs she mean LIVE people nsked Jeanne Frame.