Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 15, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
___TuBiday, February 15, 1971 THE LtTHBRIDOf HERALD 3 Eva Bretvster A new look at srae: the kibbutz CARID, Israel This Is- racli kibbutz is the one place in the world wlicrr I fc-cl equally welcome and at home with a cabinet minister ami the menially retarded young wom- an I knew since she was a path- etic little girl. She is as much a member of the kibbutz as Ihe former and, working hard, has become a useful member of her society. Nobody holds it against her it she receives a very im- portant and influential visitor 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 Ining anyway. You are wasting your time. In spila 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, noihing has changed since 1 visilcd heie first nearly 20 years ago. It is still sufficient to knock at the door of a member of tha gov- ernment, home for lire 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, it he happens to be engaged at the time: "Would you mind coin- ing back in half and hour? But if you are busy then, I could always ask my present visitor to see me lalcr." Would I get the same individual welcome and attention, I wonder, if, as an anonymous member of the public, f visited Ottawa and knocked at the door of any of our cabinet ministers if. indeed, 1 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 wa made since you visited us friends and neighbors asi.'-Kl Wi.'1. barely concealed pride they -rowded into our living the nowly built-on adjoining sn. V for af- ternoon coffee to welcome me. Everything is relative. Less than 20 years when I lived here in a primitive woodan hut and, like everybody else, ed through mud and dust to ihe nearest communal washroom, I was bewildered at the unex- pected beauty and of my abode, the hospitality and generosity of the kibbutz. After the holocaust in Europe, years ot concentration camp and Ihe apparent indifference of people all over the world to human suffering, Ihe love and care for every individual, the privacy aiid rugged beauty ot this place seemed like heaven to me Ihen. Now, everybody has a com- fortable, solidly built two or three room house, a small kit- chenette will) sink, a one or two ring electric cooker, a small refrigerator, a balhrooin 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." Meais 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 Bcmc younger settle- ments now prefer to keep their babies al home. The former arrangement is, on the whole, still thought to 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 Uic children in a more relaxed and happier atmosphere. For the children Ihere is never the problem of loneliness of an only cliild nor the rivalry between too many of different age groups as each child feeis se- cure in ils 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" hy Vir- ginia Cowtes, Photos by Vic- tor Kcnnctt (Collins, 515, 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 it is due to their self appointed alienation which Is llirusl upon the populace by the hierarchy in the Kremlin For ccnluries the Russian people were throttled by their leaders. Ivan the Terrible, in the IGth century headed a mil- itaristic reign which was cruel and dedicated to Ihe 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 the 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 know a year's peace. Eventually a respected patriarch issued a plea for Ihe masses to assert themselves, appoint 3 new and just ruler and get on with the business of growing and developing their country. Thus, somewhat Ekctchily I admit, was born the rale of the Romanovs (through Ivan's first wife who had been a "Roma- In her book Mrs. Cowles says, "I7lh century Moscow was a bastard child of Gaol and West, a bizarre mixture of chanting priests and torture chambers, of gilded icons and oriental seraglios. Although the Russians had bern com cried to Christianity p.t Ihe end of the loth century, the Mongo- lian invasion 2oO years later had turned piety into su- perstition, introduced aristo- cracy in the most despotic forms and left behind a society both savage and perverse.'7 Michael, a lad, was elected the Romanov to the throne in 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 "Tlio, Bible Story" by Wil- liam Neil (Collins, 272 pages, TVTANY people have tried to read tlie 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, Tlie 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 be 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 hi 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-McCami, .175 pages, SJO.Ofl, 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 bis moods, listening to nis thougbls 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 bis thoughts on aging. Well illustrated, this bcok will be of interest lo Ihose who like to know the personal lives of the artists they ad- mire. MARGARET LUCKHL'RST 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 time 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 lo 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, literalure, dra- ma, etc., and while more Rus- sian elites toured western Eu- rope they seemed not lo be able lo 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 lor 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, she 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 triiunphal arches, to divert a river or anything else that look llieir 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 1917. The intervening Romanovs were all of a diabolical nature interested in developing Russia to a level of culture equal lo the but incapable of knowing how lo do so. They spent decades on wars with anyone who would fight. It's no ,.onder Napoleon figured them lo be an easy mark as their armies were usually inefficient, their arms outdated and their spuits weak. Surely it must have been only the cold that turned Napoleon back. I've always fell sorry for Nicholas If 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 daughlers 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 Ihe Tsar kept forming. In two large parlies dom- inated Ihe country. The Social Democrals. who embraced Marxism, Ihen 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 nr.pcou- larily 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 (he anarchist parties which grew by leaps and bounds, the revolution was merely a slcp 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 belter. Even to- day, Russia for the most part, is still an enigma. MARGARET LUCKHURST. easier all year-round "The nimiilc Milkers" P.O. Box 1900, Calgary 2, AlbcrU I Please mail lo me ihc FREE illustrated booklet on tlie J electric 'Climate Makers'. J I nni interested In hronlhing cisler nllhi I Air Conililioncr I [y] F.loclric llcatcni J F.lcclronic Air Cleaner I [J Continuous Furnace Fan OpcrKlon n Hiimidifier I Name Ihc electric 'Climate Makers' your house is always n joy to come home lo. 'Ihc 'Climate Makers' will cool, heal, clean and con- jlanlly refresh the air in your home plus provide ihe correct level of humidiry. Thai's complete climate control... and elcclricity docs il all. Hail coupon today fnr FREE illustrated booklet on ihr electric 'Climate Makers'. ElECTRIC SERVICE IEAGUE OF AlBERTA Address__ Some young people do leave the kibbutz, usually after com- pletion of Lheir 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 resl of the world is like. However, even in the city, they stay in close contact or live wilh other young people from kibbutzim and form a group or society all their own. Even the few, like Golda Meir, UK 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- ciely. those that would or could not make a success on their own in a compelirive world, take a second look at ihe peo- ple of Israel and Ihsir leadeis. Many of the cabinet, members of Parliament, prime ministers, generals, judges, envoys and technical advisers to foreign countries, factory managers and union leaders are kibbutz members and ratum to their homes whenever official dulies 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 xs any other member and listen with great interest, understand- ing and a sense of humor to the cooks, gardeners, cowhands or carpenters telling them no'.v to run the country, 'ight a war, conduct a trial or how lo im- prove foreign relations. The chances are thai these people know what they are lalk- ing about as most of them have hald public positions in rota- tion of duties or have been, be- fore Ihey ever came lo Israel, politicians, doctors, lawyers in their lands of origin or officers and soldiers in the Brilish or American forces during ihe Sec- ond World War. Nalan Pilled, minister of immigration r.nd ab- sorption of newcomers, me that he learns more from his people in Kibbutz Sarid over Ihe 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 kiii- bulz movement in Israel, ils frugal and perilous beginnings, successes and failures, the sac- rifices and adaptability ol ils people who also had lo battle agninst prejudices and mater- ialism. They should take a sonri look al the interdependence be- l.wecn Ihc generations, the love and respect for the old and the Irust and hope invest in their young. If our young peo- ple approach Ihis kind of life merely as a means of escape, from society and parenlal con- trol, the experiment is doomed to failure. Israel's coinniuunl settlements, now well establish- ed and there lo slny, have proved thai it tnkrs all goucra- lions lo work together for the Utopia of o pure democracy. to eat them, when we first ac- quired dairy' cattle and made butler, just lo send every last ounce to the city market, we overcame our craving for tlrese things telling ourselves that our children would not be deprived of anything. We dreamcc and p'anned for them 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 our 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 food, 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 lo go tlirougli similar hardships we had to contend wilh but, like parents any- where, we can now extend a helping hand, send experts to advise them and material aid to get them started and, ot course, they have the knowl- edge of our experiences to spur (hem on to success without hav- ing lo learn the hard wry, by trial and error, as we bad lo do. Therefore, given peace, it should nol lake them quite so long to reach the same mea- sure of prosperity we have worked for so many decades to achieve." James Buy: thorny issue Sherlirnclic La Tribune TWE development of James Bay, Robert Dourassa'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 Hie 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 55 and billion and the creation of 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 ot S10, maybe billion, without even mentioning the nuinter of jobs the project would create. A study undertaken by representative? of both the federal and provincial govern- ments, made pubh'c 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 tlie opposition parlies are openly declaring that the Liberal gov- ernment is using t h e James Bay project to carry out the mast spectacular prironage operation in the history of Ca- nadian politics. Faced with all these facts and prolesis, 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 considered to he really part of a loi.g-term economic de- velopment policy They speak of investing maybe 55 or SG billion or even S10 or 12 billion in the James Bay project, but what is being done for SOMA which had to close, tha CIP plant in Temiscaming, the decrease in jobs in the pulp and paper industry, the chemical industries As long as questions of tlus 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 Tlie Vancouver Sun most eloquent rebutlal 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. Thai'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. might turn inward, which could indeed have serious consequences tor 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 (or 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 lo the United Slates lo become a modern indus- trial state. "Now, as the power centres of the world become more diversified, we can, without diminishing our friendship wilh the United Stales, 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 mil- ward-looking nationalism that welcomes contact with other nations, that use these contacts to enrich Canadian 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 'T'HERE was gunfire in a Londonderry of young men wcro 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 lo 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 Commonweallh; tliat 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 Mmtoff can be relied upon to give vent lo more oratory soon, and il is likely lo be inflam- matory. And in liny Brilish Honduras, British naval manoeuvers in the Caribbean, where Adm. Vernon's wooden ships once sailed, and his watered rum gave tlie 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 ils place are nalions of varying strength and stability, most of them speak- ing English for convenience if not by right of birth, practicing their own versions of Brilish law and British parliamentary democracy. In two great wars, the dissolv- ing empire rallied on its centre, (he Uni- ted Kingdom (which itself now is less uni- ted, wilh various forms of Celtic national- ism at Could anyone count on such an alignment today? For some the Suez crisis of United Kingdom has adopleri 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 oilier 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 Ihe acute difficulties that preceded tha in- dependence of Uie subcontinent; true, in tlie negotiations about Malta, nationalism has a highly commercial flavor. But the Rhodesian question is a slicky one. of vasl implications. There could be fighting over British Honduras. And Northern Ireland is repealing 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 ALBERTA cabinet minister Don Gelly savs Alberta doesn'l waul to be call- ed a Prairie province any more; it's a question of distinct identity. But Mr. Gelly may be quarter-backing a long-winded precedent. "Alberta is not a Prairie province, but rather an industrial and parkland prov- ince wilh also high-level is how IK plirased il, in the manner of a politician not given to taciturnity. Mr. Getty explained Ihe Prairie prov- ince label lumps Alberta in with two other provinces, suggesting the "industrial and The Hamilton Spectator parkland province with also high-level commerce" is just part of a region, rather lhan a provincial entity unlike any other. What Mr. Gelly did not explain is how he proposes lo fit the new tiilc en a licence plalc or make il papular wilh headline writers. Lcl us hope the trend doesn'l spread eastward or, instead of three Mari- time provinces, Canada may have two Maritime provinces and one "vacation and polato province wilh also terrific red beaches." Dead ones 'l do By Doug Wnlker are afoot (or a big Unilcd lo her leaders and their girls, Elsp.'th Church rally al Ihe pavilion in April. Tern' wondered if Ihc ilis- Terry JlcColl asked IClspolh lo '.i.ivo her CG1T department prepare some sort of a display on CG1T activilics. play could somehow include people. "Dors she mean people nsked When she was passing on Ihii request Jeanne Frame.