Members of Kibbutzim Turn over Their Restitution to the Kibbutz

Some 1,750 members of Achdut Avodah-affiliated collective settlements have received personal restitution payments from West Germany and fully 85 percent of the recipients have turned over the individual payments to the kibbutz in line with the left-wing Socialist principles of the movement, it was revealed here last night at the conclusion of a meeting of Hakibutz Hameuchad, the council of settlements identified with the Achdut Avoda.

It was also revealed that in the discussions in various settlements over whether to turn over the money, 24 individual members were expelled for refusing to contribute these payments to the common treasury and 12 others left voluntarily rather than surrender the funds. The Socialist movement insists that members of the kibbutzim may not hold individual property.

The conference decided to lay down rules governing personal expenditures of settlement members, including even spending on such items as household furniture and clothing. Earlier, Itzhak Tabenkin, ideological leader of the Achdut Avoda party, attacked the current “mood” for “material enrichment” and charged that it was coupled with “growing ideological poverty” in the kibbutzim. The “no personal property” principle was upheld by other party leaders. The conference also voted formal affiliation of the kibbutz council with the Achdut Avodah.

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