Beit Alfa

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Beit Alfa
בֵּית אַלְפָא
Beit Alfa, 1930s
Beit Alfa is located in Israel
Beit Alfa
Coordinates: 32°30′58″N 35°25′49″E / 32.51611°N 35.43028°E / 32.51611; 35.43028Coordinates: 32°30′58″N 35°25′49″E / 32.51611°N 35.43028°E / 32.51611; 35.43028
DistrictNorth
CouncilMenashe
AffiliationKibbutz Movement
FoundedNovember 21, 1962
Founded byHashomer Hatzair
Population1,100
 
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Beit Alfa
בֵּית אַלְפָא
Beit Alfa, 1930s
Beit Alfa is located in Israel
Beit Alfa
Coordinates: 32°30′58″N 35°25′49″E / 32.51611°N 35.43028°E / 32.51611; 35.43028Coordinates: 32°30′58″N 35°25′49″E / 32.51611°N 35.43028°E / 32.51611; 35.43028
DistrictNorth
CouncilMenashe
AffiliationKibbutz Movement
FoundedNovember 21, 1962
Founded byHashomer Hatzair
Population1,100

Beit Alfa (Hebrew: בֵּית אַלְפָא) (also Beit Alpha) is a kibbutz in the Northern District of Israel, near the Gilboa ridge.

History[edit]

The kibbutz was founded in 1922 by Hashomer Hatzair alpha pioneers. The first members came from Poland.[1] In 1940 some of the members, affiliated with Hashomer Hatzair, moved to Ramat Yohanan kibbutz, in exchange for supporters of Mapai from Ramat Yohanan. According to the Jewish National Fund, this move was prompted by an ideological split. [1]

Zodiac mosaic, Beit Alfa synagogue

On 1 April 1948 the kibbutz was attacked by Arab mortar fire. The Arabs withdrew as a platoon from the 1st parachute battalion of the British 6th Airborne Division approached.[2]

The kibbutz dairy was the first Israeli dairy to use robotic milking technology.

Archaeology[edit]

The Beit Alfa Synagogue National Park, located at the nearby kibbutz Heftziba, contains an ancient Byzantine-era synagogue, with a mosaic floor depicting the lunar Hebrew months as they correspond to the signs of the zodiac.[3][4]

Controversy[edit]

One of Beit Alfa's main industries is riot control equipment. According to The Guardian, Beit Alfa sold water cannons to the apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1980s in a "secret pact."[5] Beit Alfa says that using water cannons to disperse riots instead of live ammunition can save human lives.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jewish National Fund (1949). Jewish Villages in Israel. Jerusalem: Hamadpis Liphshitz Press. pp. 16–17. 
  2. ^ Wilson, Dare (2008). With 6th Airborne Division in Palestine 1945-48. Pen & Sword Books Ltd. p. 246. ISBN 978-1-84415-771-6. 
  3. ^ "Beit Alfa Synagogue National Park (on Kibbutz Hefzibah)". Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  4. ^ Goldman, Bernard, The Sacred Portal: a primary symbol in ancient Judaic art, Detroit : Wayne State University Press, 1966
  5. ^ Guardian February 7, 2006 Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria Alongside the state-owned factories turning out materiel for South Africa was Kibbutz Beit Alfa, which developed a profitable industry selling anti-riot vehicles for use against protesters in the black townships.
  6. ^ "Israeli Riot-Gear Sale Fuels Concern," Christian Science Monitor, 23 August 2001

External links[edit]